Locarno’s 2019 Best Independent Producer Award goes to German production house Komplizen Film
Komplizen Film’s producing trio Maren Ade, Janine Jackowski and Jonas Dornbach will step up for this year’s “Raimondo Rezzonico” prize, awarded by the Locarno Film Festival to leading players in international independent production. Their names will join a list that includes the likes of Ruth Waldburger, Christine Vachon, Mike Medavoy, Office Kitano, David Linde, Michel Merkt and Ted Hope, recognizing landmark achievements in challenging conventions and bringing new and unexpected voices to the independent filmmaking scene. Komplizen Film will receive the award in Piazza Grande on Thursday 8 August. The Festival tribute will be accompanied by screenings of several films produced by the company: Western (2017) by German director Valeska Grisebach, presented at the Cannes Festival 2017, and Der Wald vor lauter Bäumen (2003) the first full-length feature directed by Maren Ade herself, who also wrote and directed the films Alle Anderen (2009) and Toni Erdmann (2016).
This year sees Komplizen Film celebrate two decades in the business, hallmarked throughout by its dedication to independent cinema. The Berlin-based production concern was set up in 1999 by German director, screenwriter and producer Maren Ade and fellow German producer Janine Jackowski, with whom Ade co-produced her 2003 full-length directing debut Der Wald vor lauter Bäumen (Special Jury Prize at Sundance, plus a Deutscher Filmpreis nomination), and has focused mainly on developing full-length features, international co-productions and exclusive series. In 2010 the two original partners were joined by German producer Jonas Dornbach.
Komplizen Film’s feature productions to date include Karma Cowboy (2002), Hotel Very Welcome (2007) and Hedi Schneider steckt fest (2015), by German director Sonja Heiss. In 2009 Komplizen Film produced Ade’s second full-length film as director, Alle Anderen, which took the Grand Jury Prize and a Silver Bear for best actress for Birgit Minichmayr at the 2009 Berlinale. The film went on theatrical release in eighteen countries and picked up three nominations for the Deutscher Filmpreis. Maren Ade’s third film Toni Erdmann (2016) was also produced by Komplizen Film: It was entered in competition at Cannes and won both the FIPRESCI prize and the European Film Award for best picture, making such waves that it was nominated for the Golden Globe, César and BAFTA Awards, and for an Oscar as best foreign picture. Building on these notable successes, Komplizen Film continues to support the work of young directors on the domestic and international scene, including German screenwriter and director Ulrich Köhler, whose film Schlafkrankheit (2011) won the Silver Bear for best direction; Tabu (2012), by Portuguese director Miguel Gomes, FIPRESCI Prize and Alfred Bauer Prize in Berlin in 2012; Western (2017) by German director Valeska Grisebach, presented in the sidebar Un Certain Regard at the Cannes Festival 2017 and winner of a Deutscher Filmpreis bronze award; Una Mujer Fantástica (2017) by Chilean screenwriter and director Sebastián Lelio, a co-production which won an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 2018; the Netflix series Skylines (2019), set in Frankfurt and Berlin; the autobiographical study Synonymes (2019), by Israeli writer and director Nadav Lapid, Golden Bear at the Berlinale 2019 and winner of the Special Jury Prize at the Locarno Film Festival in 2011 with his film Ha-shoter (2011). Lastly, the Romanian screenwriter and director Corneliu Porumboiu deserves a mention for his film The Whistlers, presented at the Cannes Film Festival 2019.
Lili Hinstin, Artistic Director of the Locarno Film Festival: “I’m delighted to be giving the “Raimondo Rezzonico” Best Independent Producer Award to Komplizen Film. Partly because behind Komplizen Film there is not just one individual but a collective, and in that sense, they were precursors of what has become an established trend among young producers. Also, this is a production company born out of the Utopian desire of youth: celebrating its twentieth birthday this year, it shows that Utopias can come true – provided they avoid too much conformity. Lastly, because Komplizen Film has taken under its wing some of the boldest and most original contemporary directors, from Miguel Gomes to Corneliu Porumboiu, Valeska Grisebach and Ulrich Kölher, making it a production house very close to the spirit and history of the Locarno Film Festival.”
Maren Ade, Janine Jackowski and Jonas Dornbach will receive the “Raimondo Rezzonico” Best Independent Producer Award in Piazza Grande on the evening of Thursday 8 August. Several titles from their career will be screened during the Festival as part of the tribute. On Friday 9 August the Festival audience will be able to join a panel discussion with the award winners at the Spazio Cinema.
The Premio Raimondo Rezzonico, offered by the municipality of Minusio, was established in 2002 to honor the memory of the President of the Locarno Festival from 1981 to 1999.
The 72nd Locarno Film Festival will take place from 7 to 17 August 2019.