One-take German thriller Victoria sweeps film awards

  • Michael Nienaber, Reuters, Berlin
  • Updated: Jun 20, 2015 18:31 IST

German heist film Victoria, shot in one single take in more than 20 locations in central Berlin, won top honours at the German Film Prize on Friday, taking best picture and five categories in one of the world's most lucrative film awards.

The movie tells the tragic story of Victoria -- a talented, but jobless pianist from Spain stranded in Berlin -- who as she leaves a nightclub gets acquainted with a wild bunch of young men and becomes embroiled in an armed robbery.

"Crime does pay," director Sebastian Schipper told an applauding audience of more than 2,000 people, including German Culture Minister Monika Gruetters.

The film also won the "Lolas" for best director, best actress (Laia Costa), best actor (Frederick Lau), best camera (Sturla Brandth Grovlen) and best music (Nils Frahm). The screen rights for Victoria have been sold to more than 30 countries worldwide and it is slated for release in the United States, Britain, France and Spain in the coming months.

The Edward Snowden film Citizenfour by Laura Poitras, partly shot in Berlin, won the "Lola" for best documentary. The ballots were cast by more than 1,600 industry professionals who make up the German Film Academy. The awards are not meant to award box office success but cultural achievement.

The German government underwrites the 3 million euros in prizes, which are distributed among the dozens of nominated films as an indirect subsidy for future projects. Presented every year since 1951, the "Lolas" are Germany's answer to Hollywood's Oscars and Britain's BAFTA awards.

In 2006, the German surveillance state drama Das Leben der Anderen (The Lives of Others) got seven "Lolas" before later winning the best foreign film Oscar.

(Reporting by Michael Nienaber; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

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