December 4, 2009 / 12:51 AM / in 9 years

Berlin festival taps two for lifetime awards

COLOGNE, Germany (Hollywood Reporter) - The Berlin Film Festival has picked two of Germany’s most prolific and prestigious film talents — actress Hanna Schygulla and screenwriter Wolfgang Kohlhaase — for its 2010 lifetime achievement awards.

Schygulla and Kohlhaase each represent a distinct period in German cinema — West and East, respectively — and both have seen a late-period revival in their careers.

“Schygulla’s name is inseparably connected with Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s films, (while) Wolfgang Kohlhaase adopted a course that was new for (East German state studio) DEFA,” said Berlin Festival director Dieter Kosslick.

Schygulla appeared in 23 Fassbinder productions — including “The Marriage of Maria Braun,” “Berlin Alexanderplatz” and “Lili Marleen” and became the on-screen face of the new German cinema movement of the 1970s and 80s. More recently she starred in Fatih Akin’s “The Edge of Heaven” (2007) in a role that won her a best supporting actress prize from the National Society of Film Critics.

Kohlhaase was at the center of the neorealist movement in East German filmmaking that, while skirting Communist censors, managed to depict the reality of life behind the Iron Curtain. He wrote the screenplays to some of the most highly regarded DEFA films, including “Berlin-Schoenhauser Corner” (1957) from director Gerhard Klein and Konrad Wolf’s “Solo Sunny,” (1980). More recently, Kohlhasse has collaborated with director Andreas Dresen on his films “Summer in Berlin” (2005) and “Whiskey with Vodka” (2009).

“In Wolfgang Kohlhaase we have the rare case of a writer who is named in the same breath as the director ... With Hanna Schygulla we are honoring an actress who, after being featured as anti-star by Fassbinder in his early films, became — with her expressive sensuality and stirring voice — one of Europe’s most exciting actresses,” said Rainer Rother, artistic director of the Deutsche Kinemathek.

The Detusche Kinemathek will program a retrospective of selected works from both Schygulla and Kohlhaase to screen during the Berlin Festival. Schygulla will receive her honorary Golden Bear on February 17, Kohlhasse on February 18. The 60th Berlin International Film Festival runs February 11-February 21.

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