Willkommen in Dubai!
Dec 13,2011 - 05:04 PM
BY DIFF STAFF
The In Focus theme of DIFF 2011 took centre stage on the DIFF red carpet last night as the festival’s distinguished German guests arrived to not only watch the In Focus – Germany gala, ‘Three Quarter Moon’, but to witness a rather proud moment for DIFF indeed, the awarding of legendary director/producer Werner Herzog with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
Director Christian Zubert, lead actor Elmar Wepper and child actor Mercan Turkoglu represented the film, a tender and heartwarming tale of Hartmut Mackowiak, a grizzled old German taxi driver whose life changes when his wife leaves him. With 30 years of marriage down the dumper, Hartmut’s cynical
outlook changes when a young foreign girl and her mother get into his cab one day, leading to a dramatic series of events that see our gloomy hero reassessing his attitudes towards life and love.
Meanwhile, DIFF was proud to welcome one of the masters of German cinema from over the past 40 years. Described by François Truffaut as ‘the most important director alive’, Werner Herzog, who received the DIFF Lifetime Achievement Award from Cinema Of The World programmer Sheila Whitaker, found global renown in the 1970s for his off-kilter, fiercely personal films including ‘Aguirrre’, ‘Fitzcarraldo’, ‘Port Of Call’ and ‘Cobra Verde’. In recent years,he has continued his practice of exploring the frayed margins of human life with compelling investigations into subjects as varied as doomed bear-hunter Timothy Treadwell in ‘Grizzly Man’, prehistoric cave paintings in ‘Cave of Forgotten Dreams’ and Michael Perry and Jason Burkett, two Texans convicted of multiple homicides, awaiting execution on Death Row, in ‘Into The Abyss’.
The evening’s activity comes after a few days in which the Festival has celebrated the breadth and diversity of the German film industry, from its earliest days of silent film, to the multi-kulti Germany of 2011. Along the way, we’ve heard from key players in the country’s film industry, explored future plans for financing and co-production strategies and experienced the dynamism, energy and ongoing passion for film that remains at large in the country today