Berlin director Tamara Denić has won the 2023 student Oscar. The American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Beverly Hills announced the winners in mid-September. The awards ceremony will take place at the end of October in Los Angeles. Awards will be given to 14 emerging directors from around the world. Tamara Denich’s short film Istina was recognized as best in the Narrative category and will be nominated for an Oscar next year.
The young director’s team won the fight against 2,400 competitors from 720 educational institutions from around the world. “This is the biggest recognition you can get as a newcomer. Both for me and for all the people who worked on this film for weeks on a voluntary basis,” Denich said in an interview with the dpa news agency. “I still can’t believe it.” believe.” Denich, 31, shot “Truth” last year as her thesis at the Hamburg Media School. The film follows a young Serbian photojournalist who is threatened by right-wing extremist groups in Belgrade. She flees to Germany with her young daughter, but even here, on assignment at a demonstration in Hamburg, she faces increasing hostility and violence.
What is this movie about?
The half-hour film was shot in Serbia and Hamburg, Germany, with actors from different countries. Denic, born in 1992 in Banja Luka (Bosnia and Herzegovina), moved with her family to Germany when she was one year old. However, she still has relatives both in her home country and in Serbia. It was important for her to bring her migration experience into the film.
The film “The Truth” talks about the right to freedom of the press and the price a young photojournalist from Belgrade has to pay for it. Elena is a photojournalist for one of the capital’s editorial offices, engaged in investigations and defending basic democratic rights. Journalism is her passion, but the atmosphere around her is becoming more threatening every day, and she is increasingly being targeted by right-wing extremist groups. When one day the editorial office is brutally attacked, and soon after her daughter Lara is under threat, Elena, much to the relief of her mother Branka, decides to leave the country for a while. Leaving her boyfriend Nikola, she and her daughter go to Hamburg. In Germany, she tries to continue doing her favorite job, but soon begins to face growing hostility and threats in her new home.
How Tamara Denych explains the success of his film? “Perhaps because this is a hot international topic, because skepticism towards a free press is growing everywhere, fake news is spreading more and more confidently among the population, and violence against women journalists is growing all over the world,” the director said at the announcement ceremony student Oscar winners and added that her film probably “just touched a nerve of time.”
Student Oscar is another success for the Hamburg Media School
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has awarded student Oscars to directors and young film school talent since 1972. For many filmmakers, participation in the student Oscar competition was the first step towards a Hollywood career. Previous winners include directors such as Spike Lee (“Malcolm X”), Robert Zemeckis (“Back to the Future”) and Cary Fukunaga (“No Time to Die”).
Student OscarPhoto: Angelika Warmuth/dpa/picture alliance
Student Oscars often go to graduates of German universities. In particular, this year this is the sixth trophy awarded to graduate teams Hamburg Media School. Thus, in 2017, the short film “Watu Wote,” directed by Katja Benrath, won in the “Narrative” category, telling the true story of what happened on the border of Kenya and Somalia in December 2015, when Islamist militants attacked a bus and offered to those sitting in it, passengers will be divided into different groups – Christian and Muslim. In 2015, the student Oscar was awarded to the short drama “Loyalty” directed by Ilker Çatak: the film takes place in Istanbul in 2014, where the main character Asli spontaneously hides a political activist and helps him avoid arrest, which is why her family becomes the target of police persecution, and the husband betrays the fugitive in an attempt to avert the threat. In 2006, the winner was the 23-minute film “Ausreisser” directed by Ulrike Grote – about a young Walter who goes to a job interview and on the way meets six-year-old Yuri, who claims to be his son and demands that he took him to school because his mother was missing.
Also, student Oscar winners were the short films directed by Florian Baxmeyer “Die rote Jacke” in 2003 and the film directed by Max Zähle “Raju” in 2012 .
Gold, silver and bronze have not yet been awarded
In addition to the German director, the three winners of the 2023 Student Oscars in the Storytelling category included first-time directors from Austria and Norway. Participants will receive their awards on October 24 in Los Angeles. At that time, it will become clear how the gold, silver and bronze prizes will be distributed in the Animation, Narrative and Documentary categories. “But to be honest, I don’t care,” says young German director Tamara Denitsch. It is enough for her that her work was included in the finalists and became one of the winners. Last year, student Oscars went to three German films produced by graduates of the Munich University of Television and Film (HFF) and the Konrad Wolf Film University in Babelsberg.
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