"2022 was a challenge!": Karoline Herfurth receives the Ernst Lubitsch Prize

“2022 was a challenge!”
Karoline Herfurth receives the Ernst Lubitsch Prize

2022 was a challenging year on many levels, for Karoline Herfurth as a filmmaker a very special year: due to the pandemic, she is bringing two films to the cinemas, “an extraordinary thrill combined with great stamina”, as she says. But now we are rewarded.

Corona is “to blame” for the fact that Karoline Herfurth brought two successful films to the cinema in 2022: In “Wonderful” she presents women in different phases of life with a self-ironic look. And “Simply something beautiful” is about the desire of an almost forty-year-old to have children, with which she shakes up the deadlocked structures in her family and puts old patterns to the test. This achievement of entertaining the audience so well at the beginning and end of last year left such an impression on the members of the film journalists’ club that the choice for this year’s film prize was not difficult: Traditionally, Ernst Lubitsch’s birthday is celebrated today therefore announced that Karoline Herfurth will receive the award named after him for the best comedic performance in a German-language feature film.

The choice was not difficult, because the native Berliner is a real all-rounder: She not only directed both films and was jointly responsible for the scripts, but also played one of the main roles in both films, in the midst of a top-class cast. Tragedy-comic, honest, sensitive and carried by this perfect timing, which also characterizes an Ernst Lubitsch comedy, Herfurth succeeded in drawing an honest, approachable and authentic image of women in the film with her productions.

In a row with Adorf, Loriot and Engelke

Karoline Herfurth is pleased to be included in the ranks of the winners of the historic prize: “2022 was a very challenging year on many levels. For me as a filmmaker, it was also a special year: releasing two cinema films in one year due to the pandemic was an extraordinary thrill and required a great deal of perseverance, also from all my partners. To receive this wonderful prize, which places my films in the tradition of the great filmmaker Ernst Lubitsch, in addition to the recognition of the audience, is an incredible honor and a wonderful surprise. I would like to dedicate the award to everyone who has helped me to achieve this over the past few years.” It will be announced when the award ceremony for Karoline Herfurth will take place.

In his early days, Ernst Lubitsch was also in front of and behind the camera for films such as “Meyer in Berlin” (1919) or “Sumurun” (1920). Lubitsch, born in Berlin in 1892 and emigrated to the USA in 1922 after initial successes in Germany, became one of the most influential comedy specialists in Hollywood. Ten years after his death, Billy Wilder suggested the Ernst Lubitsch Prize in 1957. On January 28, 1958, it was awarded to director Kurt Hoffmann for his musical comedy “Das Wirtshaus im Spessart” for the first time.

The following winners include Gert Fröbe, Cornelia Froboess, Heinz Rühmann, Loriot, Mario Adorf, Til Schweiger, Sophie Rois, Dani Levy, Anke Engelke, Peter Simonischek, Tom Tykwer, Lars Eidinger, Bjarne Mädel, Katharina Thalbach and most recently Christoph Maria Herbst and Nilam Farooq in the tragic comedy “Contra”.

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