Press Office

Tuesday 29 Jul 2014

Press Release

The White Ribbon wins BBC Four World Cinema Award 2010

The White Ribbon (Das weiß Band, Eine deutsche Kindergeschichte), a darkly compelling drama depicting a family in a northern German village just before the First World War, has been named the winner of the BBC Four World Cinema Award 2010.

Austrian director Michael Haneke accepted the award in a specially prepared video message and actress Leonie Benesch, who appears in the film as Eva, flew in to collect the award at a ceremony held on 7 October at the BFI Southbank.

In his message Haneke said: "Thank you very much for the invitation and the prize. I am very pleased. Unfortunately I'm in Paris at the moment at casting sessions for my new film. They were arranged a long time ago so I couldn't cancel them, but I'm very sorry that I can't be with you. But I have sent Leonie, my charming lead actress – I believe she is more appealing and more pleasing on the eye! Once again, thank you very much."

Mark Bell, Commissioning Editor, BBC Arts, says: "The White Ribbon is a brilliant, controversial piece of cinema which has won plaudits from critics and filmgoers the world over. It is a deserved recipient of the BBC Four World Cinema Award 2010 which celebrates excellence in international film making and underlines BBC Four's commitment to world cinema."

The film is set in the fictitious Protestant village of Eichwald, Germany, between July 1913 and August 1914, leading up to the declaration of war on Serbia by Austria-Hungary, where the pastor, the doctor and the baron rule the roost over women, children and peasant farmers. The White Ribbon referenced in the title comes from the ribbon that the puritanical pastor makes the children in his communion class wear to remind them of the innocence and purity from which they have strayed.

The film premiered at the 62nd Cannes Film Festival and was awarded the Palm d'Or in May 2009, and then won the 2010 Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film, as well as being nominated for Best Foreign Language Film and Best Cinematography at the 2010 Academy Awards.

Bernardo Bertolucci, acclaimed director of Last Tango In Paris and The Last Emperor, also received the BBC Four World Cinema Achievement Award, at the ceremony, recognising his prolific contribution to World Cinema.

Bernardo Bertolucci said: "I feel extremely honoured and I'd like to thank the BBC for this award, but especially for what BBC Four has done, is doing, and will do for supporting independent cinema."

The award ceremony, hosted by Jonathan Ross, will be broadcast on BBC Four on Saturday 9 October at 9pm. The White Ribbon was chosen from a shortlist of five by a panel of judges comprising of documentary maker Sophie Fiennes, screenwriter and director Christopher Hampton, Bollywood superstar and producer Aamir Kahn, and writer, broadcaster and novelist Bidisha.

Notes to Editors

The World Cinema Award will be broadcast on BBC Four on Saturday 9 October 2010

This is the seventh BBC Four World Cinema Award.

The shortlist, was nominated by the UK's leading critics, film school heads and festival directors. The five films short-listed were The White Ribbon; Let The Right One In; Waltz With Bashir; I Am Love; A Prophet.

The 2010 Judging Panel

Sophie Fiennes
Sophie is an English filmmaker. Exploring a broad range of ideas and diverse modes of creativity, her films play with notions of performance and identity. Her works include Because I Sing, and The Perverts Guide To Cinema, and her latest project Over Your City, Grass Will Grow about German artist Anselm Kiefer.

Christopher Hampton
British playwright, screen writer and film director. He is best known for his play based on the novel Les Liaisons Dangereuses and the film version Dangerous Liaisons (1988) and also more recently for writing the Academy Award-nominated screenplay for the film adaptation of Ian McEwan's Atonement.

Aamir Khan
An Indian film actor, director and producer who has worked in a number of critically and commercially successful films and has established himself as one of the leading actors of Hindi cinema, he starred in the 2009 film 3 Idiots – the most successful Bollywood film of all time. He is also the founder-owner of Aamir Khan Productions.

Bidisha
Bidisha began writing professionally for arts magazines such as i-D, Dazed and Confused and the NME at the age of 15 and published her first novel at 18. Her third book, Venetian Masters – a travel memoir – was published in February 2008. She was a contributing editor of the feminist magazine Sibyl and the style magazine 2nd Generation. She has written for The Guardian, the Financial Times, Mslexia, The Observer, New Statesman and arts magazine The List.

EB/AH

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