by Birgit S.
This prestigious prize is named after the Hamburg-born Douglas Sirk, director of such classics as All That Heavens Allows and Imitation of Life of the 1950s, and is presented each year to a personality who has made outstanding achievements within the film culture.
Since 1995 the Douglas Sirk Prize has been awarded to film directors like Clint Eastwood, Jodie Foster, Jim Jarmusch, Tilda Swinton, Andreas Dresen and Kim Kiduk.
“By presenting the Douglas Sirk Award to Fatih Akin, we would like to recognize his work both as a director and as a producer,” said Hamburg film festival director Albert Wiederspiel. “His films, which are strongly rooted in Hamburg, have put the city on the world map of cinema.... His films were a starting point of a whole movement of German filmmakers of Turkish origin.”
Fatih Akin was born of Turkish parentage in 1973. He grew up in Hamburg, where he still lives, studied Visual Communications at Hamburg's College of Fine Arts, starting to make a name for himself with short films. His first full-length film Short Sharp Shock (1989) won the Bronze Leopard at Locarno and the Bavarian Film Award (Best Young Director). The international breakthrough came with Head-On, which earned him the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival 2004. This was followed by The Edge of Heaven which won best screenplay in Cannes 2007 as well as a number of other prizes. The German premiere of his latest film The Cut was at the Film festival Hamburg 2014 after its world premiere in Cannes.