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Mannheim-Heidelberg Fest honours Geoffrey Enthoven as Master of Cinema


Director Geoffrey Enthoven is to receive the Master of Cinema Award at this year’s Mannheim-Heidelberg Film Festival (6-16 November). To accompany the Award, the Festival will screen Enthoven’s two most recent features, Halfway and the award-winning Come As You Are (Hasta la vista). Former recipients of the Master of Cinema Award include such renowned filmmakers as Zhang Yimou, Wim Wenders and Atom Egoyan.

Geoffrey Enthoven and the Mannheim-Heidelberg Film Festival share a long history. In 2002, the director’s debut feature film, Les enfants de l’amour, was invited to the Festival and received a Special Jury Award. Enthoven returned in 2006 with The Only One (Vidange perdue), a story about a headstrong pensioner struggling with growing old, which won the festival’s Grand Prize. And a couple of years later, Enthoven’s The Over The Hill Band was invited to open the festival. The director’s portrayal of an elderly woman restarting her old girl group with the aid of her R&B-loving son quickly became a festival favourite with audiences and professionals alike.

This year, the Mannheim-Heidelberg event welcomes Enthoven back as Master of Cinema and has programmed his two most recent features for the occasion. Halfway is the story of Stephen, who is involved in a bitter divorce and moves into a luxury home he managed to buy at a rock-bottom price. But his peace and quiet is soon disturbed by a man claiming to be the legal owner. In the ensuing territorial battle, Stephen discovers the truth: the man did indeed own the house… but died two years ago.

Also on the bill is Come As You Are, Enthoven’s widely acclaimed festival hit about three disabled teens who embark on a journey to Spain hoping to get laid there. The film won prizes at festivals including Montreal, Valladolid, Alpe d’Huez, San José and Karlovy Vary. Come As You Are also won the People’s Choice prize at the European Film Awards in 2012.

With the Master of Cinema Award, the International Film Festival Mannheim-Heidelberg honours directors who have promoted the art of cinema both uncompromisingly and with artistic innovation. In the past, internationally renowned filmmakers such as Theo Angelopoulos, Otar Iosseliani, Zhang Yimou, Wim Wenders and Atom Egoyan have been presented with the Award.

All the above-mentioned films by Geoffrey Enthoven received support from the Flanders Audiovisual Fund/Film Fund of Cultural Affairs Minister Sven Gatz.