Ayse Polat’s ‘In the Blind Spot’ Wins Oldenburg Film Festival German Independence Award

In the Blind Spot, Ayşe Polat’s documentary-style conspiracy thriller set in modern-day Turkey has won the German Independence Award for best film at the 30th Oldenburg International Film Festival.

The drama, which premiered in the Encounters section of the Berlin Film Festival this year, follows a German film team shooting a documentary in a remote Kurdish village who begin to witness mysterious happenings and become entwined in a sinister conspiracy.

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Oldenburg’s best actor honors went to Jon Jacobs for playing Cassian Elwes in the biographical drama Passenger C, Elwes’ directorial debut. Alexandrea Meyer won best actress for Truman Kewley’s horror thriller Beautiful Friend, in which she plays the object of obsession for a violent incel, played by Adam Jones.

Jon Jacobs in 'Passenger C'
Jon Jacobs in ‘Passenger C’
Alexandrea Meyer in 'Beautiful Friend'
Alexandrea Meyer in ‘Beautiful Friend’

Oldenburg’s audacity award, given to a film that pushes the boundaries of modern cinema, went to Jérôme Vandewattyne’s The Belgian Wave, a psychedelic drama set in the early 1990s when there was a wave of UFO sightings in Belgium and the country was diagnosed with a collective psychosis.

Still of The Belgian Wave, directed by Jérôme Vandewattyne
‘The Belgian Wave’

The prize for best first film went to Takayuki Hayashi for From Dawn Till Noon on the Sea, a drama looking at the kidnapping of a young schoolgirl and its aftermath.

The winners were announced at the closing ceremony for the 30th Oldenburg Film Festival on Sunday night. The gala was followed by the world premiere of Torsten Ruether’s boxing drama Uppercut starring Ving Rhames and Luise Grossmann.

See the full list of 2023 Oldenburg Film Festival winners below.

German Independence Award For Best Film

In the Blind Spot, dir. Ayşe Polat

German Independence Award – Audacity Award

The Belgian Wave, dir. Jérôme Vandewattyne

German Independence Award – Best Short Film

When Grass Grows, dir. María Monreal

Special Mention

Our Males and Females, dir. Ahmad Alyaseer

Seymour Cassel Acting Awards

Best Actress

Alexandrea Meyer for Beautiful Friend

Best Actor

Jon Jacobs for Passenger C

Hans Ohlms Prize for Best First Film

From Dawn Till Noon on the Sea, dir. Takayuki Hayashi

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