37th Max Ophüls Prize Film Festival: 'Eng nei Zäit' in the official competition

After 23 years with no Luxembourgish film in the official competition, Christophe Wagner's second full-length film will be in the competition for the Max Ophüls Prize
His film entitled Eng nei Zäit has been selected for the official competition at the 37th Max Ophüls Prize Film Festival (Filmfestival Max Ophüls Preis), to be held in Saarbrücken from 18 to 24 January 2016. There has been no Luxembourgish film in the festival's official competition for the past twenty-three years. In 1993 Pol Cruchten won the Max Ophüls Prize for his full-length film Hochzäitsnuecht (wedding night), a drama that unfolds at the wedding of a couple of drug-takers in the midst of the bourgeois society around them.

Eng Nei Zäit - a look at a troubled past

The 100% Luxembourgish production 'Eng nei Zäit' (titled 'Demain, après la guerre' in French) uses a quintuple murder to take an unusual look at one of the darkest periods of the Grand Duchy's history.

Jules, a young Luxembourger, has returned from France where he had been in hiding to avoid being forcibly recruited into the German army during the Nazi occupation of the Grand Duchy. He has difficulty resuming his place in a society that is starkly divided between the hunt for Nazi collaborators and reconstruction after the damage caused by the Second World War. Jules tries to fit into his family again, in his traumatised village, and to rekindle his relationship with Léonie, his girlfriend from before the war.

Working as a policeman, he is confronted every day with the horrors of the war and observes the witch-hunt for collaborators and the scathing attitude towards people returning from Germany. A quintuple murder, including Léonie, shatters his life. Jules begins to investigate the crime with his colleagues. He gradually comes to the conclusion that the past always catches up with people in the end.

Eng Nei Zäit was nominated in the category 'Regards du présent' at the French-Language Film Festival (Festival du Film Francophone de Namur).

Eng nei Zäit was released in the Grand Duchy on 14 October 2015. Since then, it has been seen by 15,000 people, and is still showing in cinemas at the moment.

The Max Ophüls Prize Film Festival - a festival with an international reputation

The prime purpose of the Festival is to reveal new directors, and each year it proposes an official selection of about a hundred debut works. The Max Ophüls Prize Film Festival in Saarbrücken has been in existence since 1980. In the competition, young German-speaking directors may compete in one of the four categories, until they have produced three full-length films. All the screenings are public; tickets for one of the cinemas can be bought on the spot or on-line.

 The Max Ophüls Prize Film Festival has become famous among German-language festivals. It is devoted to debut films, and offers a substantial platform for up and coming talent.

In 2015, the Festival turned the spotlight on Luxembourgish productions. It was a great honour that the film to open the Festival was Die Räuber (the robbers) by Luxembourgish director Pol Cruchten. Other Luxembourgish productions and co-productions were also shown to the public: Amour Fou, Succès Fox, Hannah Arendt, and Mammejong.

In 1993 Pol Cruchten won the Max Ophüls Prize for his full-length film Hochzäitsnuecht (wedding night), a drama that unfolds at the wedding of a couple of drug-takers in the midst of the bourgeois society around them. In 2007 he had another opportunity to show one of his productions: Perl oder Pica, the story of a 12-year-old boy between childhood and adolescence in the Grand Duchy of the 1960s, was screened in the 'Wahre Geschichten von nebenan' (true stories from next door) selection.

A booming sector

Let's not be afraid to say it, and say it with pride: the Grand Duchy's film production sector is booming! Not only are its productions and co-productions hailed by the public; they also regularly collect international prizes at festivals and galas, including the main Academy Award - an Oscar - for the Luxembourgish production Mr Hublot in 2013. We should also mention another co-production, Song of the Sea, that has just been nominated for an Academy Award in the 'best animated film' category.

In addition to the host of co-productions receiving financial support from the Film Fund Luxembourg and logistic and technical support from the many production companies based in the Grand Duchy, there are also many 100% Luxembourgish productions; these are often in Luxembourgish, and are seldom screened outside the Grand Duchy.

(Article written by the editorial team of the portal
  • Updated 30-09-2016