Saarbrücken (AP) - The 42nd Max Ophüls Preis (MOP) film festival in Saarbrücken began on Sunday evening - for the first time as an online version because of the pandemic.

At the start there was already a prize: Wim Wenders - director, photographer and producer (“Der Himmel über Berlin”) - received the honorary award for his services to young German-language film.

The award ceremony had previously been recorded in Berlin.

The speeches and discussions for the opening event were pre-produced in Saarbrücken.

The MOP is considered the most important festival for young German-language film.

A total of 98 films will be shown until January 24th.

50 productions start in the four festival competitions feature film, documentary film, medium-length film and short film.

According to the artistic director Oliver Baumgarten, the focus is on identity, home, self-determination of women and "different perspectives on the destructive effects of capitalism".

In the opinion of the Saarland Prime Minister Tobias Hans (CDU), the audience in the film art form needs the experience of collective experience, of laughing together, being amazed or being touched together.

“We will only be able to experience a lot of this to a limited extent this year,” he admitted.

For more than 40 years, the Ophüls Prize has given the Saarland “cinematic splendor”, according to the Prime Minister.


As in the previous year, 16 prizes will be awarded with a total of 118,500 euros.

The award ceremony is planned for next Saturday (January 23).

Wim Wenders was delighted with the honorary award, "because it is not for me, but for something I enjoy doing: supporting the next generation."

He doesn't do it so completely unselfishly because it gives him a lot.

"You can't repeat the very first look," said Wenders.

He likes to work with young people because they are still trying this first look: It is "sometimes uplifting, sometimes encouraging" - and some have to be "pushed a bit so that they can trust themselves to see this".

The 75-year-old is also the producer of the documentary “A black Jesus”, which was shown following the official award ceremony.

In the strip by Luca Lucchesi, the worship of a black Jesus statue in a Sicilian village is illuminated.

Film Festival Max Ophüls Prize