Ecumenical Reception Berlinale 2010: Special Award to Prof. Dr. Thomas Koebner

On the occasion of the 60th Berlinale the German churches made a Special Award which was presented at the Ecumenical Reception. Carrying a prize money of 3000,- €, donated by the German Bishops’ Conference and the Evangelical Church in Germany, the award was given to Prof. Dr. Thomas Koebner “in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the perception and acknowledgement of film as art form.” Koebner founded the Institute for Film Science and Media Dramaturgy at the University of Mainz where he teached till 2007, after callings to the universities of Munich, Cologne, Wuppertal and Marburg. 1972-1973 he was Film Commisioner in the Federal Government Department for Economical Co-operation, 1989-1992 director of the German Academy for Film and Television (dffb) in Berlin.

Koebner has fostered the appreciation of the relevance of film and the achievements of film artists, and significantly contributed to assert film as a field of research and a source of cultural inspiration in Germany, says the motivation for the award. By his numerous publications he conveyed the aesthetic wealth of film to a broad public. “The church film organisations owe profound respect and cordial gratitude to Prof. Koebner’s hermeneutic ingenuity,” the churches proclaimed.

The reception began with greetings from the Commisioner of Culture of the EKD, rev. Dr. Petra Bahr, the chairman of the Journalistic Commision of the German Bishops’ Conference, Bishop Dr. Gebhard Fürst, and the Programm Manager of the Berlin Film Festival, Thomas Hailer. The laudatory speech was made by Hans Helmut Prinzler, former director of the Foundation German Cinematheque and the Berlin Film Museum. Rev. Werner Schneider-Quindeau, chairman of the Ecumenical Jury, presented the award to Prof. Koebner.