Dhe filmmaker Elke Margarete Lehrenkrauss is giving back the German Documentary Film Prize for her criticized documentary “Lovemobil”. This was announced by Südwestrundfunk (SWR) as the sponsor of the main prize on Wednesday in Stuttgart.
The director confirmed this on request. In doing so, the filmmaker draws conclusions from the discrepancies about the film that the North German Broadcasting Corporation (NDR) announced on Monday. According to the public broadcaster, parts of the film are said to have been staged.
“Lovemobil” is about the life of prostitutes in mobile homes on the edge of federal highways in Lower Saxony. The film was released in cinemas in spring 2020 and screened at festivals. NDR television showed it last December.
Lehrenkrauss was quoted in the SWR announcement with the words: “I am hereby giving back the German Documentary Film Award 2020 along with the associated cash bonus. I made serious mistakes in the realization of my film “Lovemobil”, which I deeply regret and the extent of which I am only just beginning to realize. ”The filmmaker apologized to those involved and to the audience. “The return of the German Documentary Award is my first step in learning from this mistake and not harming my industry and the German Documentary Award with this film.”
The director of the SWR Doku Festival, Irene Klünder, said that the director’s step deserves respect. “At the same time, this is an opportunity for the documentary in which transparency and the question of authenticity are openly discussed.” On Tuesday, the responsible nomination committee withdrew the nomination of “Lovemobil” for the Grimme Prize. The day before, the NDR had distanced itself from the film, which it had co-produced, because of discrepancies. It was initially removed from the ARD media library and blocked for repetitions.
According to NDR information, the film is said to have been made on the basis of long-term research by the author, but central protagonists of the film did not describe their personal experiences, “they play a role. Numerous situations are simulated or staged ”.
The director then confirmed that she had retold the incidents researched with real prostitutes at individual points with actresses in order to protect the women, or because a film was not possible in the end. “Nothing is thought up in the film that doesn’t exist. We only retold it with actresses. ”She described the mistake as the fact that the film was not labeled accordingly.