Press release, April 27, 2021


The extraordinarily versatile filmmaker will receive the award at the 10th Bildrausch – Filmfest Basel in person and will present the Swiss premiere of his latest film Fabian – Going to the Dogs. The Honorary Award for Visionary Cinema is handed out at irregular intervals to international filmmaking personalities who have made a special contribution to auteur cinema and film art. It will be awarded for the second time in 2021. The 10th edition of Bildrausch – Filmfest Basel will take place from 16 to 20 June in a hybrid form.


"For over forty years, Dominik Graf has achieved the impossible. He is a genre expert and outstanding cinematic craftsman, and with every film – be it for the silver screen or for television –  he manages to create a work of art, a piece of cinema, a slice of life," as Nicole Reinhard and Beat Schneider, the co-directors of Bildrausch – Filmfest Basel,  explain. "Forever unpredictable, highly astute and full of energy, he inspects social conditions, entertains us, and sometimes lets things blow up, without ever trying to fit in or align himself. Auteur works, essay films and documentaries are just as much a part of his extensive oeuvre as cinema thrillers or TV crime series like "Tatort". Graf is an auteur in the classical sense: he inscribes himself in his films and stages a crime thriller as a mesmerising symphony, before moving on to adapt great literature in a gripping and sophisticated way. With this award, Bildrausch bows to this extraordinary filmmaker and chronicler of German reality." 


The author and director Dominik Graf influenced the German film and television landscape of the past few decades like nobody else. Since 1975, Dominik Graf has made over 50 films, but he has always avoided being classifiable. He easily switches between art cinema and entertainment, and takes turns between the television and the silver screen. His works have a brilliance and sophistication that transgress the routines of everyday cinema and television and that are loved by audiences and critics alike.


The latest example is his Erich Kästner adaptation Fabian – Going to the Dogs, which the great stylist and nonconformist will present as a Swiss premiere in Basel. Bildrausch is showing the film out of competition in the 'Cutting Edge' international competition programme. The film is being distributed by DCM and will be released on 1 July in Swiss cinemas. In addition to director Dominik Graf, actors Tom Schilling and Albrecht Schuch as well as producer Felix von Boehm will also attend the Swiss premiere. 


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