Eline Gehring‘s feature-length debut “Nico“, which will be released in spring 2021 by UCM.ONE on the Darling Berlin label, will be awarded this year’s QueerScope Debut Film Award. QueerScope e.V. is the umbrella organization of independent queer film festivals in German-speaking countries. A total of 19 larger and smaller queer film festivals are represented by QueerScope, together they reach more than 300,000 attendees annually. Since 2015, QueerScope has awarded an annual debut film prize for the best feature film debut on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, asexual or other queer topics.
The film portrays Nico, a German-Persian geriatric nurse who, after a racist attack, decides to train in karate and never be a victim again. The film stars and is produced by Sara Fazilat; “Nico” is also her graduation film at the DFFB. The cinematographer was co-writer Francy Fabritz, who deliberately chose a handheld camera and an improvisational approach. Director Eline Gehring felt it was important to put women at the center and normalize the portrayal of non-white characters. For her portrayal of the main character Nico, Sara Fazilat was awarded in the category “Best Acting Newcomer“ at the 2021 Max Ophüls Preis Film Festival, and the film also received the No Fear Award at First Steps.
This year’s QueerScope Debut Film Award will be presented at a ceremony on October 23 in Regenburg as part of the the Queer-Streifen-Filmfestival, and a Q&A with Sara Fazilat and Francy Fabritz is planned after the screening. Cinematographer Francy Fabritz will also visit the QueerScope festivals in Rostock, Hamburg and Weiterstadt in the run-up to the award ceremony and will be available for a talk with the audience there.