Foreign Minister Steinmeier issued the following statement in Berlin on 22 May following the award of the Palme d’Or in Cannes to Ken Loach and the International Critics Prize to Maren Ade:
I would like to congratulate British director Ken Loach on his win at the Cannes Film Festival with his social drama “I, Daniel Blake”. Unfortunately, despite fantastic reviews from the critics, Maren Ade’s film “Toni Erdmann” missed out on the Palme d’Or. The fact that she won the International Critics Prize, however, is proof that her film won the hearts of a great many film-goers in Cannes, and I extend my warmest congratulations to her.
With “Toni Erdmann”, Maren Ade has not only given us a wonderful surprise, but has continued the series of truly great films which she has either directed or produced. I myself was lucky enough to see “Everyone Else” at the Berlinale in 2009. Ever since, I have regarded Maren Ade as a strong and creative director with a distinct artistic signature who does not shy away from addressing complex issues.
The very fact that Maren Ade was invited to participate in the main competition in Cannes reflects the tremendous international appreciation for her films. This is something of which she can be proud. I am sure her example will give many talented young film-makers the courage to trust in their view of the world and to stand up for the issues they believe in. This will be good for German and European cinema.
I am particularly pleased that Maren Ade’s film shows that strong women at least have exactly what we Germans are generally felt to lack: a sense of humour which doesn’t fear profound issues. So I am looking forward to seeing the film myself in the cinema soon. I am quite sure this will not be Maren Ade’s last invitation to Cannes.