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The new "Deutsche Filmpreis"

Stephan Reichenberger

March 1999

The visual concept for the German Filmprize - from the award statue, logo, corporate idents to the costume design for the nomination-event and Gala-hostesses - has been developed by the designer Mechthild Schmidt, one of the principals of HouseWorks, digital media in New York. A study award for 'Combined Media' by the German Academic Exchange program brought the then Berlin fine art student to the US where she has been working as a computer animator and broadcast designer for the past 15 years. Lately numerous interactive projects have been added to her palette. Her work focuses on concept and realization of linear and non-linear Video graphics. She realized opens for CBS, HBO, and ZDF as well as interactive CD ROMs for clients like ZDF and America Online.

Other than a growing number of computer designers Mechthild Schmidt has a mastery of painting and sculpting - other than via mouse-click. "I am searching for a clean abstracted style with nods towards modernism, history, the web. That style can be rounded off with a wink, a pun - if that is right for the project."

In the case of the new statue for the German Filmprize she dressed an Art-Déco muse with the motif of the current 'Filmband'. A reminiscence of the early wave of German Cinema combined with the tradition of the German Filmprize.

Production for the new statue was planned for the year 2000. Yet the client found her design concept so convincing that they moved the large project up to 1999.

Pressure is running high for Schmidt in cooperation with the Hanover sculptor Roman Johann Strobel, a studied woodcarver, to finish the prototype that will serve as a model for the 1999 edition of 15 statues. The art foundry ARA-Kunst, enlisting artists like Ernst Fuchs, Paul Wunderlich and Bruno Bruni, will produce the bronze statues with gold or silver plating. The statue itself measures 23cm. The cone shaped base is 7 cm tall. The award weighs 3.5 kilograms.