German Film ‘Toni Erdmann’ Gets Indie Spirit Award

Maren Ade’s comedy “Toni Erdmann” took the best foreign film award at the 32nd Independent Spirit Awards on Saturday but failed to secure the prize at the Oscars on Sunday.
Ms. Ade expressed her delight at nine films directed by women being up for the award.

“Toni Erdmann,” a 2016 film written and directed by German filmmaker Maren Ade, was named best international film at the 32nd Independent Spirit Awards on Saturday.

“I’m really happy and also proud to stand here as a female director,” Ms. Ade said upon receiving her trophy in Santa Monica, California, “because really, it’s still not normal enough that women are directing films.”

She said she was pleased that the awards dedicated to independent filmmakers had nominated nine films with female directors across all categories.

A 162-minute long father-daughter comedy, starring Peter Simonischek and Sandra Hüller, “Toni Erdmann” was also the first German film nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards since “The White Ribbon” by Austrian filmmaker Michael Haneke in 2010.

But at the Oscars ceremony on Sunday, Ms. Ade remained empty-handed. The Oscar for the best foreign film went to Iranian director Asghar Farhadi for his film “The Salesman,” five years after he won his first Oscar for his movie “A Separation.”

The last German film to win the coveted statuette was “The Life of Others,” a drama set in East Germany, 10 years ago.