German short film wins Oscar

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German short film wins Oscar
Photo: DPA

The German short film Spielzeugland, or "Toyland," won an Oscar on Sunday night at the 81st annual Academy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles.


Directed by 40-year-old Berlin-resident Jochen Alexander Freydank, the 14-minute drama is about a mother played by Julia Jäger, who tells her young son that his Jewish neighbours are being taken to a a sort of amusement park instead of concentration camps during the Second World War. The boy believes his mother and tries to find the toyland himself.

"As long we still have Nazi political parties we have to try to do something to fight them," Freydank told news agency DPA directly after the awards, saying his anger at right-wing extremist politics has inspired the film.

Three German short films have been honoured by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) with Oscars since 1994.

Meanwhile German nomination for Best Foreign Film "The Baader Meinhof Complex" went without an Oscar at the Kodak Theatre, losing to Japanese film "Departures" directed by Yojiro Takita. Legendary German director Werner Herzog also left empty-handed from the documentary category of the awards for his film "Encounters at the End of the World," losing to "Man on a Wire."

Other awards included a posthumous Best Supporting Actor award for Heath Ledger for his role in “The Dark Night,” eight awards for British film “Slumdog Millionaire,” a Best Actor award for Sean Penn for his role in "Milk," and a Best Actress award for British actress Kate Winslet for her role “The Reader.”



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