The curtain has fallen - That was the last Otto-Night of the TU Freiberg

All the winners of the 20th Otto-Night Photo © Freiberger.Foto.Bande
An era came to an end on 3 July 2019. For the very last time, the Technical University Bergakademie Freiberg presented the coveted Otto Awards for the best student short films. This year, eight entries were up for voting at the final night.

In the end, there was no loser. With eight short films competing for the coveted trophies in twelve categories, the Otto jury was again spoilt for choice this year. In the well-filled Old Cafeteria, she and all visitors were able to see a wide range of different film genres and themes.

After 20 years, it was visibly difficult for all those present to say goodbye. It all began in the year 2000 when Prof. Michael B. Hinner from the Chair of English Technical Languages in Economics and Technical Sciences gave his students a special examination task. In an audiovisual work they were to implement the famous saying of Marshall McLuhan 'The Medium is the Message'. Inspired by the creativity of the submitted films, she wanted to make Prof. Hinner accessible to a wider audience.  Thus he created the Otto-Nacht, following the Oscar ceremony. Since these days the technology has developed rapidly. In the past, video cameras were lent out for film production in the university's media centre, but today a short film can be made effortlessly with a smartphone. Thus, the quality of the submitted contributions has steadily increased over the years, while the number of submitted contributions has decreased. This development prompted the team around organizer Rikarda Grummt to end the Otto Awards at their climax after 20 successful years and many memories.

What has remained the same in all this time is the demanding production of the small statues. These are made exclusively by Mario Scheidling and the team of the metal foundry Georg Herrmann and are based optically on the city founder of Freiberg, Markgraf Otto (Otto the Rich).

In the category "Best Actress" Stefanie Walter was happy about the special honour to receive one of the last Otto Awards for her acting performance in the short film "Es heißt Freiberg - Freiberg, nicht Freiburg! This work also convinced the jury in the category "Best Editing". The trophy for the "Best Actor" was won by Tom Herzog, the protagonist of the film "Alex is Back! The animated film "The Grateful Crane" won both the prize for "Best Production" and the "Special Award Animation". In the category "Best Humor" the horror comedy "Catched!" won, while the film "Camino Portugues" took home the "Special Award Emotions". The category "Best Camera Work" won the drama "LAST FRIDAY" and the makers of the film "Reine Routine" were awarded in the category "Best Music". The "Special Award Best Documentary" went to the documentary "ONE TEAM ONE DREAM" of the Racetech Racing Team. This year's audience award, which was chosen during the event, was won by "Alex is Back!".

Without competition but with a lot of applause the very last Otto of the evening was awarded. Prof Hinner and Thomas Dietze (Media Center) received the "Special Award Life Time Award" for the initiation and the long lasting support and organization of the Otto Awards. Thus the evening ended emotionally for all participants, with melancholy but also with many great memories of 20 unforgettable years of Otto Night.

A selection of the films and photos from the 20th Otto Awards will soon also be shown on the TU's YouTube channel and on Facebook.

The eight film contributions of the 20th and last Otto Awards in the short presentation:

  • Catched!: The Horror Comedy of the Year
  • It's Freiberg - Freiberg, not Freiburg!: An image film of a different kind.
  • Alex is back!: Alexander Humboldt matriculates again at the TU Bergakademie Freiberg after 456 semesters of vacation.
  • Camino Portugues - Walking from Purto to Santiago de Compostela: Travel Documentary - Impressions of Two Students on the Way of St James
  • Pure routine: student life as it seems familiar to some people
  • ONE TEAM ONE DREAM: Documentation of the Racetech Racing Team of the TU Freiberg
  • LAST FRIDAY: Emotional and pictorial drama
  • The Grateful Crane: An animated film, inspired by a Japanese fairy tale.
Fragen beantwortet / Contact: 
Prof. Michael B. Hinner, Phone.: +49 3731 39-2750