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‘The Teachers’ Lounge’ Takes Home Inaugural Latin American Critics’ Award as Best European Film

The Teachers’ Lounge

İlker Çatak’s German thriller ‘The Teacher’s Lounge’ made waves by winning the inaugural Latin American Critics’ Award for European Films, which were officially announced at the Guadalajara International Film Festival in Mexico on June 9th.

The film stars Leonie Benesch and made it’s initial premier at the Berlin Film Festival last year, garnering initial praise and success that included taking best film at the German film awards as well as earning Oscar nomination for best international feature.

“It’s a great honor and pleasure to have received this award,” Çatak said in an official statement, according to the Hollywood Reporter. “I hope the film hits theaters very soon in Latin America. Lots of love to you and for cinema!”

Regarding the award, Guadalajara festival director Estrella Araiza said that it represented a synergy connecting “the Latin American perspective with European stories and modes of filmmaking, representing an enriching dialogue between two regions.”

According to the official synopsis: “Carla Nowak (Leonie Benesch) is a dedicated and idealistic new high-school teacher. A fresh face at the school, she seems to have connected with her Year 8 students, who are engaged and eager to learn in her maths class. But something is bubbling underneath the surface, and she’s quickly thrust into a delicate situation when a Turkish boy is suspected of theft. Not convinced of his guilt, Carla takes matters into her own hands and inadvertently starts down a path that soon begins to spiral out of control. As she tries to mediate between students, parents and opinionated colleagues, she is relentlessly confronted with the structures of the school system. Carla is pushed to her limits, and the school becomes a proxy for the cultural and ethical clashes of modern day society. Catak’s film is an incisive study in power dynamics that demonstrates how individuals are worn down by opposing beliefs, as the adage goes, ‘the road to hell is paved with good intentions’. ”

You can check out the official trailer here:

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