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Best New Script
by Becky Tan

Each year the  Filmförderung Hamburg-Schleswig-Holstein gives 18,000 euros to a new script  that shows promise of being made into a film. The winner also receives  “dramaturgical counsel” on perfecting the idea.

This year the  five finalists (four women and one man) stood before an audience of about 250  people at the main Hamburg library, downtown at Hühnerposten 1. They each  presented their ideas to an audience of a five-member jury, producers  interested in new film possibilities, friends, and journalists.

The winner was  Christin Schleuning from Hamburg with Das  Boot ist Voll. She tells the story of a ship crew that rescues refugees in  the Mediterranean Sea, but no country is willing to take them off their hands.  The situation becomes so grave that the crew is ready to turn on the innocent  passengers in order to get rid of them any way possible. Ms. Schleuning from  Hamburg can write from experience as she has served as an officer in the German  marines. She got a master’s degree at the Hamburg Media School. Naturally, the  topic couldn’t have been more pertinent. It will be interesting to see whether  the film actually ever gets made, and if there are refugees still around when  it does. The winner from last year, Sabine Steyer-Violet, with Der Wunsch ist der Vater, still hasn’t  even finished her year-old script, much less made plans to film it.

Most  interesting about this event is its title: Butter  bei die Stoffe. No clue what it meant, but the fact that grammatically  correct would have been bei den  Stoffen, aroused my curiosity. Friends told me that it comes from a  German saying: Butter bei die Fische,  which means to reach a conclusion, get things done, achieve something, finish  it up and go forward. There is a German film from 2009 with this title.