One-take thriller Victoria sweeps Germany's Lolas

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The German heist film Victoria, shot in one single take in more than 20 locations in central Berlin, won top honours at the German Film Awards last Friday, taking Best Picture and five other prizes in one of the world's most lucrative movie awards.

The movie tells the tragic story of Victoria - a talented but jobless pianist from Spain stranded in Berlin - who as she leaves a nightclub gets acquainted with a wild bunch of young men and becomes embroiled in an armed robbery.

"Crime does pay," director Sebastian Schipper told an applauding audience of more than 2,000 people, including German Culture Minister Monika Gruetters.

The film also won the awards, nicknamed Lolas, for Best Director, Best Actress (Laia Costa), Best Actor (Frederick Lau), Best Camera (Sturla Brandth Grovlen) and Best Music (Nils Frahm).

The screen rights to Victoria have been sold to more than 30 countries worldwide and it is slated for release in the United States, Britain, France and Spain in the coming months.

The Edward Snowden film Citizenfour by Laura Poitras, partly shot in Berlin, won the Lola for Best Documentary.

The ballots were cast by more than 1,600 industry professionals who make up the German Film Academy.

The awards are not meant to honour box-office success but cultural achievement. The German government underwrites the €3 million (S$4.5 million) in prizes, which are distributed among the dozens of nominated films as an indirect subsidy for future projects.

Presented every year since 1951, the Lolas are Germany's answer to the Oscars.

In 2006, the German surveillance state drama The Lives Of Others won seven Lolas before later winning the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar.

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