Karl „Baumi" Baumgartner was a film producer and distributor with an extraordinary eye for high-quality art-house films. As a tribute to Baumi's work, and in order to support his vision of free, independent script development of outstanding, international, cinematic stories, Martina and Sandra Baumgartner, his co-founded Pandora Film and the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW establish the Baumi Script Development Award, which includes a prize money of 20.000 Euros.
German and international screenwriters can apply with a treatment written in English. To be eligible for the Award, applicants must submit with a production company or must already have had at least one of their scripts filmed. The Committee will be made up of the benefactors and one alternating, renowned, international filmmaker that will select the winner. The prize money is committed. The guidelines and application deadlines for the first Baumi Script Development Award will be announced on the website from July 2015. The first treatment will be awarded during the 2016 Berlinale.
„We'll never forget Baumi. His ideas and enthusiasm continue to inspire us as if he were still here. We want his star to go on shining in the cinematic sky", said Reinhard Brundig, co-founder of Pandora Film. „Our goal is to enable Baumi's love of film to live on through the award".
„Together with Pandora Film, we are honored to keep alive the memory of Karl „Baumi" Baumgartner, a great person and unique producer", said Petra Müller, director of the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW. „The award will help screenwriters to independently develop their stories and, in so doing, make extraordinary cinema possible. He would've liked that."
Karl Baumgartner was born in 1949 in Bruneck in South Tyrol, Italy. From 1967 to 1970, he worked in Rome as an assistant director and occasional film critic. In 1971, he moved to Frankfurt am Main, where he became part of the „Harmonie" art-house film collective. In 1981, Reinhard Brundig and Karl Baumgartner founded Pandora Film Distribution. The company is now one of Europe's most interesting distributors of art-house films.
Pandora Film Distribution built its reputation on Films by Yilmaz Güney, Andrej Tarkovsky, Jim Jarmusch, Aki Kaurismäki, Jane Campion, Emir Kusturica, Ari Folman, Kim Ki Duk, Bent Hamer, Andreas Dresen and Fatih Akin. At the same time, Pandora Film Production became increasingly active, successfully producing and co-producing numerous films, as well as distributing with a sure sense for remarkable stories and cinematic treasures of well-known German and international directors. For example Emir Kusturica's „Underground", winner of the Palm d'Or at the 1995 Cannes Film Festival.
Karl Baumgartner died at home in Frankfurt in 2014 at the age of 65.