Film Award NRW for Best Documentary

Family Business


FAMILY BUSINESS, produced by Tobias Büchner, wins the first Film Award NRW for Best Documentary Feature, which is endowed with € 10,000. The Award honors producers whose works were created with significant involvement of NRW. Likewise, this new award is endowed by the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, the City of Cologne and the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW.

Director: Christiane Büchner
Production: Tobias Büchner, Büchner Filmproduktion

Jury’s Statement:

The average age in Germany is on the rise. At the same time traditional family ties are eroding and the demands of the modern workplace are ever increasing. So when a family member is in need of care, that’s going to be a problem – one that is increasingly dealt with by hiring foreign nursing staff.

In her film FAMILY BUSINESS Christiane Büchner shows how this ubiquitous exchange of human devotion for payment works – from both perspectives. She accompanies Polish nurse Roswita, who leaves her husband and daughter in their half-finished house for the far away town of Bochum in order to care for 88-year-old recent widow Anne, whose two daughters have their hands full with their work and their own families. The rapprochement of these two women isn’t easy: Roswita knows only a few words of German, and you can feel Anne’s discomfort at having to suddenly share her home with a complete stranger. Even though both sides have nothing but best intentions, the relationship will remain strained and distant.

FAMILY BUSINESS never looks for the simple thesis, raises no accusation, and offers no easy solutions. Instead director Büchner patiently observes and presents all the ambivalence and complexity of a situation which is part of our everyday lives and still gets not nearly enough attention. The result is a deeply humanist film with a form that very much follows its function and, as the best documentaries always do, can tell us a lot about our present day.

The nominees for the International Film Awards NRW in the category »Best Documentary Feature« were:

_ Family Business
Director: Christiane Büchner
Production: Tobias Büchner, Büchner.Filmproduktion

_ Herr von Bohlen
Director: André Schäfer
Production: Marianne Schäfer, Florianfilm

_ Sonita
Director: Rokshareh Ghaem Maghami
Production: Gerd Haag, Tag/Traum Filmproduktion