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Last Updated:  Monday, 24 March, 2003, 17:26 GMT
German director celebrates at home
Caroline Link
It is the second German film to win an Oscar
German director Caroline Link was "overjoyed" after winning the best foreign film Oscar for Nowhere in Africa, despite having to miss the ceremony and watch it from Munich because of a family illness.

She was unable to make the ceremony because her eight-month-old daughter had fallen ill last week.

"I'm enormously happy," Link said in a brief statement. "I watched the awards at home on television and of course drank to this success."

Link's film is about a family of German Jews who leave their country in the build-up to World War II and move to a farm in Kenya.

Link adapted the screenplay from the semi-autobiographical novel by writer Stefan Zweig.

"Even though the awards ceremony was overshadowed by the Iraq war, I'm very happy that the excellent work of Caroline Link and the whole team was honoured in Hollywood," said the film's producer, Peter Herrmann.

The 38-year-old director had been nominated for the foreign film Oscar in 1998 for her debut feature film Beyond Silence, about a musically gifted girl with deaf parents.

But her film lost out to Roberto Benigni's Life is Beautiful.

Link has also directed a film of the popular German children's story Annaluise and Anton.

Her success is only the second time a German film has won at the Academy Awards.

Volker Schloendorff won the same award in 1979 for The Tin Drum, based on the novel by Guenter Grass.

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