The Willy Brandt Documentary Film Award for Freedom and Human Rights is intended to commemorate Willy Brandt's achievements as German Chancellor and Nobel Peace Prize laureate and to support outstanding filmmakers. The prize, endowed with 5,000 EUR by the Federal Chancellor Willy Brandt Foundation, has been awarded since 2019 to documentary films for their impressive artistic and content-related achievements. Previous winners were Askold Kurov for his documentary "Novaya" and Sam Soko for "Softie".
Thimali Kodikara is series producer and co-host of the groundbreaking podcast, Mothers Of Invention, on feminist solutions to the climate crisis. With humor and creative storytelling, Thimali co-hosts the show alongside former Irish president Mary Robinson and comedian Maeve Higgins, curating a strategic line-up of guests from every continent and context. Thimali has negotiated cultural and justice partnerships with allies as diverse as 350.org to Stella McCartney. She has advised global climate organizations on how to adopt intersectionally-feminist principles in their communications strategies. And has been invited to speak at the Berlin Human Rights Film Festival, Original Thinkers Festival in Telluride, and EarthX Film Festival 2020 where she awarded Best Film to My Octopus Teacher, it’s first major prize. Thimali was recently invited to consult on BAFTA’s climate education program to encourage a swell of climate justice narratives in the British film and television industry.
Matthijs Wouter Knol, born in the Netherlands, has been CEO and Director of the European Film Academy since 2021. Before studying at the University of Leiden and the Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome, he worked as a journal editor and journalist. In 2001 he began working as a creative and co-producer on award-winning documentaries in Amsterdam. He was part of the leading Berlinale team for 12 years. During his career, Matthijs has not only founded the Anti-Racist Taskforce for European Film, but also works for more diversity and inclusion. He teaches and coaches at various film academies and was a member of the main jury at the Buenos Aires, Jerusalem and Istanbul Festivals.
Tanya Hatsura-Yavorska was born on December 9, 1980 in Belarus. Graduated from the Faculty of Journalism. Since 2006, after the protests of citizens against the falsification of the results of the presidential elections, she began her human rights activities. Until 2010, she worked in the Belarusian Helsinki Committee as an executive director, deputy chairman, then in the consortium Eurobelarus. In 2014, she founded the NGO ZVYANO and the International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival WATCH DOCS Belarus. After August 2020, ZVYANO provided assistance to victims and documented the use of torture by the Belarusian authorities. At the moment, the NGO is in the process of being liquidated by the authorities, and Tatiana and her colleagues are suspects in a criminal offense.
Malte Mau is responsible for press and public-relations at the Bundeskanzler-Willy-Brandt-Stiftung. He has been working in political and cultural communication for 15 years. Before joining the foundation, from 2015 – 2017 he was head of communications for Berlinale Talents, the annual summit and networking platform for film-makers of the Berlin International Film Festival, and from 2007 – 2014 communications-manager of the American Academy in Berlin, a transatlantic research and cultural institution. In addition, he has worked as a freelance consultant for a number of cultural organizations, founded the social-policy platform politika berlin and has published widely on the issues of online-campaigning and digital communications. He holds degrees in political science from the Columbia University in New York and in media and communications from Goldsmiths, University of London.