Human Rights Film Festival Berlin Award Ceremony

Action instead of resignation: Askold Kurov's "Novaya" wins at the 2nd Human Rights Film Festival Berlin in the presence of Oleg Senzow  

The Human Rights Film Festival Berlin, organised by Aktion gegen den Hunger in cooperation with Save the Children and NRC Flüchtlingshilfe Deutschland, closed its successful second edition on 25 September at Kino International with the award ceremony and strong messages on human rights by Oleg Senzow, among others, as well as an exclusive preview of Michael Ruf's "Mediterranean Monologues". Askold Kurov's documentary "Novaya" was awarded the Willy Brandt Documentary Film Prize for Freedom and Human Rights for the best documentary film.

Askold Kurov was awarded the Willy-Brandt-Dokumentarfilmpreis für Freiheit und Menschenrechte for his intimate documentary "Novaya" about one of the last independent Russian newspapers. Oleg Senzow, the Ukrainian filmmaker released on September 7 during an exchange of prisoners, was in Berlin and congratulated Kurov, whose predecessor film "The Trial" documented the trial against Senzow, on the big stage of the Kino International with a warm embrace.

"Novaya", like the other 44 films from 38 countries screened at the festival, showed how private fates can not only move, but inspire people to get engaged. The jury of the Willy-Brandt-Dokumentarfilmpreis für Freiheit und Menschenrechte, donated by the Federal Chancellor Willy Brandt Foundation, praised above all how discreetly Kurov captures the daily struggle of the editorial staff for freedom of opinion and press under adverse conditions, true to Willy Brandt's motto "Daring More Democracy". The historian Peter Brandt, the son of Willy Brandt, added in his laudatio: "The Willy-Brandt-Dokumentarfilmpreis für Freiheit und Menschenrechte is intended to commemorate Willy Brandt's achievements as Chancellor and Nobel Peace Prize winner and to support outstanding filmmakers whose work exemplifies Willy Brandt's values."

Even the beginning of the Human Rights Film Festival Berlin's award ceremony moved the audience: the exclusive preview of an excerpt from Michael Ruf's "Mediterranean Monologues" (the follow-up project to the "Asylum Monologues", "Asylum Dialogues" and "NSU Monologues"), which celebrates its premiere in Neukölln, the home port on October 10, began without moderation. In keeping with the theme of dealing with refugees, the jury of the Sustainable Impact Awards, sponsored by the Federal Foreign Office, decided to award the marketing, distribution and screening concept of the distributor Filmperlen and Claudia Oettrich for this year's opening film "For Sama" as the most innovative concept among the projects submitted by the film teams: The jury found that the film, which shows the Syrian war from the perspective of a young, well-educated woman, contributes to a more reflective and empathetic treatment of fugitives in Germany.

The Human Rights Film Festival Berlin Short Film Award for filmmakers under the age of 24, which is awarded jointly with the UN Refugee Aid, went to "Der Kampf um die Rechte" by August Schüßler, Maximilian Neufeldt and Kilian Harbauer. The film, which deals with the importance and danger of the fight for human rights at the same time, was the most convincing submission for the jury.

The 3rd Human Rights Film Festival Berlin will take place in autumn 2020 in Berlin.

8. OCTOBER 2019
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