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NIHRFF 12 in photos

We have compiled impressions of the NIHRFF 2021 and indulge in memories.

Award Winners

The International Nuremberg Human Rights Film Award goes to This Is Not a Burrial, It’s a Resurrection by Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese.

In impressive images, disturbing sounds and poetic words, the film approaches an environment that seems foreign to us and yet so close.
It takes us on the journey of a woman who, buffeted by life, tries to be close to her deceased loved ones again with a reverent kindness.

This Is Not a Burial, It’s a Resurrection – by Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese is an epic masterpiece with which he memorialises not only himself but the entire community of Lesotho.

His debut is poetic, but also rich in imagery, dreamlike to dreamy, and yet so cruelly close, concrete and precise. A fictional story from the seemingly distant world, but one that says more about our society than we would like: a story about the power of capitalism, about abuse and disregard for people and nature. But also an encouraging story about cohesion, self-assertion and the power of the seemingly most powerless in the world: an old, black woman who has actually already finished with her life.
Its great leading actress Mary Twala Mhlongo shines in her pared-down acting and stoic manner, showing what it means to live for the struggle, even if she would prefer to die for her cause. She ignites in herself a new will to live and thus the collective spirit of resistance of her village community.
“Many saw death, only the daughter of no one, Saw a resurrection. Not of the dead, but of the living.”

A poetic work of art which must be seen. A dreamlike composition of images, sounds and poetry: that is cinema.

Hamze Bytyci, Anne Kodura, Brigid O’Shea

The festival’s Audience Award, endowed with 1.000 €, goes to the documentary film Herr Bachmann und seine Klasse by director Maria Speth.

The Open Eyes Youth Jury Prize, also endowed with 1.000 €, goes to Who Owns My Village? by Christoph Eder.

As part of a project seminar at our school, we were given the opportunity to deal intensively with the topic of human rights last year and to build up a very personal understanding of it. In addition, we dealt with the question of what makes a film a film in the first place.

We learned a lot and could hardly have experienced what we learned in a more concrete way than with the six films of this year’s youth programme.

Within three days we were able to experience a multi-faceted selection of films, which did not necessarily make the decision easy. Each of these films, in its uniqueness, would be worthy of an honour.

For a few hours, we were able to experience the everyday life of children in Kabul and Mexican migrant families, which seems strange to us; we admired the inhabitants of the Roya Valley who put morality above law at the French-Italian border in order to help refugees; we were able to get to know the basic features of democracy using the example of a village in northern Germany; we were amazed at how even financial experts stuttered when asked fundamental questions about our economic system; and we heard stories of various transsexuals, of challenges, but also normality in their lives.

Now came the tricky part. We would have to decide on one of the films to award. As you can imagine, this has not been easy. But after a long discussion we agreed. And so I would like to present the award-winning film:

The film “Who owns my village” tells of a place, Göhren in northern Germany, its history and all the changes that have taken place there since the fall of communism – as well as the inhabitants who have problems with some of these very changes and have finally decided to take the initiative.

The story Christoph Eder tells of his hometown tells of deeply local politics, but at the same time illustrates the basic workings of democracy on a large scale. The film was an astonishingly exciting experience; by the end we were literally rooting for the old-established politicians, called “Die Vier von der Stange”, to actually be replaced in the local council after 25 years.

After the film, we were suddenly motivated to get involved, democracy does not work without cooperation – that became clear to all of us.

And also human rights: they are not much use if we don’t use them.

As John Lewis once said about truth, justice and equity: “If you observe something that is not right, not fair or not just, you have to speak up. You have to say something, and you have to do something.”

And so we are pleased to award this year’s Open Eyes Prize today to Chistoph Eder and his documentary “Who Owns My Village”.

Our Open Eyes youth jury in 2021 were Hannah-Lucia A Campo, Leonhard Grillmeyer, Johanna Jantsch, Mia Kappler and Clara Steinfels. The prize money was donated by STABILO International.

International Jury 2021

Hamze Bytiçi

Hamze Bytyçi, born in 1982 in Prizren/Kosovo, lives and works in Berlin. In 1989, his family came to Germany. Already at the age of eight, he makes his first steps as an activist at Christmas 1990 in the church asylum in Tübingen, when his family was fighting against their own deportation. In 2005, he graduates from drama school in Freiburg and founds the organization Amaro Drom (Our Way). After a one-year engagement in Zurich, he moves to Berlin in 2006, where he performs and directs at Ballhaus Naunynstraße, Maxim Gorki Theater, and smaller theaters. Since 2007 Bytyçi has worked as a foundation consultant, as an independent theater and media educator at various Berlin schools, and as an intercultural family helper for LebensWelt. In 2012, he founded the association RomaTrial e.V., where, among other things, he manages the online radio station Radio Corel and organizes international film summer schools under the label Balkan Onions. In 2012, he developed his own interactive performance format, Hilton 437, in which he explores social and political issues. Since 2016, he has been a member of the Berlin state executive committee of DIE LINKE. In October 2017, he organized for the first time the AKE DIKHEA? Festival of Romani Film. In April 2018 he was co-curator of the 1st Roma Biennale, the first self-organized biennial by and with Roma artists from all over Europe at the Maxim Gorki Theater.

Photo © Jennifer Tuffour

Anne Kodura

Born in 1987 in Halle (Saale). Studied media art at the Academy of Art in Munich. First experiences in directing theater, short and experimental films.

Her first feature-length documentary WASTELAND – SO THAT NO ONE BECOMES AWARE OF IT premiered at the Berlinale (Generation), was subsequently screened at numerous festivals and won, among others, the Open Eyes Youth Jury Award at the 8th edition of the Nuremberg Film Festival of Human Rights.

Furthermore, she was a jury member of the Generation International Jury of the 66th Berlinale and was represented twice as Berlinale Talent in recent years, most recently in the Script Station with her feature film script ALMA.

Brigid O’Shea

Brigid O’Shea has lived and worked in Germany and Europe since 2005. She started her career at the Berlin International Film Festival, where she worked for various departments including Berlinale Talents, Berlinale Co-Production Market and the EFM. She was the coordinator of the DOK Industry Programme from 2010 and was appointed head of DOK Industry in late 2014. She left this post in 2021 to establish the Documentary Association of Europe, to usher in a new generation of professionals and advocate on a pan-European level for documentary filmmakers. She has previously freelanced for many documentary institutions in Europe and also for production companies. She tutors across the globe on international co-financing and pitching as well as festival strategies and cultural management. She moderates and curates discussions and programmes on non-fiction filmmaking as an internationally-respected consultant with a wide and diverse network. Currently she serves on the advisory boards of B2B Doc and DMZ Docs.

Photo © Susann Jehnichen

Festival guests 2021