The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) will for the first time award the special prize “CINEMA fairbindet” at the Berlinale. Gerda Meuer, DW-AKADEMIE Director, is on the panel of judges.
With a special award called “CINEMA fairbindet” (CINEMA connects), the BMZ will honor a film which contributes in an outstanding way to the dialogue on issues such as climate change, migration, education, the effects of war, human rights abuses and environmental damage. The films were nominated in close consultation with the management of the international film festival in Berlin.
One of the eight nominated films: Bad O Meh (Iran 2011)
“The ‘CINEMA fairbindet’ prize is a wonderful distinction for a film on our festival program which aims to stimulate public debate in Germany about important aspects of our globalized day and age,“ says Berlinale film festival director, Dieter Kosslick. “We feel we can bring momentum into the debate. And it’s o.k. to laugh and cry – after all, we’re at the movies.”
German Development Minister Dirk Niebel also believes that good films can stimulate debate and motivate people to act. “In our partner countries we need people involved in the media and in cultural areas who can convey their ideas, values, perspectives and dreams. Cinema can lend them a strong and, to a great extent, discernable voice.”
During the Berlinale all nominated feature films and documentaries will be shown in one of the following sections: Competition, Forum, Panorama or Generation. As one of the panel judges, Gerda Meuer will view and evaluate all eight nominated films. With her background in film and television studies, the DW-AKADEMIE director once reported from the Berlin International Film Festival during her days as a journalist. “It’s an honor to be on the panel of judges this year. It also shows an appreciation for our various activities and projects in the area of film and development.”
Minister Niebel will present the award and the winning film will be shown on Sunday, February 20, 2011 starting at 3 p.m. in the “Arsenal” (Cinema 1), Potsdamer Platz, Berlin.