Houston calling.... Gold, Platinum and a Grand Award at US film festival | Focus on Europe - Spotlight on People | DW | 02.05.2016
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Focus on Europe

Houston calling.... Gold, Platinum and a Grand Award at US film festival

Award-winning Focus on Europe reports were a highlight at the film competition in Houston, Texas. The jury was impressed by the quality of the entries at the festival on 16 April 2016.

It was a great day for DW’s TV-magazine on European issues: Four “Remi-Awards” went to Focus On Europe features at the Worldfest Houston Film Festival in Texas in April 2016. In his laudatory speech, Festival director Hunter Todd emphasized the high quality of DW’s contributions. He underlined that the reports had enriched the festival with European perspectives on international events.
The 49th WorldFest Houston is one of the oldest and largest television and film festivals in the world. More than 4,500 entries from 73 countries were submitted this year - including the award winning Focus on Europe reports.

The Grand Award in this year’s competition in the category “Documentary” went to Susanna Dörhage. The jury was impressed by her moving story on the situation in her neighborhood the day after the terror attacks in Paris in 2015. In her report “Living with Terrorism,” Dörhage gives a dense, atmospheric picture of the mood in a city that had experienced one of the most heinous crimes in its history.

In his investigative report “Denmark: Alone against Al Qaeda”, author Alexander Feist portrays the Danish convert Morten Storm who helped security services to kill one of the most-wanted al Qaeda terrorists. After touring Europe for years preaching jihad, Storm started having doubts and became an informant for Denmark's intelligence service. Storm is now living in a secret location after receiving death threats. The jury honored this Focus on Europe report with a platinum award.

Another platinum award in the category “Ethnic/Cultural” went to a report from Turkey where the increase in Syrian refugees has led to the development of a lucrative trade in women. In their desperation, refugee families are selling their daughters to Turkish men where they often are subject to abuse and discrimination. In “Bartered brides,” reporter Gunnar Köhne gives a deep insight into the tragedy of this trade business.

Award winning was the verdict of the festival’s jury for a report by Veit-Ulrich Braun. He was honored with an Gold award in the category “Ethnic/Cultural” for his story ”The guardian angel of fugitives.” Braun portrays a man from Eritrea who came to Europe as a refugee 20 years ago. Today he ministers to the Eritrean Diaspora - and regularly receives calls from refugees in need.

Evolving into a competitive International Film Festival in April 1968, WorldFest is proud of its long list of film greats such as Spielberg, George Lucas, Coppola, David Lynch, Ridley Scott, Oliver Stone and Ang Lee.