le_redacteur | Saturday, der 20. February 2010
For the first time the Amnesty International Film Award at the Berlin Film Festival will go to two films: Son of Babylon by Mohammed Al-Daradji (Iraq / United Kingdom / France/.Netherlands / Palestinian Territories / United Arab Emirates / Egypt, 2009) and Waste Land by Lucy Walker (United Kingdom / Brazil, 2010). The films were screened as part of the Panorama section of this year’s festival.
“Both films impressed and convinced us equally. But as you can’t compare fiction and documentary, we felt we had to award both”, said actress Barbara Sukowa as a member of the Amnesty International Film Award Jury at the Berlinale 2010.
“‘Son of Babylon’ is a sensitive road movie set in Iraq, which, through its artistic means, achieves an insight into a personal journey that evokes empathy and hope and which inspires reconciliation”, said Barbara Sukowa at the award ceremony in Berlin. “‘Waste Land’ challenges your preconceptions and prejudices about people living on the edge of society. It portrays the protagonists as people with dignity and opens the heart of the viewer to the possibility of transformation through courage and creativity.
This year marks the sixth time that the Amnesty International Film Award; endowed with 5.000 Euro; is awarded at the Berlin Film Festival. Films formerly honoured with the Amnesty International Film Award include: Storm by Hans-Christian Schmid (2009), Sleep Dealer by Alex River (2008), When Darkness Falls by Anders Nilsson (2007), U Nergiz Biskivin by Masoud Arik Salih and Hussein Hassan Ali (2006) and Paradise Now by Hani Abu-Assad (2005).
The Amnesty International Film Award is awarded at the Berlin Film Festival as well as other international film festivals in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Copenhagen and Los Angeles. The Amnesty International Film Award aims to raise the issue of Human Rights with cinema audiences and the film industry and wants to encourage filmmakers to take up this vital issue.