Filming completed

October 15, 2021: We have finished filming FINDING EUROPE in the Basque Country and will be shooting in Madrid tomorrow and the day after. It was a long way. 16 EU countries. 86 people. So many places. So many opinions, and yet they were largely in agreement on the desire for peace, a little prosperity, and an intact planet.

We talked to refugees, workers, academics, the rich, the poor, the ascended, the abandoned, the hopeful, the dreaming, the angry and the desperate. And we have filmed extensively Europe’s diverse living environments and landscapes, wastelands and lively cities, dense forests, rugged mountains, castles of houses and dry grasslands, streams of light and almost complete darkness. Never before have we taken so much footage from a film project into the editing room.

It’s going to be a cozy winter in front of the screens in which we have to sort and understand all of this. Keep your fingers crossed that we understand all of this. This is going to be awesome.

Europe’s elephant

In the meantime we have brought our film project “Finding Europe” to Greece, Austria, Lithuania and Poland, we will soon be shooting in Leipzig and Berlin (Germany) and we are intensively preparing the filming for the Czech Republic, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Romania (Transylvania) and Italy, France, Spain, Denmark and Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

Because we’d rather go filming than write about shooting, we have neglected this little blog very much. In loose order you can find a few stills from the filming in Austria, Poland and Lithuania. Those were some moving weeks in which we met very special people who gave us deep insights into their lives. Of course, the photos only give you an idea of that, but there will soon be a film that will tell you much more and more precisely.

Under the conditions of the global pandemic, “Finding Europe” has of course been and continues to be somewhat different than it war planned. There are quarantine times in the respective countries, when we have to wait and we are not be able to work. We no longer know how many tests (all negative) we already had in the team. We have to devote a large part of the logistics and planning to observing the respective national regulations and their hygiene concepts. But Corona (this is our impression of the material we have already shot) also makes the cinematic search for Europe much more exciting. Almost all interviewees mention the pandemic when they talk about Europe’s (lack of) cohesion, its decision-making ability and its bureaucratic hurdles. The “Finding Europe” project has become more specific, so to speak, because of the pandemic, because a very obvious touchstone of European identity is also the (non-) coping with the challenges of the pandemic: Corona is Europe’s elephant that stands in the living room.

The paper remained cold

A Marshallese professor from the College of the Marshall Islands is teaching at the Weissensee Kunsthochschule Berlin (Germany) since autumn 2020: Meitaka Kendall-Lekka. It was an uphill struggle to get her and her family to Germany with her family, especially under pandemic conditions.

Now she brings her students at the KHB into contact with topics that should really not be missing in art: colonialism (the Marshall Islands were once a German colony), climate change (the islands are only just above sea level) and nuclear heritage (the Islands were test areas for nuclear fusion and fission bombs).

She spoke about the atomic bomb tests on the Marshall Islands under the title “The paper remained cold” in a panel discussion (produced by kameradisten.org for ALEX TV) with Prof. Dr. Wolf D. Hartmann (“The Bikini Scandal”), Dr. Nadim Samman, (“As We Used to Float”) and Prof. Hannes Brunner, (KHB, co-initiator and coordinator of the MI_CC project) and Dr. Viviana Uriona (Director: ONE WORD).

ALEX did broadcast the talk three times, on April 10th at 7pm, on April 11th at 10pm and on April 12th at 1pm (CET, add 12 hours for Marshallese time).

ONE WORD wins at LIDF20 in London

Our documentary ONE WORD won the jury’s “Best Film / Special Mention” today as a German-Marshallese contribution to the British LIDF # 20.

The LIDF (The London International Documentary Festival) is one of the most important and prestigious documentary film festivals in the world (BAFTA: Category A), which regularly provides relevant impulses for the international film industry. The LIDF is also London’s oldest and largest film festival. The 2020 edition was postponed to the beginning of 2021 due to corona and was just taking place.

The jury awarded only four prizes among the 34 films that were approved and in competition. In the category of best feature film, ONE WORD received “Special Mention, Best Film, LIDF20” as a film “much of the moment and important because it demonstrated the effectiveness of participatory filmmaking (while) the story was vividly and beautifully told.”

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HCCFF

ONE WORD just won the “Bronze Award” at the HCCFF (Handle Climate Change Film Festival) in China. Of course we didn’t go to Shenzehn personally to pick up the statue and the prize. Both were symbolically handed over by our chinese friends on the stage to our team of Marshallese and Germans. Here you can see some impressions from the award ceremony.