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.
In July 2020 we started filming for our project “Finding Europe”. Bille and Georgios (a German-Greek couple) took us to Hanioti, a double-faced holiday village in the south of Thessaloniki. Hanioti has two faces because it contains two European realities. The wealthy holidaymakers frolic along the coastline of the village. In the small houses in the mountains above the village, the staff of the vacation dream often lives in poverty. Those who are “lucky” work hard enough for a meager wage during the summer months, so that there is enough money for food, wood and a few little dreams for the cold, wet winter. Those who are unlucky fall by the wayside.
Georgios and Bille were our guides and translators. Georgios conducted three of five long interviews with people from the region himself. Bille also became a set photographer. Most of the pictures in the gallery below are from her.
Corona hit Hanioti hard. The number of visitors collapsed. Many “villagers” were now unable to find work in the hotels along the beautiful blue sea. The Greek state can hardly help. The Union’s austerity policy has paralyzed the country and has infuriated the Greeks. “Where is Europe when it is needed?” our interview partners kept asking us.
And yet there were tentative dreams of another Europe based on solidarity that might set out to resolve social inequalities within and between countries more resolutely. These parts of the interviews are perhaps the most touching.
We will go south a second time in the next few weeks. This time to Athens, where we want to explore the urban side of the country. Then we will turn to the next EU country, Lithuania.
The corona crisis has of course not left us without a trace. Like hundreds of thousands of self-employed artists and solo self-employed, our work relies on public and contact. But while we somehow muddled through luck and reserves, the contact restrictions in the absence of adequate (state) help posed and still pose an existential threat to many other people in the cultural and art field. For example, for the small Berlin publisher Periplaneta and its employees and authors.
So we all put our involuntary free time together in a solidarity project. We wrote the publisher’s authors and asked them to read from their books at home and filming themselves using their smartphones – to get enough material for an advertising clip. And that worked. You can read more about the story on the publisher’s website.
By the way, Periplaneta made it through the crisis. Not because of the video, but maybe also because of the video.
Our participatory documentary „One Word“ on climate change in the Marshall Islands was selected yesterday for the Tokyo edition of this year’s Liftoff festivals, which of course makes us extremely proud. For a whole week, many thousands of festival goers and representatives of the film business will see our film and that is good, because it is in the Marshallese concern to be heard in front of the world.
The European house was once built by heads of state and governments and was initially primarily an economic project in the interest of a peace order. It was not the European people who demanded and fought for Europe, but they rather moved in the Union like tenants in a house that others built for them. Today, the European house is in need of renovation. Nationalists and separatists threaten it. Britain will leave the EU. People in other countries and regions are also campaigning for the exit.
ONE WORD will run in arthouse cinemas in Germany, Austria and Switzerland from September 2021. In the USA and Canada, the film will be released by distributor Cinedigm around the same time. ONE WORD was and can also be seen at film festivals. Write to us if you want to show ONE WORD at an event or bring it to the cinema.
We have given our film “One Word” its own website, which you can reach at this link: one-word-the-movie.com