Three prizes were awarded on saturday evening.


  • Preis der deutschen Filmkritik e.V. in der Sparte Experimentalfilm
    Jury: Anne Paech, Ingo Petzke, Oliver Rahayel

Barbara Hlali: "Painting Paradise"

The German Federal Association of Film Journalists is awarding the prize for the best experimental film in 2009 to Barbara Hlali for “Painting Paradise”. In her film, the director manages to critically employ the process of painting over documentary film material beyond merely aesthetic effects. Against attempts to conceal the consequences of the Iraq War in Bagdad, with her experimental image and sound techniques she demonstrates how the war comes to the fore again and again below the surface of sugarcoating.


  • Dialogpreis des Auswärtigen Amtes zu Förderung des kulturellen Austauschs
    Jury: Sophie Ernst, Christine Rüffert, Shinsuke Ina

Lida Abdul: "In Transit"

The short film “In Transit” by Lida Abdul shows children playing with an airplane wreck in the outskirts of Kabul. Yet being naturalistic the imagery has a dreamlike almost surreal quality. The subtitles seem like a poetic report at first and evolve into a reflection on memory in general. It opens up a new perspective, not only on the images in front of us but also to the imaginary space to children. The iconographic film-images appear to document a ritual that turns out to be creative children’s play. By showing the self-forgetfulness of the children protagonist, Abdul offers an outlook onto the future. With a metaphor she contributes to the processing of traumatic memories on a local level as well as involving us, her global audience, in this local process. She is making us witnesses of the traces of war. With this perspective the artists entertains a dialogue between cultures and generations beyond the level of politics or diplomacy.


  • EMAF-Award für eine richtungsweisende Arbeit in der Medienkunst
    Jury: Sophie Ernst, Christine Rüffert, Shinsuke Ina

Isvan Kantor: "(The Never Ending) Operetta"

“Nothing happened to me by chance, I was shaped by the experience”. This sentence is the reoccurring motto of Istvan Kantor in his film “(The Never Ending) Operetta”. In his personal Operetta he takes up the problem of the housing situation in Toronto. By recounting episodes from his life Kantor addresses a global phenomenon in the beginning of the 21st century. We consider the work exceptional because it shows a high command of using different audiovisual languages and aesthetics. The powerful impact the references to Hollywood, Kino Pravda, propaganda film, and underground cinema, have in the film derives from his personal involvement. What sets the work apart from others is its roughness and aggression and at the same time sensitivity. This allows for an intimate view without being exhibitionist that makes it authentic and convincing. Kantors own Tongue-in-cheek performance makes this a highly entertaining musical; we therefore give the EMAF award 2009 to “(The Never Ending) Operetta”.