CIVIS Media Prize 2024

CIVIS – Europe’s Media Prize for Migration, Integration and Cultural Diversity and – linked to this – social cohesion in Europe honours programme achievements in radio, television and the Internet which promote peaceful coexistence in the European immigration society. The CIVIS Cinema Prize as an audience award is added.

The award ceremony of the CIVIS Media Prize 2024 will take place on Monday, 27 May 2024 in Berlin as an additional event in the context of re:publica 24 and will be broadcast directly via livestream. The CIVIS Award Ceremony can be seen in the ARD Media Library from 29 May 2024. ARD / Das Erste will broadcast it on Thursday, 30 May 2024, at 00:05 am. The award ceremony will be hosted by journalist and presenter Vivian Perkovic.


The Father’s Silence

Short documentary film
Munich University of Television and Film
Author | Director : Mariella Santibáñez
Examination board: Prof Ulrich Limmer

Just a few years before her father’s death, Sylvia Salomon learns that he is a Holocaust survivor. Hardly ever has he talked about his traumatic past. For many years, the daughter did not even know about her Jewish roots. It was only after her father’s death that she began to research her origins. She realises that she never really knew him. Nevertheless, his trauma continues to influence her life to this day.

“Based on an authentic and multi-faceted protagonist, the film tells an exemplary family story – the denial of one’s own identity due to unresolved traumas and fear of anti-Semitism. The restrained portrayal arouses interest and builds suspense at the same time.”


Echoes from Borderland

Long documentary film
Munich University of Television and Film
Writer | Director | Producer: Lara Milena Brose
Examination board: Prof. Karin Jurschick

15-year-old Nahid fled Afghanistan shortly before the Taliban came to power and, after a gruelling odyssey, has ended up stranded with her family in a Bosnian border village. Her attempts to enter the EU are repeatedly thwarted by violent pushbacks. Nahid finds a confidante in an older Bosnian woman and has to be strong for her family – as a daughter, interpreter and organiser.

“A documentary essay that provides a disturbing insight into the situation on the Bosnian-Croatian border. A respectful visual language with poetic moments conveys the events sensitively, but without intrusive dramatisation.”



Scenic short film
Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg
Writer | Director: Joshua Neubert
Producers: Franzis Unger, Priska Kraft
Examination board: Prof. Christian Wagner

Oliwia lives with her husband in a small house in the Białowieża Forest, in the middle of the restricted military zone between Poland and Belarus. With a green light in the window, she signals her willingness to help people on the run. The refugee Hamid urgently needs medical care and is eventually arrested by the police. Oliwia is not discouraged and puts her green light in the window again.

“Based on a well-crafted script, the suspenseful narrative poses the fundamental question of humanity on a border, and not just the one between Poland and Belarus – a highly topical issue. The short film triggers reflection: What would I do?”


Songs of Gastarbeiter – Love, D-Mark and Death – Aşk, Mark ve Ölüm

WDR | ARTE Germany | filmfaust GmbH | Film Five GmbH
Authors: Cem Kaya, Mehmet Akif Büyükatalay
Director: Cem Kaya
Editors: Jutta Krug, Oliver Schwehm, Rolf Bergmann
Producers: Claus Herzog-Reichel, Mehmet Akif Büyükatalay, Florian Schewe, Stefan Kauertz

The so-called Turkish guest workers and their children have developed a musical culture that hardly exists anywhere else – it is part of the cultural heritage of the Federal Republic of Germany. In their documentary, Cem Kaya and Mehmet Akif Büyükatalay trace what became of the first performances on improvised stages, without the German music industry taking any further notice. Inspired by hip-hop, the second and third generation of migrant musicians address the reality of their current lives – and open up new perspectives on home, identity and participation.

“Cem Kaya and Mehmet Akif Büyükatalay show us a world of its own, of which the society of the Federal Republic of Germany at the time was hardly aware. The documentary tells of the longings of the “guest workers”, of the pains of the old and the joys of the young, and it does so in an incredibly sensual, captivating and energetic way.”


The sun is yellow everywhere


ZDF | DOK.fest Munich                            
Author | Director: Afraa Batous
Editor: Jörg Schneider
Producer:inside: Alex Tondowski, Ira Tondowski
Co-production: Andrea Wohlfeil

Filmmaker Afraa Batous and her three friends Rawa, Rahaf and Sara lost their home during the war in their Syrian homeland and fled to Germany. Despite their trauma, they set off on a road trip in reverse, revisiting the most important stops of their odyssey in Germany, Switzerland, Italy and Greece.

“A journey full of experiences at external borders becomes a journey into the four protagonists’ inner selves. They show courage, decisiveness and the will to survive in different ways. With a minimum of means and a great deal of fascination with everyday life, a maximum of political statement is achieved.”


Seven winters in Tehran

MADE IN GERMANY Filmproduktion GmbH | Berlinale – Berlin International Film Festival
Writer | Director: Steffi Niederzoll
Editor: Jutta Krug
Producers: Melanie Andernach, Knut Losen
Co-production: Laurent Lavolé, Miléna Poylo, Gilles Sacuto

19-year-old Reyhaneh Jabbari, in self-defence, stabs a man who is trying to rape her. She is arrested and sentenced to death for murder. But Reyhaneh does not give up – from prison she fights for her life and for women’s rights. The film traces the fate of the young Iranian woman using secretly recorded videos, witness statements, letters and archive material.

“The film shows the political tragedy of Iran: lawlessness, arbitrariness, corruption – the whole ensemble of reasons why so many people are fleeing the country. In a captivating family portrait, the film tells the story of courageous women who fight for their rights and those of other women.”


How to please

Aamu Film Company | IDFA International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam                
Author | Director: Elina Talvensaari
Editor: Okku Nuutilainen
Producers: Jussi Rantamäki, Emilia Haukka

The documentary tells the story of Wed Al-Asadi, who fled the civil war in Iraq and applied for asylum in Finland. Wed does his best to adjust to his new surroundings and even finds a job as a cook. But this doesn’t help his application, and his home country refuses to take him back – Wed has ended up in the endless loop called the asylum process.

“An gloomy chamber piece with a great protagonist. It is effectively and powerfully staged with economical means. Depressing interior views from the mill of European bureaucracy.”


Fiction + Docudrama
I am! Margot Friedländer

TV film/documentary drama
UFA Documentary GmbH | ZDF
Authors: Raymond Ley, Hannah Ley
Director: Raymond Ley
Editors: Anja Greulich, Stefan Brauburger
Producer:inside: Marc Lepetit, Gwendolin Szyszkowitz-Schwingel, Nico Hofmann

This is the story of Margot Bendheim, born in Berlin in 1921, who, unlike her family, survives persecution by the Nazis and ultimately imprisonment in Theresienstadt concentration camp. There she meets her long-time acquaintance Adolf Friedländer. After liberation, the two are married and emigrate to the USA. Margot Friedländer has been living in Berlin again since 2010 and regularly tells young people about her experiences under fascism.

“A film that is deeply frightening, enlightening and touching in equal measure. At the centre is a woman whose life story triggers very different emotions: despair and hope, trepidation and awakening, powerlessness and the need to act.”


Fiction + Docudrama

TV film
Authors: Florian Dietrich, Arne Dechow
Director: Florian Dietrich
Editors: Jörg Schneider, Olaf Grunert, Barbara Häbe
Producers: Marcos Kantis, Martin Lehwald

Even after his release from prison, Babtou is still struggling with the law. This time, he is to be deported to Senegal, his family’s homeland. Babtou, of course, has never been there, he was born in Frankfurt. To avoid deportation, he comes up with an original idea: He persuades his mate Dennis to marry him. But the supposed patent solution doesn’t work for long.

“The script takes us on a journey full of wondrous twists and turns. Beneath all the surface stimuli, we recognise a patchwork of relevant social problems and human relationships. At the centre is the question of belonging.”


Fiction + Docudrama

Short Film
(SIC) Pictures | France 2
Author | Director: Vibirson Gnanatheepan
Editor | Producer: Stanislas Wicker

The film is set in the Tamil community in Paris. 13-year-old Anushan, his parents’ only son, doesn’t want to have much to do with the history of his homeland, about which he is not given a lot of information. When his uncle arrives from Sri Lanka and Anushan has to share a room with him, conflict arises – and the question of identity and roots leads to many different answers.

“A short film that lingers for a long time. A powerful and touching story that tells of migration as a conflict between generations: between the speechlessness of those who had to leave behind almost everything that made up their lives and the self-image of their children puzzled by their parents’ constant gaze into the past.”


Fiction + Docudrama
La Voix des Autres (The Voice of Others)

Short Film
La Fémis – Ecole nationale supérieure des métiers de l’image et du son | Cinef Cannes
Authors: Fatima Kaci, Pablo Léridon
Director: Fatima Kaci
Producer: Léna Bapt

Rim works as an interpreter for asylum procedures in France. She is bound to strict neutrality and yet every day she is reminded of her own fate as a woman in exile by the stories of the men and women who have fled and whose words she has to translate. Although she knows that she is only supposed to translate what is said from one language into another, compassion drives her to getting involved.

“This is simply powerful: a quiet portrayal of heartbreaking circumstances, wonderfully acted. The restrained staging accommodates the actors, the atmosphere, the fates and the emotions – all in a short space of time. It addresses the relationship between migration and language, the conflict between rules and the desire to help people in need.”


Social Media Format
Migrant daughters: “I just wanted to belong” – Angelina on her life as a Sinti

Social media format
Author: Luisa Böer
Editor: Özge Kabukçu
Partner manager: Heike Zahn, Kübra Idi 

Angelina comes from a Sinti family and is often ostracised in her small home town of Goldscheuer in Baden-Württemberg. For a long time, she hardly dares to talk about her origins. It is only after changing schools and subsequently achieving professional success in the wine business – she even becomes German Wine Queen – that she develops enough self-confidence to acknowledge her roots.

“The encouraging story of a strong protagonist allowing revealing insights into the everyday life of a discriminated minority – and taking us along on her journey to fight against it. Entertaining, educational and empowering!”


Social Media Format
lissi_ix: Chatbot career tips: prejudices, 300,000 € worth

Social media format
Author | Editor | Producer: Lisa-Marie Idowu

The Austrian Labour Market Service (AMS) offers help with job searches: A chatbot (“Infomat”) is supposed to point the way to suitable employment. On closer inspection, the supposedly ideology-free digital advisor turns out to be racist and sexist. Depending on the information provided on gender, origin, religion or even name, the chatbot delivers job options strikingly different in quality.

“It’s illuminating, ironic, and ravishingly well done – an exposure of breathtaking force. An outstanding singlehanded journalistic achievement, social media at its best!”


Social Media Format
STRG_F: Israel and Gaza: Life between terror and war

Social media format
NDR | funk
Authors: Lisa Hagen, Armin Ghassim, Mariam Noori, Manuel Biallas, Sulaiman Tadmory, Timo Robben
Editors: Lutz Ackermann, Volker Steinhoff
Partner manager: Jan Wiebe

The film depicts the fate of two young people affected by the current Middle East war, the German-Israeli Yarden and the German-Palestinian Abed. 35-year-old Yarden has been taken hostage to Gaza by Hamas. There, 27-year-old Abed, on a visit to his family, comes under Israeli rocket fire. Friends and relatives die. He is only allowed to leave the country after five weeks. Yarden’s family fights for her release.

“The production is biased in a positive way – it takes the side of empathy and humanity. It does not impose judgements on the audience, but provides impressions and insights that allow listeners to form their own opinion on the current situation between Israel and Palestine.”


short programmes
The Brandenbleiber – stronger than hate | “The fire brigade is my safe space” – Home despite racism

Original sound collage

electronic media school gGmbH
Author: Hannah Weber
Editors: Sophie Goldau, Felix Leitmeyer, Jannis Byell, Aljoscha Huber, Pauline Pieper, Viviane Menges, Hari Sas, Neela Richter

The question of his origins has been with Jeremy, 18, from Fürstenwalde his whole life. As a child, he had glass bottles thrown at him or was kicked off his bike because of his skin colour. Teachers and social workers belittled such incidents. Jeremy’s safe space is the volunteer fire brigade and his comrades there: It’s where empathy and solidarity count – one  reason why he is a “Brandenbleiber” –  somebody remaining in Brandenburg anyway.

“Powerful and instructive sound bites edited in a user-friendly way. It has pace but is never fleeting. The protagonist provides an encouraging example of how to deal with marginalisation without denying painful experiences.”


kurze Programme
Feature-Antenne: Miniatures | Turkish bazaar, 1978-1991

Short feature
Deutschlandradio | Deutschlandfunk Kultur
Authors | Director: Seda Keskinkılıç-Brück, Ozan Zakariya Keskinkılıç
Editor: Ingo Kottkamp

The feature takes a fond look back at the so-called “Turkish Bazaar” in Berlin’s Bülowstraße underground station. On the initiative of businessman and actor Atalay Özçakır, a market was set up that also became a social meeting place, a place for gossip. With everything that was missing from life in the “Gurbet”, in a foreign country: Cay, nuts, baklava and Turkish honey, wedding jewellery, video cassettes, records …

“A very important facet of a past stage of labour migration is highlighted. The piece impressively demonstrates the great significance and emotional value of music connecting people and eras.”


lange Programme
100 years of silence. German poison gas in Morocco

Hessischer Rundfunk | hr2-kultur
Authors: Andrea Geißler, Christiane Kreiner, Dunja Sadaqi
Director: Marlene Breuer
Editor: Niklas Vogel

The poison gas “Lost” was developed in Germany, manufactured in Spain and Morocco and sprayed over the Rif region in northern Morocco when Spain and France waged a colonial war there in the 1920s. It was the world’s first use of poison gas from the air – with devastating consequences to this day for the health of the local population. However, none of the countries responsible has yet faced up to this dark chapter of their history.

“The well-researched and well-presented journalistic treatment of a neglected topic. Convincing protagonists, strong sound bites and cleverly selected music form a powerful piece of enlightenment.”


lange Programme
After work, the clothes hang up their people

Deutschlandfunk Kultur
Author: Senta Höfer
Director: Cordula Dickmeiß
Producer: Ingo Kottkamp

After the COVID outbreak, the issue of working conditions for Romanian employees in German slaughterhouses briefly became a hot topic in the media. However, those affected themselves hardly got a chance to speak in the talk shows and reports. Author Senta Höfer, who comes from Romania herself, lets workers tell their stories – about life in the slaughterhouses and about life at home. The result is a portrait of a community and its harsh living conditions barely recognised in this country.

“An unobtrusive, emotionally appealing, linguistically outstanding introduction to an underexposed topic. An impressive narrator provides insights into another world – the reality of the slaughterhouse, where many people are exploited for the sake of profit.”


lange Programme
Perle – The way back to physical integrity

Author: Yasmina Hamlawi (French original)
Translation | Editing | Direction German version: Annika Erichsen
Editing: Karin Hutzler
French-language original: Jackal Productions, RTBF
Coordinator for Jackal Productions: Manuel Hermia

This is the story of the suffering and escape of Fos from Somalia, who became a victim of female genital mutilation in the village community of her home country. Today she lives in Belgium with two children and a partner of her own choosing, where her clitoris (“my pearl”) has been surgically reconstructed. In addition to Fos herself, a psychologist, a genital surgeon, a midwife and Fos’ 18-year-old daughter Hany have their say.

“Fos is not shown as a victim, but as a courageous person who has fought for self-determination. This is candid and emotionally difficult to bear, but always preserves the dignity of the protagonist. Produced with great technical precision.”


CUT – The New Year’s Eve that haunts us
Episode 3: Of hunters and hunted

Authors: Stefanie Delfs, Antonia Märzhäuser, Carolin Bredendiek, Borhan Akid, Jan Koch, Miriam von Przewoski
Director: Claudia Kattanek
Editors: Franziska Fiedler, Jan Koch, Miriam von Przewoski

The podcast explores the long-term consequences of New Year’s Eve in Cologne in 2015. Back then, more than 600 women became victims of sexual assault. The perpetrators were predominantly North Africans. This has intensified the debates about migration, flight and integration. Episode 3 is about Walid, who fled Syria and realises that the mood and politics in Germany are turning against people like him as the AfD party is gaining in strength.

“Insistent, excellently chosen sound bites inserted into the film open up different perspectives and show the fear of the various people affected. Thorough research allows an impressive analysis of a turning point – the events of one night and their consequences are explored both in terms of their causes and their effects.”


Extreme right – The hate merchant and the state
Episode 1: Loss of trust

MDR Saxony-Anhalt
Authors: Jana Merkel, Thomas Vorreyer, Tim Schulz
Editors: Martin Paul, Frank Rugullis, Monique Junker

Right-wing extremist Sven Liebich has turned hate into a business model. He makes money by targeting people, politicians and citizens alike, who are committed to fighting right-wing extremism. The justice system rarely manages to hold Liebich to account.

“The podcast sheds light on a social dark field in an exciting way and confronts the constitutional order with difficult questions. The authors trace the absence of the authorities in an extremely relevant area very precisely and in an instructive way.”


SchwarzRotGold: Mesut Özil on a visit to friends
Episode 1: He just wants to play

Undone | RTL+
Authors: Khesrau Behroz, Karim Khattab

Mesut Özil, who comes from a Turkish family of so-called guest workers, has made it to the top of international football. Germany cheered its star – and dropped him when he made a mistake in the eyes of many observers. The first episode of the series traces Özil’s rise as a youth player in Gelsenkirchen, right up to the 17-year-old’s difficult decision between German and Turkish citizenship.

“An analysis of the German migration debate based on a particularly prominent, particularly impressive example. The rise and fall of the brilliant footballer Mesut Özil is thoroughly researched – an opulent production of the highest professional standard.”


East children 80/82
Episode 39: Sonneberg is our fault!

Authors: Danny Frede, Alexander Derno

Germany’s first AfD district administrator has been elected in Sonneberg, Thuringia. The “East children” Alex and Danny, who grew up in the East but moved away years ago, ask themselves: What does this have to do with us? Is it our fault? And are people who vote for the AfD Nazis or accomplices?

“It’s good that these voices have their say in a podcast. Entertaining, surprising and without pointing fingers, their stories also go into areas where it gets uncomfortable: into the zone of personal responsibility. Big politics reflected in small, personal circumstances.”


Shlomo – The Goldsmith and the Nazi
Episode 1: Encounter in Hell

Authors: Martin Kaul, Antonius Kempmann
Director: Matthias Kapohl
Editors: Christine Adelhardt, Ulrike Toma

Stanislaw Szmajzner, known as “Shlomo”, is one of the few survivors of the Sobibor Nazi extermination camp. By chance, long after the war, he meets Gustav Wagner, the camp’s chief warden, who has gone into hiding. Although unmasked by Shlomo, he remains unmolested but is found stabbed to death in his bathroom two years later. The podcast undertakes an elaborate search for clues and poses the question: What happens when official authorities fail to ensure justice?

“The podcast sheds light on a piece of the German past that will not go away and in which the question of justice has highly topical references. Reappraisal of a dramatic case by means of an extremely thorough on-site search for clues. Outstanding craftsmanship.”


lange Programme
Jackboots – fascist or punk?
Episode 3: Eyes closed and through

ACB Stories | MDR
Authors: Don Pablo Mulemba, Julius Wußmann, Jan Philipp Wilhelm, Hendrik Bolz, Dinah Rothenberg, Viola Funk
Co-production: Ulrike Ulivia Gattermann, Roman Twork

The Angolan Januario Antonio Mulemba comes to Eberswalde as a contract worker during the GDR era. He meets Jana at work and the two become a couple. From the very beginning, they are subjected to racial discrimination. Even Jana’s family turns their backs on her. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, racism becomes increasingly violent. The attacks culminate in the murder of Amadeu Antonio, a friend of the Mulembas. The state fails to protect its citizens.

“The podcast takes a new look at the relatively little-known history of contract workers in the GDR. The narrator accompanies his parents to the scenes of racist discrimination and abuse. He skillfully interweaves personal with political issues, allowing listeners to get very close to the events and those affected by them.”