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CIVIS Media Prize 2020

CIVIS – Europe’s Media Prize for Migration, Integration and Cultural Diversity 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.


Masel Tov Cocktail

Short film
Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg | SWR/ARTE
Writer & director: Arkadij Khaet
Co-screenwriter: Merle Teresa Kirchhoff
Co-director: Mickey Paatzsch
Examiner: Thomas Lauterbach
Editors: Brigitte Dithard (SWR),
Laurence Rilly (ARTE)

Dimitrij Liebermann is Jewish and hits Tobi after he verbally abuses him and makes fun of the Holocaust. Dimitri isn’t necessarily sorry, but has to apologise to Tobi. On his way to his schoolmate’s, Dimitrji meets a number of Germans and is repeatedly confronted with his German-Jewish identity.

“Masel Tov Cocktail is an astonishingly successful production: fast-paced, without being fleeting; serious yet full of humour; both thought-provoking and entertaining. This film skillfully uses clichés, exposes stereotypes and is truly provocative. A great film.”


Arte Re: Walachian beggars – deprived individuals or organised gangs?

Bayerischer Rundfunk | ARTE
Writer & director: Anna Tillack
Editor: Johanna Walter

The young Narcisa travels from Munich, where she is a beggar, to her village in Romania, whose Romany-minority residents are discriminated against, extremely poor and socially marginalised. Almost all the young people go overseas to beg to support their families, while the old look after the children. They receive virtually no help from the government.

“This documentary is a touching, complelely unsentimental portrayal of the inequality on our continent. It takes a critical look at prejudice against beggars, vividly showing how the failure of a European country’s government is turning its citizens into beggars.”


Monitor – Armed force against maritime search and rescue. Lawless zone in the Mediterranean Rechtsfreier Raum im Mittelmeer

Magazine show
Westdeutscher Rundfunk | ARD
Writers: Lara Straatmann, Nikolaus Steiner
Editors: Georg Restle, Golineh Atai

Jacques, the Mayor of Saint-Laurent, decides to offset the ageing population of his village somewhat and respond to a friend’s request, by welcoming a number of refugee families. Some of the locals are on his side; others are extremely hostile towards the asylum-seekers – initially at least. Then Jacques discovers that a young couple from Afghanistan are not actually permitted to remain in France and makes a momentous decision.

“This feature film profoundly yet amusingly portrays people who risk a lot to stand by those in need, while surpassing themselves in the process. A comedy based on tragedy. A story of courage bordering on recklessness – and beyond.”


Rundschau – Beatings at the EU border

Swiss Radio and Television
Writer & director: Nicole Vögele
Editor: Nicole Vögele

At the “green” border, the Croatian police are unofficially and illegally pushing refugees – including those from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Algeria – back to Bosnia. In interviews immediately following these push-backs, asylum-seekers unanimously report that they were not allowed to apply for asylum and were mistreated by officials. These asylum-seekers are victims of unlawful rejection at the EU’s external border.

“This programme is an extremely convincing illustration of the possibilities of investigative journalism. It leaves no doubt that Europe is pulling up the drawbridge, by breaking the law.”

Honorable mention

JaafarTalk: Are refugees and migrants integrated in Germany?

TV Talk programme
Deutsche Welle
Jaafar Abdul Karim

The journalist, Jaafar Abdul Karim, pits Malak Awad and Georg Pazderski against one another. She is a social activist and Muslim, he is the Chairman of the AfD in the state parliament of Berlin (Abgeordnetenhaus Berlin). This line-up and the title of the programme: “Are refugees and migrants integrated in Germany?” reveal the presenter’s aim: to address the central aspects of an issue that has been the subject of particularly controversial discussion in politics and society for several years.

“The presenter uses a highly professional journalistic approach to question his guests as persistently as necessary and as engagingly as possible. He therefore manages to initiate a genuine, fact-finding debate that is both informative and entertaining.”


Classe unique (New comers)

France Télévisions | France 3
Writers: Christel Gonnard, Pauline Rocafull
Director: Gabriel Aghion
Producers: Audrey Legray, Nicolas de Saint Meleuc, Thomas Anargyros (Storia Television)
Co-Producers: Sylvie Pialat (Les Films du Worso), Anne Holmès (France Télévisions)

Jacques, the Mayor of Saint-Laurent, decides to offset the ageing population of his village somewhat and respond to a friend’s request, by welcoming a number of refugee families. Some of the locals are on his side; others are extremely hostile towards the asylum-seekers – initially at least. Then Jacques discovers that a young couple from Afghanistan are not actually permitted to remain in France and makes a momentous decision.

“This feature film profoundly yet amusingly portrays people who risk a lot to stand by those in need, while surpassing themselves in the process. A comedy based on tragedy. A story of courage bordering on recklessness – and beyond.”



TV film
Westdeutscher Rundfunk | ARD
Writers: Michael Koch, Juliane Großheim
Director: Michael Koch
Editors: Andrea Hanke (WDR), Georg Steinert (ARTE), Tamara Mattle (SRG SSR)
Producers: Claudia Steffen, Christoph Friedel (Pandora Film Produktion)
Co-producers: Christof Neracher (Hugofilm Productions), Little Shark Entertainment (Tom Spiess)

The young Ukrainian, Marija, loses her job as a cleaner in a Dortmund hotel – and therefore the opportunity to save money for the dream of her own hair salon. But she tenaciously pursues her goal of leading a more independent, freer life. She uses her body and suppresses her feelings to escape poverty and alienation.

“A film about people who are invisible to many citizens in prosperous Germany: poor, always seeking a better future, usually in difficult situations. Superb acting.”


DRUCK – “Broken Hearts” (Season 4, Episode 5)

Teen drama series
ZDFneo/ Bantry Bay/funk
Writer: Jasmina Wesolowski
Director: Barbara Ott
Editors: Varinka Link, Anna Ellmann, Maximilian Fraenkel (ZDF/funk)
Producers: Lasse Scharpen, Jan Kromschröder (Bantry Bay Productions)

The devout Muslim, Amira, lives in different worlds that have so been kept separate. This changes when Amira’s brothers meet her best friends at prom and she falls in love with Mohammed, who isn’t religious. A difficult topic now creeps into this easy-going summer after finishing school, into conversations about who, with whom, at which party…

“This episode of the Druck series uses the example of young people in very different situations to expertly show the mostly natural coexistence of people from different backgrounds.”


Short Programme
Rendez-vous: Zittau – in the middle of Europe but not at the centre of the EU

Swiss Radio and Television
Writer: Peter Voegeli
Producer/editor: Ivana Pribakovic

The Saxon city of Zittau borders the Czech Republic and Poland, benefitting like few other regions in Germany from the EU, its money and its open borders. But Zittau is a stronghold of the Eurosceptic AfD that is distancing itself from the rest of the world. Many residents suggest that the European Union favours the Czech Republic and Poland.

“This programme is a successful example of how to impartially approach an issue, while enthusiastically addressing it. The writer allows the audience an unexpected insight into Europe, using the example of a small city on Germany’s eastern border.”


Short Programme
balkantote: Honouring the dead. Hasib Latifi and the anonymous dead

Writer: Andrea Beer

Workers at the Islamic cemetery in Kumanovo (North Macedonia) give refugees a dignified burial regardless of their – sometimes unknown – background. Cemetery employees talk about the funerals of very different asylum-seekers: those who died fleeing the Yugoslav Wars in the 1990s; and those who lost their lives while fleeing North Africa in the last five years.

“This documentary provides a rare glimpse of a great gesture, full of respect for human dignity and culture. A European issue that is wrongfully not in the public eye”


Short Programme
Rendez-vous: Refugees in Hungary – behind the main headlines

Documentary-like collage
Writer: Sarah Nowotny
Producer: Thomas Müller
Editor: Karoline Arn

Hungary may not be applying its highly contentious laws on so-called illegal migration. But the fear of being punished is making the work of refugee relief organisations more difficult. Refugees are confronted by rejection among locals who fear for their jobs. But Hungary is dependent on them, because there is a shortage of manpower in some parts of the country.

“This programme provides a surprising perspective of a problem that goes beyond the headlines. It is a stark yet compassionate portrayal of situations that show where Europe is failing in its handling of immigration.”


Short Programme
A husband’s detox: Episode 1: Sweet-and-sour

Radio drama
MDR | MDR Kultur – Das Radio
Writer: Holger Böhme
Director: Stefan Kanis
Editor: Thomas Fritz

Steffi and Isa met in Dresden in 1989 at the Monday Demonstrations against the GDR regime – but lost touch following Reunification. Thirty years later, they meet again when Steffi wants to commission “Pegida” posters from Isa’s agency for her husband Jochen – which Isa firmly opposes.

“This radio drama uses an extremely witty approach to show from a woman’s view that the personal is political. A highly successful audiophone format that addresses and constructively approaches polarisation in society, reflected in a marriage.”


Long Programmes
Radio feature: The murder of Soumayla Sacko

Writer: Franziska Sophie Dorau
Editor: Elisabeth Stratka

The farmer, Soumayla Sacko, was forced to leave Mali in 2015, because climate change had ruined his farm. In Calabria (Italy), he was employed as an agricultural worker and campaigned for the rights of those agricultural workers whom Italy’s then Interior Minister, Matteo Salvini, ridiculed as “new slaves” – and who have long been an integral part of the Italian economy. Soumayla Sacko was shot dead on 2 June 2018.

“An extremely carefully researched, highly informative yet never preaching, utterly compelling story of slavery in the middle of Europe. Empathically yet calmly told, littered with unusually open, disturbing quotes and perfectly produced with technical precision.”


Long Programmes
balkantote: They laughed about it. Illegal deportations in the Balkans

Writers: Andrea Beer, Srdjan Govedarica
Editor: Heinz Gorr

The Afghan, Ihsanudin, died in 2018 in the Korana river on the border between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia. It’s possible that he drowned following an illegal deportation. Kicks, punches, humiliation, the confiscation of mobile phones and money, the burning of personal possessions and being threatened by the dogs and guns of the Croatian border police are the order of the day during such illegal deportations.

“A programme that analyses a highly topical and relevant issue in great depth. The meticulous research unearths disquieting breaches of the law that are far too rarely mentioned during the debate about displacement and migration.”


Long Programmes
Dok5 – The Feature: Kingdom of Silence – voices from Syrian prisons

Feature | documentary
Writer & director: Jakob Weingartner
Editor: Thomas Nachtigall

Saydnaya, the military prison to the north of Damascus, is considered to be a death factory. Tens of thousands of people have been tortured and killed there to this day alone. As they are not allowed to see anything, survivors remember the sounds. The regime of Bashar al-Assad wants to turn Syria into a “Kingdom of Silence”. Those who are released are usually traumatised, often politically paralysed or religiously radicalised.

“An example of what radio can be: a document of its time; expertly produced; sounds that make the memories of survivors of the Syrian terror regime sensually tangible; brilliant narrators; listeners become so closely involved in the fate of the tortured that they cannot escape.”


Die Känguru-Chroniken

Komödie (Kinostart: 05.03.2020 / Kinoneustart am 02.07.2020)
Regie: Dani Levy
Drehbuch: Dani Levy, Marc-Uwe Kling
Darsteller:innen: Das Känguru, Dimitrij Schaad, Rosalie Thomass, Henry Hübchen u.a.
Produktion: X Filme Creative Pool
Ko-Produktion: Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen (ZDF)
Produzenten: Stefan Arndt, Uwe Schott
Ko-Produzent:innen: Caroline von Senden, Alexandra Staib, Irene Wellershoff
Filmverleih: X Verleih (Warner)

Marc-Uwe, Kleinkünstler und Anarchist, wohnt in einer Altbau-Wohnung in Berlin-Kreuzberg. Ein Känguru, energiegeladen und überzeugter Kommunist, zieht bei ihm ein. Gestört wird die Wohngemeinschaft durch den rechtspopulistischen Immobilienhai Jörg Dwigs. Er hat große Pläne für ein gigantisches Bauprojekt und möchte die Gegend gentrifizieren. Die Bewohner sind strikt dagegen und entwickeln einen Plan um sich gegen die Zerstörung ihres Kiez zu wehren.


Als Hitler das rosa Kaninchen stahl

Drama (Kinostart: 26.12.2019)
Regie: Caroline Link
Drehbuch: Caroline Link, Anna Brüggemann
Buchvorlage: Judith Kerr
Darsteller:innen: Riva Krymalowski, Oliver Masucci, Carla Juri u.a.
Produktion: Sommerhaus Filmproduktion
Ko-Produktion: Warner Bros. Film Productions Germany, Next Film Filmproduktion, La Siala Entertainment, Hugofilm Productions
Produzent:innen: Jochen Laube, Fabian Maubach, Clementina Hegewisch
Ko-Produzent:innen: Willi Geike, Steffi Ackermann, Ditti Bürgin-Brook, Christof Neracher
Filmverleih: Warner Bros.

The small village of Weikendorf in Lower Austria is thrown into turmoil in summer 2019 when a Palestinian family of eleven decides to buy a house. The mayor refuses to approve the purchase, and a citizens’ initiative to prevent them from coming gains traction. But the inhabitants of Weikendorf reject being labelled as racists in the media. The family father writes to senior figures in Austrian politics, but to no avail. A protracted legal dispute ensues.

Honorable mention


Spielfilm/Drama (Kinostart: 12.03.2020)
Regie: Haifaa Al-Mansour
Drehbuch: Haifaa Al-Mansour, Brad Niemann
Darsteller:innen: Mila Al Zahrani, Dae Al Hilali, Nora Al Awadh u.a.
Produktion: Razor Film Produktion
Produzent:innen: Haifaa Al-Mansour, Gerhard Meixner, Brad Niemann, Roman Paul
Filmverleih: Neue Visionen

Die engagierte junge Ärztin Maryam lebt in Saudi-Arabien. Die Zufahrtstraße zu ihrem Krankenhaus ist nicht asphaltiert, die Besucher bleiben im Schlamm stecken. Maryam möchte Abhilfe schaffen, stößt aber immer wieder an Grenzen, die speziell für Frauen gelten. Eher zufällig ergibt sich ein Ausweg: Maryam lässt sich als Kandidatin für den Stadtrat aufstellen. Sie und ihre beiden Schwestern treten eine Kampagne für die Rechte von Frauen los, die wider Erwarten auf große Zustimmung stößt.



Drama (Kinostart: 03.10.2019)
Regie: Christian Schwochow
Drehbuch: Heike Schwochow
Buchvorlage: Siegfried Lenz
Darsteller:innen: Levi Eisenblätter, Ulrich Noethen, Tobias Moretti, Johanna Wokalek, Sonja Richter, Maria Dragus, Louis Hofmann, Tom Gronau u.a.
Produktion: Network Movie Film- und Fernsehproduktion
Ko-Produktion: Senator Film Köln, Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen (ZDF)
Produzentin: Jutta Lieck-Klenke
Ko-Produzenten: Josef Reidinger, Al Munteanu
Ko-Produzent / Redaktion: Daniel Blum
Filmverleih: Wild Bunch Germany

Während des Zweiten Weltkriegs verhängen die Nationalsozialisten ein Malverbot gegen den expressionistischen Maler Max Ludwig Hansen. Jens Ole Jepsen, pflichtbewusster Dorfpolizist und Jugendfreund des Malers, muss das Verbot überbringen und auch dessen Einhaltung überwachen. Sein 11-jähriger Sohn Siggi, Hansens Patenkind, soll ihm dabei helfen. Siggi stürzt in einen Konflikt zwischen Gehorsam und dem Mut sich seinem Vater zu widersetzen.



Spielfilm (Kinostart: 23.01.2020)
Regie: Ladj Ly
Drehbuch: Ladj Ly, Giordano Gederlini, Alexis Manenti
Darsteller:innen: Damien Bonnard (Stéphane “Pento” Ruiz), Alexis Manenti (Chris), Djibril Zonga (Gwada), Issa Perica, Al-Hassan Ly, Steve Tientcheu, Almamy Kanoute, Nizar Ben Fatma, Raymond Lopez, Luciano Lopez u.a.
Produktion: Srab Films
Ko-Produktion: Rectangle Productions, Lyly Films
Produzenten: Toufik Ayadi, Christophe Barral
Filmverleih: Wild Bunch Germany, Alamode Film

Stéphane ist neu bei der Abteilung Verbrechensbekämpfung in Montfermeil. Schnell spürt er die Spannungen in dem Problemviertel. Immer wieder kommt es zu Auseinandersetzungen zwischen Polizei und Gangmitgliedern. Hier herrschen eigene Regeln. Seine Kollegen, mit denen Stéphane Streife fährt, überschreiten selbst die Grenzen des Legalen, ohne ein Unrechtsbewusstsein zu entwickeln. Eines Tages droht die Situation im Viertel zu eskalieren.