The Film Festival Cologne is making escape from hardship, expulsion and refugee integration prominent themes in its 2016 program line-up. The event not only seeks to boost interest in films on this subject, but also aims to provide networking opportunities for refugees with a professional background in media on the one hand and the local industry on the other.
Three awards for films and initiatives focused on migration and integration issues were presented by the MEDIA & MIGRATION NRW project at Cologne’s Kunsthaus on October 13, 2016, at 7 p.m., in the run-up to the NRW producers’ reception on the same night. The awards carry cash prizes of 3,000 EUR each. The three categories are:
_ Best Professional Film
_ Best Non-Professional Film
_ Best Initiative/Institutional Commitment
A five-member independent jury of media professionals and senior Film Festival Cologne officials selected the winners. Endowed by MMC Studios Cologne, the awards were presented by Jürgen Hein, Department Head at the Ministry for Federal, European and Media Affairs of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia. German-Afghan journalist and Deutsche Welle presenter Waslat Hasrat Nazimi was the host for the evening. The award-winning films were screened on 14 October 2016 starting at 7 p.m. at the Filmhaus cinema in Cologne.
In addition, the MEDIA & MIGRATION NRW project is staging a Hands-On Workshop for refugees from media professions from 10 to 14 October. Production professionals from North Rhine-Westphalia provided guidance for the joint development and production of short films about refugee concerns over the course of this week.