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IFFF Dortmund+Köln awards


»Quo Vadis, Aida?« by Jasmila Žbanić won the International Feature Film Competition at IFFF Dortmund+Köln 2021, the award comes with € 15,000

The drama, set during the Srebrenica massacre, won the festival’s main award along with 15,000 euros in prize money on 20 June

ECFA Short Film Award for »Leaf« by Aliona Sasková

Shoot KHM & IFFF Dortmund+Köln Award for Female Artists of the Academy of Media Arts Cologne goes to Angelika Herta

Audience Award goes to »My Name is Baghdad« by Caru Alves de Souza

The evening of 20 June saw IFFF Dortmund+Köln bring the most out-of-the-ordinary version of its almost 40-year-old history to a close with its online award ceremony. This year the festival ran online from 15 to 20 June, showing around 70 new films by female* directors. At the very last minute, 6 screenings were possible in cinemas with live audiences, allowing the festival to signal the reopening of cinemas in NRW for the first time since their closure in November 2020. Festival Director Dr. Maxa Zoller shared her initial post-festival thoughts:


»I was thrilled that we were able to get the film festival season up and running in NRW and I’m proud of the festival team for delivering our wonderful programme in both virtual and in-person formats. It represents quite an achievement to actually showcase the work of directors nationwide in these unprecedented circumstances.«

The International Feature Film Competition saw the Bosnian-European production Quo Vadis, Aida? gain the vote of the international jury. The award comes with 15,000 euros to the winner, and this year goes to the film that shines a light on the genocide perpetrated in the Muslim-majority town of Srebrenica during the Bosnian War. The story begins in July 1995, just days before the slaughter of more than 8,000 Bosnian boys and men, following Aida, a teacher who also works as a translator for the Dutch UN troops. Jasmila Žbanić is the first director to bring this topic to the big screen. And the sentencing at The Hague Tribunal on 8 June 2021 of Ratko Mladić, the former commander-in-chief of the Serbian troops and war criminal responsible for the massacre, provided a fitting reminder of the film’s absolute relevance.

Jury statement
»The award for best film goes to a work inspired by true events, where we follow a gripping story through the eyes of a UN interpreter frantically trying to save her family in the midst of the worst crime committed in Europe since the Second World War. The director lets this drama unfold in a perfectly crafted narrative that is at once compelling and terrifying. The main character is thrust into a role that conjures up both the pain of exile and the burden of responsibility.«

The international jury featured curator of Barcelona International Women’s Film Festival Marga Almirall Rotés, director Monika Treut alongside screenwriter and producer Elma Tataragić.
The online award ceremony on Sunday evening saw Monika Treut present director Jasmila Žbanić with the award via video call, who expressed herself enthusiastically and gratefully:


»I am glad that it’s this festival that I appreciate so much. I’ve been to the festival as a guest and I love it. It’s such an important work that you are doing. The landscape for women in filmmaking really changed in the last decade and it is also thanks to you. I feel very honoured to receive the award in this constellation.«

The ceremony took place on Vimeo and is still available there:

The €15,000 prize money is split between the director (€5,000) and the German distributor (€10,000). This is intended to promote the distribution of films directed by women in Germany. Distributor farbfilm verleih is due to release the film in German cinemas on August 5. In a video address, the distributor boss Alexandre Dupont-Geisselmann expressed his delight and gratitude for the unexpected distribution funding bonus.


>>You will find more information in the press release enclosed. Filmstills and photos will be found on our website


IFFF Dortmund+Köln is sponsored by
Ministerium für Kultur und Wissenschaft des Landes NRW
Stadt Dortmund/Kulturbüro
Stadt Köln/Kulturamt

Film- und Medienstiftung NRW
Bundesministerium für Familie, Senioren, Frauen und Jugend

Sparkasse Dortmund
Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien
Kulturstiftung der Länder


Stefanie Görtz  +49-170-2037198
Maxi Braun: +49-178-5478784


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