Ludwigsburg: the award ceremony of this year’s NaturVision Film Festival saw 13 film awards presented in a total of 12 categories. The prizes went to Switzerland, Austria, England, South Africa, France and Italy.
There was hardly a dry eye in the house as the award ceremony host Dana Hoffmann stepped forward to make a very personal announcement.
Barrikade - Bilder einer Waldbesetzung
The documentary film debut of David Klammer's Barrikade – Bilder einer Waldbesetzung [Barricade – Pictures of a Forest Occupation], which ended up winning the NaturVision Rethink Film Award, had such a profound effect on her that she spontaneously donated a €1,000 endowment. The film subjectively yet powerfully tells the story of committed activists attempting to save Germany’s Dannenröder Forest.
Stilles Land – Vom Verschwinden der Vögel – © Heiko De Groot
The German Biodiversity Film Award is sponsored to the tune of €8,333 by HAHN+KOLB Werkzeuge GmbH, who have turned their company grounds into a biotope and are involved in all kinds of sustainability projects. Member of the management Siegmar Klein presented the award to Heiko De Groot for his film Stilles Land – Vom Verschwinden der Vögel [Silent Land – On the Disappearance of Birds]. The jury were especially impressed by the magical narrative style of the film, which highlights the complex web of biodiversity in the habitat of a north-German meadow.
Der Bauer und der Bobo
Thanks to Baden-Württemberg’s Ministry of the Environment, Climate Protection and Energy Sector, the German Conservation and Sustainability Film Award also carries an €8,333 prize. The winner of the award was Austrian director Kurt Langbein for his outstanding cinema film Der Bauer und der Bobo [The Farmer and the Townie]. Entertaining to the end, it skilfully uses the conflict between a mountain farmer and a city journalist to explore the contrasts between urban and rural, economy and ecology, tradition and progress – and reflect on the future of farming.
The Elephant and the Termite
The third main prize of the festival – the German Wildlife Film Award – is sponsored by the city of Ludwigsburg and again worth €8,333. The award went to Victoria Stone and Mark Deeble for their original and artistically constructed film about the savannah, The Elephant and the Termite. Mayor Dr. Matthias Knecht emphasised in his speech how important it is to the city of Ludwigsburg that NaturVision continues to establish itself in Baden-Württemberg. Together with the economic region of Stuttgart and the state of Baden-Württemberg, Ludwigsburg plans to provide further financial support for the film festival.
Green Warriors: Cursed Uranium
To give the many courageous and journalistically outstanding works submitted their own forum, the main jury decided on an additional category this year, called Story – investigative. Winner of this special award was Green Warriors: Cursed Uranium by Martin Boudot. The documentary about radioactive pollution arising from the mining and storage of uranium not only impressed the jury with its spectacular drone shots and authentic interviews – it even led to a lawsuit against the mining company.
Circle of Moose
Five films were nominated in the Newcomer category, each one engaging and unique, making it impossible for the jury to choose just one winner. As a result, the €1,000 prize, sponsored by dieUmweltDruckerei, was shared this year by two remarkable debut works: Circle of Moose by Josefin Kuschela, which humorously brings us the extraordinary relationship between the Alaskan moose and the people who help ensure its survival.
And Sagebrush Gold, the graduation film of Marcus Widger, which cleverly explores the price to pay for an energy revolution based on electrical energy – ultimately leaving it up to the viewers to decide.
Axel Wagner und die Klimakrise – Wasser in der Erderwärmung
It is important to NaturVision that children and young people are given a voice in the competition. This year’s NaturVision Youth Jury Award – funded by Baden-Württemberg’s Ministry of the Environment, Climate Protection and Energy Sector to the tune of €2,000 – went to a young online documentary series from broadcaster SWR. In Axel Wagner und die Klimakrise – Wasser in der Erderwärmung [Axel Wagner and the Climate Crisis – Water’s Role in Global Warming], the young jury, who handed over their award in person, felt that the presenter really got through to them individually with his direct and unreproaching manner.
Pia und die wilde Natur: Abtauchen in die Seegraswiese
The children’s jury practically took over the stage at the Central Filmtheater. They chose Pia und die wilde Natur: Abtauchen in die Seegraswiese [Pia in the Wild: Diving into the Seagrass Meadow] as their winner of the NaturVision Children’s Film Award, and Pia Amofa-Antwi herself was delighted to accept the trophy. The award carries an endowment of €2,000 from the Wiedeking Stiftung.
WILD – Jäger und Sammler
The NaturVision Camera Award for 2022 went to Swiss filmmaker Mario Theus for WILD – Jäger und Sammler [In the Wild – Hunters & Gatherers]. The jury were deeply impressed by its well-composed images, which create a separate narrative level.
Wildes Marokko – der Goldene Süden
The NaturVision Film Music Award, sponsored by the NaturVision Förderverein with €1,000 prize money, was awarded to Steffen Kaltschmidt for his music for Wildes Marokko – der Goldene Süden [Wild Morocco – The Golden South]. The judges praised his quite unique answer to the film’s dramatic narrative in the form of a regional music connection.
My Neighbour is a Bear
For the fifth time NaturVision joined forces with Audi Environmental Foundation to present the Short Film Award, this year with the theme “Grown to be Wild”. For Managing Director Dr. Rüdiger Recknagel, a key motivation for the foundation’s commitment is to inspire people’s interest in conservation, and films are a particularly effective way to reach them. The €5,000 prize money went to Mattia Cialoni for his moving and witty film My Neighbour is a Bear, based in the village of Villalago in the Apennine Mountains of Italy, whose inhabitants have an unusually friendly relationship with their wild friends, the bears.
The NaturVision Honorary Award has been given out six times in the festival’s twenty-year history – not least to celebrated wildlife filmmaker Heinz Sielmann. In 2022 the award went to Udo Zimmermann, filmmaker and former BR (Bavarian TV) editor. In her tribute speech, Annette Scheurich, producer and head of Marco Polo Film AG, praised his greatest achievements in the realm of nature and wildlife films as an editor, a sensitive mentor to filmmakers and a supporter of NaturVision.
NaturVision Winners 2022
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