Internationales Festival Zeichen der Nacht - Berlin - International Festival Signs of the Night


18th International Festival Signs of the Night - Berlin (6th Edition) - September 16 - 20, 2020


Tentehar - Sensitive Architecture

Tentehar - Arquitetura do sensível
Paloma Rocha, Luis Abramo
Brazil / 2020 / 1:29:00


We came across traditional rituals of a mixed race of indigenous, black and white people, with their mystic practices, their shamans and healers that express a reality and a way of life that doesn’t belong to any kind of paradigm. This problem is extremely relevant in the current political situation of Brazil in face of the repeated environmental and social catastrophes that are being inflicted upon us.These people have a way of acting which favours a sustainable development, their knowledge should be respected.The world is divided in two categories, independent of any ideology:the rich world and the poor world.We related the religious rituals, the artistic and the mystic trances in a Brazil where poverty and hunger are invisible to a large part of the society. A country of people that has invisible myths and such a rich diversity is being transformed into a unison and melancholic chant. The Guardians Forest whose leader was murdered last Dec, tells us what motivates their fight.


Jury Declaration:

“Tentehar - Sensitive Architecture” by Paloma Rocha and Luis Abramo won the main prize for their outstanding and politically urgent documentary feature about the past, contemporary and future of Brazil. Taking a close-up viewpoint of these mystic practices, the directors also respectfully make clear how important the non-ideological traditions have become as means of resistance and as a form of carrying the history of the indigenous people through generations.


The Signs Award for Documentary honours films, which express in a surprising and sensitive way the perturbing aspects of realit


Edu Felistoque
Brazil / 2020 / 1:28:00


he phenomenon of open-air drug use is becoming a worldwide epidemic and is one of the most complex urban challenges of modern life. Seen through different realities, from those who study it, those who try to contain it and those who live in it, the feature film documentary "Crackland" directed by Edu Felistoque opens a debate about the largest and most impactful scene of crack usage in the world: the “Crackland” of the city of São Paulo.The debate includes leaders, specialists, doctors, health workers, social services agents, police officers, judges, representatives of NGOs, medical centers and support centers, drug addicts and other professionals from various fields of activity related to the search for a solution of the problem in Brazil and other countries.Through these objects the film analyzes the causes of this evil and its progression, the combat tactics already carried out in São Paulo, opening a parallel with the strategies used in other countries.


Jury Declaration:

"Crackland" (Cracolania) by Elu Felistoque won the Signes Award for the way in which the film perturbs reality both formally and in terms of content. Predominantly focused on a notorious district of Sao Paulo, it also mirrors the situation globally to focus on parallel problems in what would otherwise be considered desirable cities like Vancouver, Zurich and Oslo. Most commendable here are the debates on the long-term solutions of containing the now open and endemic use of hard drugs that leave the viewer fully informed.

Director Statement:

For us, the greatest award of all is to be able to display such an urgent matter by telling the stories of people who are ofter forgotten. We, as human beigns, are currently facing difficult times throughout the globe, so it is important that we take care of one another, without exception. The drug users featured in this film are regularly seen and treated with various forms of prejudice, when in fact they deserve empathy, care and respect, just like we all do. We firmly believe that it’s only through dialogue that we can try to find a solution for this issue.





The Night Award for Documentary honours films, which represent reality in an ambivalent and enigmatic way, avoiding stereotypes of representation
and simple conclusions

Watching the Pain of Others

Chloé Galibert-Laîn
France / 2019 / 0:31:30

In this deeply personal video diary, a young researcher tries to make sense of her fascination for the film "The Pain of Others" by Penny Lane. A deep dive into the discomforting world of YouTube and online conspiracies, that challenges traditional notions of what documentary cinema is, or should be.


Jury Declaration:

The Night Award went to "Watching the Pain of Others" by Chloé Galibert-Laîné for representing reality in an ambivalent and enigmatic way. This deeply personal video diary shows a young researcher trying to deduce her fascination with the film The Pain of Others by Penny Lane, while avoiding stereotypes of representation and simple conclusions. The result is an original and discomforting critique of YouTube and online conspiracies that leads to the disturbing realization of how documentary cinema can be represented.


The Edward Snowden Award honors films, which offer sensitive (mostly) unknown informations, facts and phenomenons of eminent importance, for which the festival wishes a wide proliferation in the future.

We have Boots

Evans Chan
Hong Kong / 2020 / 2:10:00


The Umbrella Movement of 2014, also known as the Occupy Movement, paved the way for Hong Kong's current upheavals, but unfolded in significantly different ways. This creative documentary focuses on the intellectual, political, and discursive underpinnings of the social and political actions of 2014, before fast-forwarding to 2019. A range of thoughtful and engaged intellectuals, students, scholars, activists, and artists including Benny Tai, Chan Kin-man, Ray Wong, and Agnes Chow (many of whom are facing imprisonment for their democratic activism) articulate a range of philosophies, viewpoints and emotions, set against Hong Kong's spectacular urban background of skyscrapers, night lights, and street-occupying mass movements.


Jury Declaration:

The Edward Snowden Award went to "We have Boots" by Evan Chan for its graphic depiction of the 2019 upheavals in Hong Kong, the end cause of the 2014 Occupy Movement. Oscillating between these years, the director successfully depicts the tensions through wide-ranging interviews and graphic footage, but ultimately how freedom of speech and liberties has been crushed by often brutal methods.