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


19th International Festival Signs of the Night - Berlin (7th Edition) / August 4-8, 2021



The Last Forest

A Última floresta
Luiz Bolognesi
Brazil / 2020 / 1:15:00

In Brazil, the homeland of the Yanomami population is under the threat from gold prospectors. Davi Kopenawa, a shaman and leader of the community, as well as the film’s co-writer, fights to preserve the land for the Yanomami’s future generations. Set in a luxuriant jungle where myth and reality blend together, The Last Forest is a real lesson on the meaning of resistance.


Jury Declaration:

Main Prize to "The Last Forest". It's a fine documentary that stands out from the conventional ethnographic genre because with very simple, subtle and pure means it manages to create a beautiful image of a mystical world fighting for its existence.

Director Declaration:

This award from the Festival Signes de Nuit/Zeichen der Nacht is a great honour for us. It is very important that Yanomami voices fly over the planet spreading their wisdom and at the same time, ask for help. Our planet is one only planet and their fight is for the future of all of us. Thanks for helping the film to be shown and seen.


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

Year of the Robot

Yves Gellie
Belgium, France / 2019 / 0:30:00

At the intersection of art and science, L’année du robot (Year of the robot) depicts the human being and the robot as its artificial counterpart. As a series of archival documents detailing the first contacts and dialogue between a robot gifted with an artificially created autonomy and human beings, it studies cognitive dissonance, a minute, mysterious relational space sitting between the two actors. It involves elderly people sometimes afflicted with Alzheimer's or dementia, or young adults with autism or neurological problems. Once past the surprise phase and aware of the artificial nature of the robot's functioning, the residents try, despite everything, to forge bonds with it.



Jury Declaration:

Signes Award to "Year of the Robot". It's a film that can truly surprise even the jury members, who are not so easily surprised. A nice toy-looking robot engages in unexpected conversations with people and it makes us realise and ponder too many things at once to be put in such a small format as this award statement. It's a futuristic and humorous portrayal of our desperate need in human (not necessarily) contact, and this need is something we don't want to forget.




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


Nanna Maria Wibholm
Germany / 2020 / 0:35:00

"Anders" is an essayistic portrait documentary circling around the brief encounter between filmmaker Nanna and protagonist Anders. Fragmented narratives from lived experiences of mental illness brought them together in the attempt to capture a visual trace of past stories and present voices. The film was shot in an irrevocable moment of time that unexpectedly became the last year of Anders’ life. Drawn by the atmosphere of an emerging but yet unknown relation, the film ANDERS embarks on an explorative journey through pieces of moving images, still photos, sound and voice. Directed by intuition and chance this portrait is also the filmmakers search for the identity of her protagonist. A fascination of ’The Other’ as well as a (self)reflective questioning of boundaries, subjective realities and ethics of artistic work in the making of a portrait documentary.



Jury Declaration:

Night Award goes to "Andres" for expressing poetically the human pains that neither the eye can see nor the hand can touch.


Rift Finfinnee

Daniel Kötter
Ethiopia, Gernany / 2020 /1:19:00

Rift Finfinnee takes the viewer on a journey through the periphery of the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa. In strictly composed images and a soundtrack that interweaves the original conversations in a complex way, the film takes the concrete geography, architecture and the everyday life of individual agricultural and construction workers in the east of Addis Ababa (in Oromo: Finfinnee) as the starting point for an allegorical narrative about the urbanisation of African societies on the edge of civil war. The film documents the rural-urban transformation of space and its consequences for living together using the example of four settlements in the east of the fast-growing Ethiopian capital: the village of Dingaja, the Bole Arabsa social housing estate, the Ayat Condominiums, and the gated community CCD Homes. Four different backdrops for the profound social change in Ethiopia, all four within sight of each other, but separated by a deep rift, which divides city and non-city, present from projected future, Oromo from Amhara: the gorge of the Akaki River.


Jury Declaration:

Rift Finfinne is a film that carries the audience in a hypnotical and crepuscular journey from the countryside and the myth to the hard borders of the city and its raw, dry existence, from risky and brave cinematographic decisions, that reveals a personal and lucid filmmaker.


The Forbidden Strings

Hasan Noori
Iran / 2019 / 1:12:00

Born and raised in Iran, four young Afghans take a dangerous journey from Iran to the heart of Afghanistan in order to make a dream come true: performing their first concert in a war-torn motherland they’ve never seen.


Jury Declaration:

Special mention to "The Forbidden Strings" for portraying a powerful and engaging story.


Nikos Karouzos - Poems on the Tape Recorder

Yannis Karpouzis
Greece / 2020 / 1:44:33

Left-wing and Christian, hermit and an alcoholic, damned poet Nikos Karouzos is the central figure of this hybrid-genre feature. In this essay film about a documentary, the viewer is taken through the Athenian urban landscape, the editing room, prison island of Makronissos, Stockholm and Kronstadt, following a frustrated researcher in a journey through time to restore the collective memory of Greece’s most underrated poet and his tumultuous times through pictures, celluloid and testimonies. A story about life and death, about Greece’s troubled post-war history, and about the advent of Spring.


Jury Declaration:

Special mention goes to "Nikos Karouzos - Poems on the Tape Recorder" for its capacity to transcend the biography and be able to guide the audience through a deeper journey in the search of the soul, the pain and the contradictions of a human being, and put in the first term how the socio political and emotional situations we live are a indivisible part of our history, thoughts and acts.