Film und Medien Stiftung NRWNewsNews35th European Film Awards: Meltem Kaptan nominated as European Actress in the Filmstiftung-backed feature film "Rabiye Kurnaz vs. George W. Bush”

35th European Film Awards: Meltem Kaptan nominated as European Actress in the Filmstiftung-backed feature film "Rabiye Kurnaz vs. George W. Bush”

  • Awards ceremony in Reykjavík on 10 December
  • Lifetime Achievement Award for Margarethe von Trotta
  • European Innovative Storytelling Award for Marco Bellocchio

The European Film Academy (EFA) announced today that the lead actress Meltem Kaptan has been nominated in the European Actress category of the European Film Awards for her performance in the Filmstiftung-backed feature film "Rabiye Kurnaz vs George W. Bush". The drama by Andreas Dresen, which was produced by Cologne-based Pandora Film Produktion, celebrated its world premiere in the Berlinale’s competition last February and was subsequently awarded several German prizes, including the German Film Award in Silver. In addition, Meltem Kaptan was recognised as best actress in a leading role by the Berlinale Silver Bear, the German Film Award and the German Actors Award. The European Film Awards ceremony will be held in Reykjavík on 10 December.

"Congratulations to Meltem Kaptan on being nominated for the European Film Awards! She had already won major awards for her powerful performance in 'Rabiye Kurnaz', and now she’s also impressed the jury of the European Film Awards. Director Andreas Dresen and the producers Claudia Steffen and Christoph Friedel have achieved great things with this film, a true story and genuinely destined to be told for the cinema. The nomination for the European Film Awards is a highlight in a year that began with an award at the Berlinale – we will be keeping our fingers crossed for Meltem Kaptan!", says Petra Müller, CEO of the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW. "And we naturally also congratulate Marco Bellocchio and especially Margarethe von Trotta, with whom we have a long-standing working relationship. Time and again, she has prevailed with her stories and subject matter. She will be honoured in Reykjavik by Europe’s filmmakers for her lifetime achievement. Congratulations!"

"Rabiye Kurnaz Vs. George W. Bush" is a production of Pandora Film Produktion in co-production with Germany’s Iskremas and France’s Cinéma Defacto, with participation by the broadcasters NDR, rbb, BR, Radio Bremen, Arte and Arte France Cinéma. Laila Stieler based her  screenplay on a true story and was awarded the Silver Bear for Best Screenplay at the Berlinale. The fight for the release of her son Murat catapults the Turkish housewife Rabiye Kurnaz straight from her terraced house in the German sticks into the world of international politics and eventually all the way to the Supreme Court in Washington. At her side is human rights lawyer Bernhard Docke – brilliantly portrayed by Alexander Scheer – who joins in the fight for justice and also becomes her friend. The Filmstiftung supported the production, which was largely shot in NRW, with 1.2 million Euros. Additional support came from the DFFF, BKM, FFA, MBB, nordmedia and CNC. Pandora Film Verleih released the film in German cinemas on 28 April. World sales are being handled by the Cologne-based sales agent The Match Factory.

Lifetime Achievement Award for Margarethe von Trotta

The special honorary awards of the 35th European Film Awards had already been announced in August The German actress, director and screenwriter Margarethe von Trotta will be presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award for her outstanding body of work at the awards ceremony in December. The Film- und Medienstiftung has supported some of her most important films such as "The Promise", "Anniversaries", "Vision" or "Hannah Arendt" and is also involved in her latest project "Bachmann & Frisch". Von Trotta has received numerous awards for her work. For example, she won a total of six awards for “Marianne and Juliane” at Venice in 1981, including the Golden Lion . She was nominated for the German Film Award on six occasions and received it twice, most recently in recognition of her lifetime achievement. In 2013, she was awarded the Herbert Strate Prize of the Filmstiftung NRW and HDF Kino e.V. for her commitment to German film. In 2017, the director received the Helmut Käutner Award presented by the state capital of Düsseldorf.

Other honours

The European Film Academy is honouring the Italian director Marco Bellocchio with the European Innovative Storytelling Award for his six-part miniseries "Exterior Night". The Filmstiftung had previously supported his drama „Kidnapped“ and the internationally acclaimed mafia film "The Traitor" ("Il Traditore"). This year’s European Achievement in World Cinema Award is going for the first time to a Palestinian filmmaker, the writer, director, actor and producer Elia Suleiman ("Divine Intervention", "It Must Be heaven").

The European Film Awards

The European Film Awards have been presented by the European Film Academy since 1988. A total of 35 feature films and 14 documentaries were shortlisted for the prestigious award. 4,400 members of the EFA will now be voting on the highlights of European cinema in such categories as Best European Film, Director, Actress, Actor and Screenplay as well as on the nominations in the category for Documentary Film.

Further information and a live stream of the awards ceremony can be found at