Film und Medien Stiftung NRWNewsPressSoudade Kaadan receives the third Baumi Script Development Award

Soudade Kaadan receives the third Baumi Script Development Award


Jury and guest juror Martina Gedeck have made their decision: Syrian filmmaker Soudade Kaadan receives the third Baumi Script Development Award

Düsseldorf/Berlin, 20 February, 2018. Now in its third year, the Baumi Script Development Award will be going to a woman filmmaker for the first time. The French-born, Syrian writer-director Soudade Kaadan will receive the award for her treatment of „NEZOUH“. Endowed with 20,000 Euros, the Baumi Script Development Award has been presented in memory of the producer Karl „Baumi“ Baumgartner since 2016. The jury consisting of the award’s founders Pandora Film, the Baumgartner family and the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW made its decision after considering 46 international submissions. This year’s guest juror, actress Martina Gedeck, presented the award during today’s NRW Berlinale Press Lunch.

„Soudade Kaadan exposes the various layers of destruction with an instinctive certainty,“ says guest juror Martina Gedeck. „She combines human weakness with willpower, desperation with confidence, darkness with promise. In the middle of the armed conflict, islands of refuge are formed where life transcends death and subsequently vanquishes it.“

Claudia Steffen (Pandora Film), Reinhard Brundig (Pandora), Martina Gedeck, Soudade Kaadan, Petra Müller (FMS), Martina und Sandra Baumgartner © Kurt Krieger/Film- und Medienstiftung NRW
Claudia Steffen (Pandora Film), Reinhard Brundig (Pandora), Martina Gedeck, Soudade Kaadan, Petra Müller (FMS), Martina und Sandra Baumgartner © Kurt Krieger/Film- und Medienstiftung NRW

Jury motivation:
Soudade Kaadan is very poetic in the way she tells the highly topical story about a lesser known aspect of the ravages of war in Syria. The Arabian word „Nezouh“ means displacement. Once they have left, it is normal for the first time for young Syrian women to live on their own in a self-determined way and be separated from their families. There is always a chance for some freedom amidst the chaos of war even though it is hardly noticed by the media coverage of current affairs. Soudade Kaadan’s subtle narrative style with her wonderful cinematic images moved us profoundly as a jury and immediately transported us into her world. She already includes concrete scenes about the major issues of war and displacement in the treatment.

About the film:
During the Syrian conflict in Damascus, a missile destroys the ceiling of Zeina’s house. For the first time, the young girl is sleeping under the stars. She had previously been forbidden even to open a window. For the first time, she sees the outside world and makes friends with Amer, the boy next door. But Zeina feels guilty about her short-lived happiness when she sees her father, Mutaz, burst into tears at the sight of the destruction to his house and life. He hangs a bed sheet on every falling wall until her house looks like a grotesque tent. When the violence in Damascus escalates, Amer’s family decides to leave. But Zeina’s father refuses to become a refugee. The women in the family though have nothing more to lose and join the others who are fleeing. Zeina soon discovers that a window is now opening up to a new life for her.

About the award-winner:
Soudade Kaadan is a Syrian film director who was born in France and now lives and works in Beirut. She studied Theatre Criticism at the Higher Institute of Dramatic Arts in Syria and received her doctorate from the Saint Joseph University Institut d' études scéniques, audiovisuelles et cinématographiques (IESAV) in Lebanon. Her previous documentaries and shorts were shown at international festivals and received various awards, including the Martine Filippi Award for Discovery as well as the Muhr Arab Documentary Award at the Dubai International Film Festival. Her first fiction feature film „The Day I Lost My Shadow“, a Syrian-French co-production, was made with support from, among others, the Hubert Bals Fund and is currently at the postproduction stage.


About the Award:
The Baumi Script Development Award was presented for the first time in February 2016 in memory of the film producer and distributor Karl ¨Baumi¨ Baumgartner. Endowed with 20,000 Euros, the award was initiated by the founders Martina and Sandra Baumgartner, the company he co-founded, Pandora Film, and the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW. German and international writers can apply for the Award with a treatment in English. A jury consisting of the founders and an annually rotating international filmmaker choose one story idea from all of the submissions. The winner of the first Award was the Egyptian filmmaker Omar El Zohairy, and Fatih Akin served as the guest juror.. The second award-winner was the Polish filmmaker Kuba Czekaj who received the prize from the guest juror Aki Kaurismäki.

The founders would like to extend special thanks to Katja Clos for the graphics including the logo, Friederike Zeit for the design and the making of the prize sculpture, and to Fritz Erler for the programming of the website.