Visiting Associate Professor of Religious Studies S. Brent Plate was recently invited to be a member of the Ecumenical Jury for the 67th Berlin Film Festival. He spent several hours a day watching the latest film releases from around the world from Feb. 9th to 19th.
The Ecumenical Prize is awarded to films at festivals in Cannes, Locarno, Berlin and elsewhere. The criteria includes those “films which dramatise human values and contribute to human progress concerning: respect for human dignity and human rights; solidarity with all kind of minorities, disadvantaged and oppressed people; support for processes for liberation, justice, peace and reconciliation; and preserving creation and the environment.”
The jury, made up of filmmakers, academics and religious clergy, chose the Hungarian film On Body and Soul by Ildiko Enyedi as the winner of this year’s Ecumenical Prize. The tender love story is set in a slaughterhouse and touches on topics of autism, intimacy and human relations to animals.
The jury also presented awards for the Forum and Panorama sections of the festival. These were given to the Congolese documentary Maman Colonelle by Dieudo Hamadi, and Investigating Paradise by Merzak Allouache.