Cinema Without Borders has announced its jury members to decide on the winner of 2023 MOZAIK Bridging The Borders Award at the LUCAS International Festival for Young Film Lover in Germany. LUCAS programmers have also announced the nominees for the Cinema Without Borders’ Bridging The Borders Award sponsored by MOZAIK Philanthropy.
Cinema Without Borders presents its Bridging The Borders Award, sponsored by MOZAIK Philanthropy, for the fourth time at LUCAS International Festival for Young Film Lovers. The jury members include:
Susan Morgan Cooper is a Director/Producer/ Writer, and her credits include: To the Moon and Back, Documentary, Director/Producer/Writer 2016 (A cinematic act of love and courage’ … Broadway World) – Hopper [In his own words] Documentary, Producer/Writer 2013 (“I was moved to tears” Mike Medavoy) – Mulberry Child, Documentary, Director/Producer/Writer 2012 (‘A powerful and touching film’… 31/2 stars. Roger Ebert) – An Unlikely Weapon [The Eddie Adams Story]..Documentary, Director/Producer/Writer 2008 ( ‘A terrific documentary’ The Hollywood Reporter) – Making Of Shadows in The Sun, Documentary, Director/Producer/Writer 2005 – Heroes And Sheroes. Television Series, Director/Producer/Writer 2000
Mirjana: One Girl’s Journey, Documentary, Director/Producer/Writer 1997 – Stringers, Narrative Short Director/Producer/Writer 1990 – Hadley’s Rebellion, Narrative Feature Associate Producer 1989
Vladek Juszkiewicz – Born in Glasgow, Poland. He graduated from the Szczecin Technical University with a degree in Engineering. While attending the University he became a member of The Szczecin Technical University Choir, serving as a President and manager of the group. His travels with the choir to 18 counties including United States where he visited the White House.
When he moved to Warsaw, he became the manager of the Polish international star singer Maryla Rodowicz.
After immigrating to the United States, he worked on 11 films with the late Paul Leder.
In 1999 he founded the Polish Film Festival Los Angeles and served as a director till 2019. Now is serving as the Festival’s Programmer.
Served on the juries of the Los Angeles Hungarian Film Festival, the Los Angeles South East European Film Festival, New York Polish Film Festival and Palm Springs International Film Festival.
Awarded by Polish Government with the Cavalier & Officer Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland and Gloria Artis for promoting Polish culture abroad.
Chale Nafus was born in Dallas during World War II, he attended public schools, spent summers on his sister’s ranch in Comanche County in the 1950s, learned Spanish from schoolmates, and dreamed of getting out of Dallas. After getting through freshman year at SMU, he worked at Texas Instruments before realizing he really needed a college education. After attending the University of Texas at Arlington (B.A., English), La Universidad Autónoma de México, and UT Austin (M.A., English/RTF), he began a long college teaching career at Texas Southmost College (Brownsville), La Universidad de Puerto Rico at Mayaguez, Borough of Manhattan Community College, Kingsborough Community College (Brooklyn), and finally Austin Community College (1973-1998). At the latter, he founded the Department of Radio-TV-Film, taught classes in film studies, and for seven years served as Chair of Humanities (Northridge Campus). Retiring in 1998, Chale spent 4 years traveling and writing before joining the staff of Austin Film Society as Director of Programming (2002-2015). He is now totally retired and happily serving on the boards of Austin Film Society and OUTsider Fest as well as the advisory committees of IndieMeme (South Asian film organization) and Cine Las Americas.
Bijan Tehrani founder and Editor in Chief of Cinema Without Borders (CWB) online- publication and Cinema Without Borders Foundation is an award-winning author of children’s books and short films. Tehrani has been a passionate advocate of human rights, which he has actively pursued as a filmmaker, historian, and -critic over the past five decades.
Bijan Tehrani has organized a numerus cultural events dealing with international cinema and social justice. The ongoing ELAC International Animation Day is an annual festival showcasing international animation and I, Immigrant International On-line Film Festival portrays the positive impact of immigrants in their new societies. Bijan is also the creator of the Bridging the Borders Award that is offered in ten international film festival in US, UK, and Australia. Bridging the Borders Award goes to the films that help bring people of the world closer together. Bijan Tehrani has won several awards and has been recognized by several film festivals and cultural institutes as Ambassador of International Cinema because of his services to the world film community through 15 years of publishing Cinema Without Borders.
Terry George, Academy winner and director of Hotel Rwanda, had this to say on the 10th anniversary of CWB:” At a time when media consolidation is threatening diverse and unique voices, Cinema Without Borders provides a forum for underrepresented perspectives and stories. Now more than ever, we need to reach across cultural, political, and national lines. Cinema Without Borders is part of this critical work.”
James Ulmer A contributing writer for The New York Times as well as Cinema Without Borders’ international editor, Ulmer’s 30-year journalistic career has included serving eight years as international editor and columnist for The Hollywood Reporter, as well as writing for The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Variety and The Observer in London.
He is the author of James Ulmer‘s Hollywood Hot List — The Complete Guide to Star Ranking, published by St. Martin’s Press, and the founder of the entertainment database company The Ulmer Scale. Most recently he served as Jury President of the Central European Film Festival, and as well on the competition juries of the Cairo and Madrid international film festivals. On television, he has appeared frequently on “Entertainment Tonight,” “CBS This Morning,” “CNN Showbiz Today,” Voice of America, among many. As a filmmaker, he directed the short documentary Remembering Paradiso with the participation of Oscar-winning director of Cinema Paradiso, Giuseppe Tornatore, as well as the documentary Lost Property for the BBC.
Ulmer now resides with his life partner in both Prague and Castelfidardo, Italy, where he hosts occasional public film screenings on the cobblestone street in front of his house.
Nominees for MOZAIK Bridging the Borders Award:
DELEGATION (Ha’Mishlahat) Poland / Israel / Germany – 2023. Director: Asaf Saban
Three Israeli high school friends take part in a class trip visiting Holocaust sites in Poland – the last time together before going to the army. During the trip, shy boy Frisch, aspiring artist Nitzan and class heartthrob Ido deal with issues of love, friendship and politics against the backdrop of concentration camps and memorial sites. This journey will change them forever.
Before I Change My Mind. Canada, 2022. Director: Trevor Anderson. Screenplay: Trevor Anderson
Alberta, Canada, in 1987: Robin does not have an easy start at the new school, because there is a lot of whispering. Is Robin a boy or a girl? Although class bully Carter in particular tries to make life difficult for Robin, he also has a certain fascination for Robin. Robin lobbies for Robin and Carter to be buddies on a school band field trip, where the two of them are allowed to hang out in the mall. It is the start of an unexpected friendship that is to suffer fractures when cool Izzy enters their lives. The film explores the theme of identity from various points of view. The question “Who are you?” runs through the plot — be it in terms of origin, gender or character
Everything and everyone tells a story, but how do you choose the right words? That’s what 15-year-old Murra finds out when she travels through the ancient landscapes of her ancestors on a therapeutic photo excursion for young people. During an eventful week of wild camping and hiking to historic indigenous sites, Murra explores the roots of her heritage, makes lifelong friends, experiences heartbreak, and discovers her love of photography. With her camera and her images, Murra gets a fresh look at the world and new perspectives for her future. Sweet As is a song of praise for cultural resilience and development, hope and love, and emphasizes the importance of finding one’s own voice in moving on.
SORCERY – Brujería. Chile / Mexiko / Deutschland – 2022. Director: Christopher Murray
Chiloé Island, 1880. After her father is murdered by a German colonist, Rosa (newcomer Valentina Véliz Caileo), a 13-year-old Huilliche girl, renounces her Christian upbringing and seeks shelter with Mateo (Daniel Antivilo), the leader of an Indigenous organization that practices witchcraft. Under Mateo’s gruff yet tender tutelage, she learns the art of sorcery and vows to settle the score. Rosa’s vengeance leads to a brutal crackdown by the island’s Chilean Christian authorities and puts her on the path to discovering her dormant powers.
THE SIREN – La Sirène.France / Germany / Luxemburg / Belgium – 2023. Director: Sepideh Farsi.
“1980 in the oil metropolis of Abadan, the largest port city in Iran. 14-year-old Omid is playing soccer with his friends when a missile hits a nearby refinery. The attack by the Iraqi army plunges the city into chaos within a very short time. At home, Omid just sees his older brother get into a van that is taking fighters to the front. While his mother has already packed and is ready to flee with the family, Omid refuses. He and his grandfather stay behind. Too young to take up arms himself, he becomes a provider for a group of retards united in need. He is determined not to give up the search for his brother and an escape route from the encircled city.
With a precise eye, detailed storytelling and a minimalist animation style, director Sepideh Farsi stages the outbreak of the bloody Iran-Iraq war as a boy’s struggle for survival in a besieged city. Along the way, he encounters various people who find themselves at a turning point in their lives as a result of the war and who must plan their futures anew.”
TONY, SHELLY AND THE MAGIC LIGHT – Hungary / Czech Rep / Slovakia – 2023. Director: Filip Pošivač
11-year-old Tony has a unique feature he was born with – he glows. He spends his days at home in his blanket bunker and dreams about having a friend. Before Christmas, a peculiar girl named Shelly moves into his house and turns his world upside down. Together, they embark on an adventurous search for the origin of the mysterious tufts of darkness which suck the sunshine out of their house.
TOTEM – Netherlands / Luxemburg / Germany – 2022. Director: Sander Burger
Ama is 11 years old and a passionate swimmer. Together with her best friend Thijs, she spends most of her time practising for the upcoming championships. A child of Senagalese parents raised in the Netherlands, Ama feels completely Dutch and has little interest in her parents’ heritage. But when the Dutch authorities unexpectedly prepare to deport her family, Ama finds solace in the totem animal emerging from her mother’s tales of their homeland: a gigantic, magical porcupine.
THE WORST ONES – (Les Pires) France – 2022. R: Lise Akoka, Romane Gueret
A film shooting will take place at the cité Picasso, in the suburbs of Boulogne-Sur-Mer, in the north of France. During the casting, four teenagers, Lily, Ryan, Maylis and Jessy are chosen to play in the film. Everyone in the neighborhood is surprised: why only take the “worst ones”?