BTU prize for the best debut film at the Cottbus Film Festival for Polish portrait "Hela"

The film "Hela" by Anna Kasperska (2022) received EUR 3,000 for the Debut Award, sponsored by the Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg and the Film University Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF. Congratulations!

The portrait of a young Polish teenager caught between defiance and a sense of responsibility convinced the jury, consisting of Prof. Verena Issel and Prof. Christer Petersen from BTU and Alice Palchetti (Filmuni Konrad Wolf).

The jury justified their decision with the following words: "A courageous film. A film with strong female characters in a country where feminism has been under threat in recent years. A film that criticizes state and church institutions with its very own cinematic language. A female protagonist who pursues her own perspective and emancipates herself. The film shows the fight against a rigid patriarchal system."

The FilmFestival Cottbus is one of the world's leading festivals when it comes to current filmmaking in Central and Eastern Europe. From November 7 to 12, there were once again three competitions and around 150 films from 40 producing countries.

The Cottbus FilmFestival was founded in 1991. As the gateway to the East, Cottbus is located in close proximity to its Polish neighbor in the bilingual (German/Sorbian) region of Lusatia in the federal state of Brandenburg. Every autumn, the city of around 100,000 inhabitants 120 km south-east of Berlin becomes the most important meeting point for international and national film guests as well as friends of Central and Eastern European film. This is where veteran directors and Oscar winners meet up-and-coming talent, Eastern European shooting stars meet their German acting colleagues and international flair mingles with an informal festival atmosphere.

Polish filmmaker Ana Kasperska at the award ceremony
The FilmFestival Cottbus is one of the world's leading festivals when it comes to contemporary filmmaking in Central and Eastern Europe.