DOK Leipzig: Media Foundation of Sparkasse Leipzig sponsors award for outstanding documentary

Leipzig, 3 November, 2013. This years "Talent Dove" sponsored by the Media Foundation of Sparkasse Leipzig goes to Kaveh Bakhtiari (France/Switzerland) for his film "L’Escale" ("Stop-Over"). The Media Foundation endows the award with 10,000 Euros for the purpose of serving as a start-up financing for the award winners' next documentary film project. The award ceremony took place on Saturday during the 56th International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film.

Stephan Seeger, Managing Director of the Media Foundation, congratulated Kaveh Bakhtiari on winning the 'Talent Dove'. He feels the aim of the Foundation's commitment to be achieved: "The way in which 'Talent Dove' price winners develop gives us justified reason to believe that we will see and hear more of our award winners in the future - which is the second important motivation to donate this award besides the appreciation of their achievements."

Just two days after being awarded the "Talent Dove" of the Media Foundation of Sparkasse Leipzig, "L’Escale" ("Stop-Over") has been nominated for the European Film Awards. The Swiss-French co-production is one of three films nominated by the European Film Academy in the category "European Documentary 2013". "The Media Foundation is very happy for our laureate Kaveh Bakhtiari and congratulates him with all our heart. Last year, our 'Talent Dove' laureate Ilian Metev won the 'France 4 Visionary Award' of '51. Semaine de la Critique' in Cannes for his film 'Sofia's Last Ambulance'. Now the nomination of 'L'Escale' ('Stop-Over') and Kaveh Bakhtiari for the European Film Awards.", said Seeger.

About the film (by Lars Meyer): "What is a human being without a passport? The question B. Traven discussed in his classic novel The Death Ship is still disturbingly topical. The death ship that director Kaveh Bakhtiari finds is called Athens. This is where he happens to run into his Iranian cousin Mohsen. But while he himself has had a Swiss passport from childhood, is able to move freely and cross borders, Mohsen is an illegal immigrant. He spent three months in prison for this and is now stuck in Athens - like thousands of others for whom Greece was to be no more than a stop-over. He shares a flat with curtained windows with other 'illegals'. Kaveh decides to move in and share their life.

For almost a year he accompanies their daily life, which looks like the life in an ordinary flat-share only at first glance but is essentially marked by fear, claustrophobia and deprivation. The days move past the curtains like a shadow-play, while every day people risk their lives for their hopes, put themselves at the mercy of smugglers or wait years for fake passports. The film registers directly how their hopes crumble - an intense experience for the audience, who are 'locked up' with the protagonists at least for the duration of the film. A courageous film that brings to light what is otherwise concealed by the shadow of the European crisis."