For Sama, directed by Waad al-Kateab and Edward Watts, won the gong for Best European Documentary at the European Film Awards, Berlin, December 7 2019.
For Sama is the first documentary of 26-year-old citizen journalist Waad al-Kateab, and is dedicated to her newborn daughter: “I need you to understand why your father and I made the choices we did, what we were fighting for.” With a simple digital camera, she documents the Syrian uprising against Assad in the rebel stronghold of Aleppo, from the beginning to the forced evacuation at the end of 2016.
The award was presented by Georgian-born French journalist, actress and film director Nino Kirtadzé.
Earlier in the evening filmmaker/documentarian Werner Herzog received the EFA Lifetime Achievement Award from fellow German filmmaker Wim Wenders.
“You are a genius, you are a self-thought inventor of cinema. You blew my mind. Most of all, I love you for your unending capacity for enthusiasm,” Wim Wenders told the award recipient.
Herzog commented: “We can be glad that there is not such [a] thing [as] European cinema, with just one style. I’m glad European solidarity made it possible for small countries to make wonderful films.”