Playground wins MOZAIK Bridging The Borders Award at 2022 Lucas FF


Last week at the 2022 Lucas International Festival for Young Film Lovers in Germany, the Cinema Without Borders jury announced the winners of the MOZAIK Bridging The Borders Award, as well as their Honorable Mention . PLAYGROUND from Belgium, directed by Laura Wandel, won MOZAIK Bridging The Borders Award and Honorary Mention was TORI AND LOKITA from Belgium, directed by Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne. MOZAIK Bridging the Borders Award is offered by Cinema Without Borders Foundation and sponsored by MOZAIK Philanthropy.

Yeganeh Taheri, Cinema Without Borders’ representative in Germany, introduced CWB jury members for the MOZAIK Bridging the Borders Award and then in a video message, Chale Nafus, one of the jury members announced the winner of the MOZAIK Bridging the Borders Award and also the Honorary Mention. Following the award announcement a audiences watched a video message from winner of the award, Laura Wandel, director of PLAYGROUND from Belgium.

MOZAIK Bridging The Borders Award Jury members were:

Keely Badgers is Executive Director of MOZAIK, a new millennial-led philanthropic organization committed to exploring and modeling new practices in philanthropy with disruptive, creative, and catalytic potential. Based in Los Angeles, CA, Keely leads the foundation’s strategic grantmaking, programs and community engagements, working with a range of nonprofit organizations in the local, national and international advocacy space.

As a millennial expert and advocate on international human rights and development issues,
Keely pioneers’ durable solutions for underrepresented voices, communities and causes by working to democratize philanthropy through participatory grantmaking praxis.

Susan Morgan Cooper
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

Jan Cvitkovič
Jan Cvitkovič, the Slovanian filmmaker, is an Archeologist, writer, director. His films were presented worldwide and received awards such as Lion of the Future (Dino de Laurentis Award) in Venice, Best Director Award in San Sebastian, and many others (around 50). Two of his films were Foreign Language Oscar Candidates (Bread and milk, Gravehopping).
In 2001, Jan wrote and direct his first feature film, Bread and Milk (Kruh in mleko). In 2002 Jan worked on another TV series called Death is Far Away and then in 2003 he made Heart is a Piece of Meat (Srce je kos mesa), a short film that brought him 3 awards.
His feature film, Gravehopping (Odgrobadogroba) has won numerous awards in international film festivals. Gravehopping also won the Cinema Without Borders Critics Award for the Best Film at 2007 Southeast European Film Festival.

Chale Nafus
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.

Hayedeh Safiyari
Hayedeh Safiyari ( born 1960, Gorgan, Iran) is an Iranian film editor and a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. She graduated in Art Cinema from School of Television and Cinema, a prestigious film school in Iran and decided to pursue her professional career in film editing.
Immediately after graduating from the university, she was recruited in the national TV of Iran. Most of the edits she has carried out are for internationally well-known filmmakers such as Asghar Farhadi, Bahram Beyzai, Bahman Ghobadi, Reza Dormishian, Alireza Raeesian, Shahram Alidi, and Mani Haghighi. She is best known for her long-time collaborations with Iranian director Asghar Farhadi, including the Oscar-winning A Separation and The Salesman. She has received several precious awards namely, the Crystal Simorgh, the Statue of the Cinema House, the Asian Film Award, the Fajr film festival, Iran’s film Critics & Writers Association; and Nominated for Cinema Writers Circle award, ICS, and Goya International Cinephile Society award. She extended her professional work to many countries, including Spain, Sweden, and Turkey. She has edited over 80 feature fiction films and several documentaries over the thirty years. Most of these films have been selected and Nominated by many well-world film festivals and received prestigious awards. This includes “Cannes film festival”, “BFI”, “Berlin international film festival”, “Venice international film festival”, “Golden Globe”, and “Locarno international film festival”. Two of the films she contributed as Film Editor, The Salesman, 2016″ and A Separation, 2011″ both directed by Asghar Farhadi, have been awarded in Oscar Academy as the best foreign-language films.

Yeganeh Taheri
Yeganeh Taheri, a graduated as a film editor from School of Television and Cinema in 1980 and left Iran for Germany in 1989 where she started her career as a stage actress. Yeganeh’s first performance on stage was with Farhad Majedabadi in A House in a suitcase. This was followed by a few puppet shows for kids in TV with Nargess Vafadar (The stories of Ghandi and his Mother & Jewel Box) and two other acting performance directed by Nilufar Beyzaee (Marjan, Mani and a few small problems & Face to face at the threshold of the cold season).
Yeganeh Taheri approached photography starting a decade ago and her photos shows her keen eyes for picking interesting subjects and compositions. She has covered many different subjects in her photos, including photos from theater performances.
Yeganeh Taheri still lives in Germany and beside photography spends her time on translation of children stories between two languages of Farsi and German.

Bijan Tehrani
Bijan Tehrani a film director, film critic and writer, works as Editor in Chief of Cinema Without Borders while teaching Language & History of film workshops and organizes film screening events and festivals. Bijan has won several awards in international film festivals and book fairs for his short films and children’s books.

For the tenth anniversary of Cinema Without Borders, Bijan has received Ambassador of International Cinema Award from South east European Film Festival, Friend of the Festival Award from Polish Film Festival, LA and Gateway to International Cinema Award from Hungarian Film festival. Bijan Tehrani is recently working on a book of his memoir from Cinema in Iran and a docufiction based on 19th century photographs by Sevruguin, the Russian photographer.

MOZAIK Bridging The Borders Award Winner:
PLAYGROUND– Belgium – Director: Laura Wandel. Screenplay: Laura Wandel.
Nora does not like her new school. She feels like a stranger and is alone. Even her big brother Abel does not offer her any support either. But soon fear and restraint disappear, as new friendships begin to form. However, something is wrong with her brother. When she observes the older students pushing Abel’s head into the toilet, she calls for help. However, Abel won’t talk and tells Nora she should say nothing. The situation of the siblings seem more and more hopeless in this drama which tells the depressing story of a victim of bullying and the brutal consequences of silence and ignorance.

MOZAIK Bridging The Borders Award Honorable Mention:
TORI AND LOKITA – Belgium – Director: Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne. Screenplay: Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne
On the run from Benin to Europe, Tori meets the older Lokita. Arriving in Belgium, they pretend to be siblings. For Lokita, who has entered the country illegally this is her only chance to get a residence permit. Gradually, the authorities are becoming skeptical — a DNA test should clarify. In a maelstrom of hardship and crime the friendship of the “siblings” is put to test. With two impressive amateur actors, the award-winning directors, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, appeal to empathy and humanity in a touching way.


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