8 Awards from EthnoKino to Outstanding Filmmakers and Visionaries 2021




THE ETHNOKINO AWARD OF LIFETIME RECOGNITION 2021 celebrates the ethnographic documentary ‘The Healer and the Psychiatrist’, as the result of twenty three years of committed research in Tonga, realised through a culturally appropriate and valued process, and as part of continued contribution to Tongan health. We award the prize to the medical and visual anthropologist, Dr Mike Poltorak, at the midpoint of the life of a film born of responsibility and commitment to improved health care in Tonga and for the Tongan diaspora. The documentary has gained global recognition through screenings at global festivals and events and has won awards such as Best Feature Film for the Society of Visual Anthropology Film and Media Festival, Best Cinematography for the Collected Voices Film Festival as well as a commendation for the Richard Werbner Award for Visual Ethnography. This Award draws attention to the lifetime commitment made by Dr Poltorak demonstrated by the building and tending of relationships in Tonga, also demonstrated by the allied interactive project, Project Pouono. We also recognise the degree to which the Healer and the Psychiatrist follows a series of documentaries that have also involved long and sensitive involvement in communities, related to the theme of social health. The films include Fun(d)raising: The Secret of Tongan Comedy (2010), One Week West of Molkom (2013) and Five Ways In(2014).


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Jwan Abdo's first short docu-fiction film “PARALLEL” is deserving of an AWARD OF RECOGNITION for its decisive, elegant storytelling and outstanding camera work. Staged in a cozy Berliner cafe, the film is based on a heartwarming conversation about love and war between two strangers coming from parallel worlds. Jwan masterfully captures an instant human connection within the mundane of the everyday.


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Malaz Usta’s first short documentary film is deserving of an AWARD OF RECOGNITION for its innovative editing, affective storytelling concept and outstanding camera work. A personal account of the four seasons of “A Year in Exile”, the filmmaker masterfully takes the audience into the magical streets of Istanbul through a disoriented ballad of speedy and slowed down images, accompanied by his feelings, as he explores notions of identity, belonging and longing in great depths through a uniquely displaced angle of vision.


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Loten Namling, tirelessly dedicated his entire musical life to the freedom and struggle of the Tibetan people. Today, his covers of old Tibetan songs, fusions and creations are recognised to be one of the finest examples of Tibetan arts and culture.His determination in keeping Tibetan culture alive and contributions to it by bringing in new elements and connections are of utmost value and importance to our common human heritage to why EthnoKino film festival committee recognises him as the star of peace and culture.


An Award of Recognition as the INSPIRING VISIONARIES goes to an entrepreneurial duo Martina Wiedemar and João Almeida, whose vision is to co-create a sustainable and regenerative village; The Gandum village. They have started by implementing an agroforest on 14ha where they are located in Portugal, planting tens of thousands of trees and seeds, aiming to restore the deserted soil and bring back life to an uninhabited landscape, while producing healthy and sustainable food for the village. Upon its completion (2023) the Gandum Village aims to host people from all walks of life whom could visit, stay, learn and even live for longer periods. What makes their project innovative and visionary are the aspects of their courage (as they move from Martina's birthplace, Bern, to the countryside of Portugal) and their commitment in beginning a challenging but rewarding self-sustainable life by growing their own food and raising animals are outstanding. We recognize their courage and commitment for bringing the best of collective leadership as they are to build a wider transnational community for a more restorative earth society right in the heart of the Mediterranean homeland of longings (Saudades-Fado) supporting it’s great culinary and traditional heritage.



An Award of Recognition as INSPIRING VISIONARIES goes to the masters of transformation Dr. Rama Mani and Prof. Alexander Schieffer who dedicated their lives to integral and holistic development and justice for humans, their communities and the family of life. Within a trailblazing uniquely home-based pedagogy they have established HOME FOR HUMANITY in their actual home in Haut Valromey in France and as a global vision. Tirelessly, they are working towards igniting a planetary social movement which believes every person, every home and every culture to have the potential to become a catalytic seedbed for transformation for a more just, inclusive and regenerative earth civilisation. Followed by thousands of emerging changemakers from universities and social change initiatives and organisations from literally all continents, they are recognised by and co-creating with many established change pioneers and regenerative leaders of our times. Rama and Alexander, along with their HomeForHumanity dream team, are just about to shift the paradigm from “the love of power to the power of love” - which we cannot wait to see and experience to happen.



An Award of Recognition as the "INSPIRING MEDIA VISIONARIES" goes to Coskun Aral, Murat Toy and Senol Sen as HABITAT TV for co-creating innovative and unconventional content coverage within Turkey. Through their adaptation of a wide array of representations from diverse backgrounds and storytellers, we recognise that they fully live up to their motto "a new living space" for documentary films. We acknowledge their courage to encourage inclusivity and diversity as they operate within a highly challenged industry, which they are determined to transform.



An Award of Recognition as the INSPIRING ANTHROPOLOGIST goes to Dr. Peter Bille Larsen for his long-term critical research engagement work in cracking sustainability challenges of our times. We recognise his policy oriented; scholarly-action-fieldwork engagement in the Peruvian Amazon and Vietnam which he practices with much integrity. We congratulate his commitment to influence international policies for social equity and environmental sustainability as he tirelessly defends environmental defenders, working towards the visibility of unheard peoples from heritage sites across the world .







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