WaLa 2019 – who got “a piece of happiness”?

On the evening of 22 July 2019, the audience experienced the climax of the 2nd WaLa International Film Festival – the closing ceremony – in the Domhof Ladenburg.

The presenter Caroline Fuchs again moderated the evening and was musically supported by Barbara Mauch-Heinke, Max Heinke and Sabine Weil. Especially the music created a special atmosphere on the hot summer evening and increased the tension towards the following award ceremony. Mohammad Hassan Nazeri, director of the festival, called the preparatory work of the festival a “12-month marathon” and thanked the WaLa team for their stamina. According to Nazeri, millions of people in the world today are in search of human dignity – the “piece of happiness”, so to speak – in a life marked by wars, crises and inhumanities. He announced that further strong themes would follow next year as well, because the search for the lost dignity of man is far from over.

Mayor Stefan Schmutz, patron of the festival, also welcomed the topic and stressed the importance of the festival. He expressed that the second edition of the festival had also been held under the motto “visiting friends in Ladenburg” and expressed his thanks to the many volunteers.

The WaLa Festival team also wanted to say thanks. Michaela Jaschke, Rainer Ziegler, Dr. Nicole Neßling and Sabine Weil personally presented this year’s WaLa thank you gift to the closest cooperation partners.

Accompanying protagonists very closely as they flee, fighting for women’s rights, telling stories about friendship – with and without words – and taking other perspectives; these were the topics that occupied Elke Werry, Michael Ackermann, Salim Alafenisch, Christina Stihler, Max Damm and Mohammad Hassan Nazeri the most. Together they finally awarded the prizes for the best short, medium-length and feature film, as well as the special jury prize. The Zonta Club Weinheim e.V. also sponsored a prize this year: Ruth Syren presented it on behalf of a filmmaker who, just like the Zonta Club, supports women’s rights worldwide. Last but not least, Jürgen Sattel – a representative of the audience – announced the winner of the audience award.

The selected films of the International Film Festival WaLa 2019 are

Short Films

  1. Dead Animals by David Oesch & Remo Rickenbacher
  2. My Dad wants to go Mecca by Hassan Natiqi
  3. Red Fish by Said Mohsen Hossaini

Middle-lenght Films

  1. Progress in the Valley of the People who don’t know by Florian Kuhnert
  2. Elja – 376 A.D. by Willi Kubica

Feature-length Films

  1. A Letter to the President by Roya Sadat
  2. Yve’s Promise by Melanie Gärtner
  3. Midnight Traveler by Hassan Fazili

Jury Award

Yve’s Promise by Melanie Gärtner

Zonta Club Weinheim e. V. Award

A Letter to the President by Roya Sadat

Audience Award

Midnight Traveler by Hassan Fazili