BERLIN (Reuters) – Films about terrorism, migration and the struggle for women’s rights swept Germany’s Bambi awards on Thursday evening, with Chinese dissident and filmmaker Ai Weiwei urging the star-studded audience to keep faith in humanity.
“Courage not only belongs to the people who accept the refugees, but also the 65 million people who have lost their homes, who keep some hope in their minds,” said Weiwei, a refugee himself who has lived in Berlin since 2015.
“We must trust in courage … we must trust in humanity,” said Weiwei, who was honored for his film “Human Flow.”
The Bambi awards have been awarded annually since 1948 to those with vision and creativity. The 2017 ceremony reflected the many crises erupting around the world.
Turkish-German filmmaker Fatih Akin won a Bambi for his Oscar-nominated film “In the Fade,” which stars German-born Diane Kruger as a woman whose husband and young son are killed in a far-right bomb attack.
Akin, the son of Turkish immigrants, made the film as a response to growing right-wing violence in Germany.
The anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) party won seats in the lower house of parliament for the first time in the Sept. 24 election, after campaigning against Germany’s decision in 2015 to allow in over a million mainly Muslim migrants.
“Racism is crap – here and everywhere in the world,” Akin said.
Alicia von Rittberg was honored as female actor of the year for her portrayal of a headstrong nurse in “Charite”, a television series set at Berlin’s famed Charite hospital near the end of the 19th century, who fights to become a doctor.
Former German President Joachim Gauck, who helped lead East German protests before the fall of the Berlin Wall, won a Bambi award for a lifetime of service.
Gauck saluted the 30 million people in Germany, over a third of the population, who volunteer their time to work with refugees and on many other programs.
”We have lots of unsolved problems, but we have become a role model for many, he said.
Others recognized during the star-studded evening included German supermodel Claudia Schiffer, who said she was “living proof that if you dare to dream … great things can happen,” and German singer and television host Helene Fischer.
Reporting by Andrea Shalal; editing by Grant McCool