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April 12, 2021

 

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Romani film festival in Berlin gives special recognition to film about removing pig farm from WWII-era concentration camp site in Czech Republic

24.11.2020 7:29
From left to right: Renata Berkyová, František Bikár, Vila Tokárová, producers of the documentary film
From left to right: Renata Berkyová, František Bikár, Vila Tokárová, producers of the documentary film "LETY". (PHOTO: Nikola Ramešová)

The AKE DIKHEA? film festival has given a special award to the documentary film "LETY", produced by ROMEA TV in the Czech Republic. Hamze Bytyci, the artistic director of the festival, gave special recognition to the film produced by Romani community members Renata Berkyová, František Bikár and Viola Tokárová. 

The film "Lindy the Return of Little Light" won the award for best film and the audience appreciation award. "Letter of Forgiveness" by Alina Serban won the prize for best short film.

"I am very glad 'LETY' was screened at the festival and even won an award. I thank everybody who contributed to producing it and who aided us," Bikár told news server Romea.cz.

"I especially thank the entire team of the ROMEA organization for collaborating so well with the production team. The AKE DIKHEA? festival award is very important, both to us and for the film itself," he said. 

"This award is mainly important to us because thanks to this film, we can tell the story of the postwar and the contemporary history of Holocaust survivors from the Romani community even outside the Czech Republic. We especially thank Čeněk Růžička and the other interviewees for giving us their time and sharing their memories and experiences with us, which was often difficult," Berkyová said during the awards ceremony.

'LETY' captures the efforts of many different stakeholders in the Czech Republic to remove an industrial pig farm from the wartime site of what was once called a Zigeunerlager in what was then the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. The documentary also reviews the ongoing debate about that history in Czech society.

In June 2018 the ROMEA team began production of the feature-length film about the site associated with the Holocaust and its Romani victims. The film was produced thanks to financial support from Bader Philanthropies of Milwaukee, Wisconsin and the Embassy of the United States of America to the Czech Republic. 

The fourth AKE DIHEA? International Festival of Romani Film was produced in Berlin and its expert jury reviewed 17 films this year. Between 19-23 November 2020 the films were screened online through the festival website.

ROMEA, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Film, Lety u Písku, ROMEA, Soutěž



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