Award Nr. 21 and 22

Schwerin Film Festival, 2009

The jury: Barbara Albert (film-maker, producer), Bettina Böhler (cutter), Bernd Böhlich (film-maker), Axel Prahl (actor) and Ursula Werner (actress)

"The Flying Ox" (main award for Best Feature Film)


NDR Director's Prize (awarded by NDR)

Jury statement:

For a Moment Freedom is a highly political and truthful film which liberates the fate of refugees from the anonymity of newsreels. It is a moving plea for the right of every person to a life of self-determination. For a Moment Freedom tells its different stories without pointing the moral finger - and precisely for this reason it also refers directly to our own lives. We are no longer just an audience; instead we are called upon to display tolerance, solidarity and shared humanity.

The feature film jury of the 19th M-V Film Festival awards the NDR Director's Prize to the film For a Moment Freedom by Arash T. Riahi

Arash T. Riahi has directed his outstanding ensemble of actors with sensitivity and humour without resorting to the sentimental. In every instance he portrays his characters in authentic and plausible fashion. With virtuoso skill and immense care the director assembles the wealth of individual stories to form a whole: a film which is full of surprises and twists. Since it always remains close to the characters, the film prompts us to share their hopes - which are often painfully shattered. The great courage and strength of the characters draws us with them on an emotional voyage and permits us to suffer and laugh along with them.


Award Nr. 19 and 20

Open Doek Film Festival, Belgium

Canvas Award (main competitive prize)


Youth Jury Award



The Canvas Award goes to For a Moment Freedom, an astonishing film characterized by amazing directing techniques and performances as well as a powerful screenplay, soundtrack and photography. All characters have their own motives and give a realistic view on the refugee problem. A classic, emotional film that makes a lasting impression.

The festival jury: Arpais du Bois, Juliette Duret, Martine Huvenne, Catherine Wilmes, Michel Van Hove, Serge Baeken and Martin Heylen (president)


The youngsters' jury award goes to For a Moment Freedom, a film with many different characters whose lives and personalities are clearly depicted. The film presents a very realistic portrayal of the problems refugees are to overcome in order to find a safe place to live. The current European problems are beautifully brought to the screen. Even humour is an important aspect of the film. It is highly enjoyable to see how some people manage to keep their spirits up in straitened circumstances. Sad situations alternate with funny scenes and near the end of the film you will be doubled over with laughter. A very impressive film that keeps the audience captivated until the very end.


Award Nr. 17 and 18

10. Festival del Cinema Europeo in Lecce, Italy

Special Jury Award


Special Audition Award

The international jury consisted of Eva Zaoralová (film critic and Artistic Director of the Karlovy Vary Film Festival in the Czech Republic), Carlos Hugo Aztarain (film journalist and actor, Spain), Phillip Bergson (film journalist, scriptwriter and consultant, UK), Carlo di Carlo (film critic and film-maker, Italy) and Dunja Clemens (film producer, Slovenia)


Award Nr. 16

Thomas Pluch Script Prize 2009, Austria

Jury statement

We had to choose from three very different scripts, and each of them was entitled to be shortlisted. We had to select one script from Rimini by Libertad Hackl, März by Klaus Händl and For a Moment Freedom by Arash T. Riahi.

In the end we decided on For a Moment Freedom. The script tells the story of people escaping from the dictatorship in Iran and arriving in an alien culture, depicting the tragedy associated with the situation. This is the material for a great feature film. The script is marked by its portrayal of great emotions narrated in plausible fashion. It selects a number of different and tenderly assembled perspectives on a highly dramatic situation.

We are delighted to award Arash T. Riahi the 2009 Thomas Pluch Script Prize.

The members of the international jury given the task of selecting one of the three nominated screenplays are: Viola Jäger (producer and partner in the respected company Olga Film, Munich, with works including Kirschblüten - Hanami, Der bewegte Mann, Kleine Haie), Prof. Christoph Fromm (Head of the Script Department in Ludwigsburg, scriptwriter for directors including Dominik Graf, Friedemann Fromm and Torsten C. Fischer), Karl Markovics (award-winning Austrian actor).


Award Nr. 14 and 15

Max Ophüls Film Festival / Saarbrücken 2009

Award of Saarlands Prime Minister


Interfilm Prize

Jury statement for the Award of Saarlands Prime Minister

Arash T. Riahi has made a film which makes us feel uncomfortable in our Fortress Europe. For a Moment Freedom depicts Kurdish and Iranian refugees in Ankara, showing them not merely as passive victims but as protagonists of a flesh and blood, thus developing deep humanity. It also shows the comic incidents that take place in a hopeless situation, without this lessening the power of its accusations. It provides us with images of the violence we Europeans employ to exclude those people who dream of our freedom and our democracy.

"Why do you need papers to go and see your parents?". This question, posed by the Iranian girl, continues to haunt us.

Jury statement for the Interfilm Prize

Arash T. Riahi has found a virtually unexplored perspective on a great subject of our time: day: refugees. He has the ability to connect exemplary stories with faces and to move his audience emotionally without losing track of the central aspect of his subject. With extreme sensitivity he alternates between tragedy and humour, showing these asylum-seekers in all their human variety.


Award Nr. 12 and 13:

5. Amazonas Film Festival, Manaus, Brazil

  • Premio do Público Ficcao - Public's Prize
  • Grande Premio Ficcao - Grand Prize for Best Movie

Jury members:

Jury president: Sir Alan Parker (director, writer & producer: "Mississippi Burning", "Midnight Express", "The Commitments", "Birdy")

  • Neve Campbell (actress, Canada: "The Company" Robert Altman, "Scream" Wes Craven, "Wild Things")
  • Joe Hisaishi (composer, director & writer: "Hana-bi", "Prinzessin Mononoké", "Sonatine", "Le voyage de Chihiro")
  • Parker Posey (actress, USA: "Fay Grim", "Henry Fool" Hal Hartly, "Dazed and Confused", "Superman Returns")
  • Santiago Amigorena (writer & director, Argentina: "Another kind of Silence", "A few days in September")
  • Tcheky Karyo (actor, France: "Nikita", "1492", "James Bond Goldeney")
  • Malti Sahai (festival director and curator, India)
  • Ana Maria Magalhaes (director & actress, Brazil: "Lara", "Oswaldianas")
  • Mauro Lima (director, writer & producer: "Meu nome nao é Johnny")


Award Nr. 11

2. Festival Internacional San Luis Cine, Argentina

Mejor Guion (Best Screenplay)

Jury members:

Jury president: Ben Gazzara (actor "Killing of a Chinese Bookie", John Cassavates)

  • Ariana Aizemberg (actress, Argentina)
  • Analía Gadé (actress, Spain)
  • Juan José Jusid (director, Argentina) "Apasionados", "Made in Argenitina"
  • Jose F. Ludlow (producer, lecturer at American Film Institut, BFA California) "Die Chroniken von Narnia", "Blow", "Liebe in Zeiten der Cholera"
  • Roberto Stabile (Head of the ANICA, Italian Producers' Association)


Award Nr. 8, 9 and 10

19. Festival International du Film D'Histoire-Pessac, France

  • Prix du Public - Publics' Prize
  • Prix du Jury Officiel - Main Award of the Jury
  • Prix du Jury étudiant - Student Award


Jury: President :

Mahamat-Saleh HAROUN, cinéaste, président du fond SUD du CNC

Patrick BERTHOMEAU, éditorialiste au journal Sud Ouest, ancien critique de cinéma

Caroline HUPPERT, réalisatrice, présidente du FIPA Biarritz

Stéphane KHÉMIS, historien, ancien directeur de la revue L'Histoire

Hugues PAGAN, ancien inspecteur de police à Paris, auteur de romans policiers et scénariste de films et de séries de télévision


Award Nr. 6 & 7:

Festival du Cinéma Européen en Essonne/France

Public Award & Student Award

Jury members:

Maurice Benichou (actor, appeared in "Caché" by Michael Haneke), Jocelyne Desverchère (actress), Jean-Pascal Hattu (director), Pierre-Yves Borgeaud (director and screenwriter), Jérôme Mallien (actor) as well as a number of students.


Award Nr. 5

Vienna Film Award for Best Austrian Film 2008, Vienna Film Festival 08

On the basis of a majority decision the 2008 Vienna Film Prize is awarded to the feature film For a Moment, Freedom by Arash T. Riahi. The film deals with one of the oldest human longings - the desire for freedom, the desire to live in a better, more just place. The film produces unexpected images of freedom: a piece of paper with a visa, a smile before an execution, an embrace, a cooked swan. In a gripping juxtaposition of tragedy and humor the film succeeds in depicting the reality of people who are refugees. The film shows the happiness and unhappiness of its protagonists without changing its tone. We were impressed by the commanding narrative style as well as the performances of the actors and actresses. We would like to express our warmest congratulations to Arash T. Riahi and his team.


Andrea Braidt, Dimitré Dinev, Michael Kerbler, Ernst Molden, Sylvie Rohrer


Award Nr. 4

13è Festival international des jeunes réalisateurs de Saint Jean de Luz

CHISTERA du Meilleur Réalisateur Prix Alain POIRE SCREENVISION

Christera Award for Best Directing

The prize is named after Alain Poire, the French producer who produced a large number of films, including works by Robert Bresson, Claude Autant-Lara and Yves Robert.

In their statement the jury praised the outstanding direction and acting as well as the universal message of the film.

The President of the Jury was the French/Tunisian producer Ariel Zeitoun ("La Banquiére", "L'Homme blessé" by Patrice Chérau, "Le dernier gang").

Other members of the jury:

Anna Galiena: actress ("Jamon, Jamon" by Bigas Luna, "A life in Suitcases" by Peter Greenaway, "Trois vies et une seule mort" by Raoul Ruiz)

Carmelo Romero: Spanish theatre director, curator, festival director (Institut du Cinéma et des Arts Audiovisuelles ICAA, Festival de Vallodolid, Member of the Expert Committee of the FIAPF)

Delphine Gleize: director ("Carnages" Un certain Regard, Cannes 2002)

Alfred Lot: screenwriter, director ("Roselyne et les lions", "I' Amant", "Artémisia")


Award Nr. 3

4. Zürich Film Festival

Golden Eye Award for the Best First Feature Film

For a Moment Freedom by Arash T. Riahi was awarded the Golden Eye, the Prize for the Best Debut Feature Film, at the 4th Zurich Film Festival by a jury headed by Peter Fonda. The Zurich Film Festival (ZFF) is one of the most important international festivals for young talent and is held annually in Zurich. The film festival is committed to promoting the works of young directors and screenwriters from all over the world.

Jury statement

We've chosen a film that is both important and moving. Powerfully unveiling the consequences of today's politics on human lives. A talented and strong cast, compelling intertwined stories and the focus on the human experience convinced us.


Peter Fonda: actor and director/president of the jury ("Easy Rider")

Claudia Puig: film critic "USA Today". Pulitzer prize-winner

Hervé Schneid: Editor for Sally Potter, Mike Figgis, Jean-Pierre Jeunet ("Delicatessen", "Orlando", "Amélie")

Stephen Nemeth: founder and general manager of Rhimo Films ("Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas", "Fields of Fuel", winner of the Sundance Audience Award).

Andrea Staka: director and producer ("Das Fräulein" won the 2006 Golden Leopard at the Locarno Film Festival)

Michael Dougherty: artist, illustrator, writer and director. Dougherty wrote the script for the blockbusters "Superman Returns" (2006) and "X2:X-Men United" (2003).

Dror Shaul: screenwriter and director. His "Sweet Mud" won numerous prizes including the Sundance IFF Grand Jury Award.


Award Nr. 2

At the renown "A" festival, the World Film Festival in Montreal, For a Moment Freedom wins the

Golden Zenith for the Best First Feature Film

The jury included Pierre-Henri Deleau (France), Denis Héroux (Canada) and Armand Lafond (Canada).


Award Nr. 1

Special Mention for the screenplay of For a Moment Freedom in the 2003 Carl Mayer Script Awards



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