Drone takes off at Berlin, with the peace award and foreign sales
by Jorn Rossing Jensen
- BERLIN 2015: Tonje Hessen Schei’s documentary has been named Most Valuable Documentary of the Year by Cinema for Peace
Investigating the consequences of the robotic revolution on modern warfare, Norwegian director Tonje Hessen Schei’s documentary Drone [+see also:
film profile] has been flying high at the Berlinale, receiving the Cinema for Peace Award and kicking off its sales at the European Film Market.
At the awards gala in Berlin’s Konzerthaus, Drone was named Most Valuable Documentary of the Year by Cinema for Peace, an organisation that has, since 2002, presented the prize to international films focussing on human rights issues. Other contenders included US director Laura Poitras’ acclaimed Oscar favourite, Citizenfour [+see also:
At the same time, Danish international sales boutique LevelK launched Schei’s third film at the market and signed contracts for the UK (Kaleidoscope Film), France (Zylo), Spain (Indigenius), Finland (YLE), Estonia (EESTI), the former Yugoslavia (Tricontinental), and Australia and New Zealand (Vendetta Films).
For Drone, Schei, who in Independent Intervention (2006) examined the American media's coverage of the war in Iraq, filmed victims of US drone attacks in Waziristan (Pakistan) as well as the young American pilots who control the killings from joysticks on the other side of the world.
The Lars Løge production for Flimmer Film, “revealing some of the crucial secrets of the CIA’s drone warfare”, has previously collected prizes for Best Norwegian Documentary and the Checkpoint Human Rights Award at Bergen, adding the Norwegian Peace Film Award at Tromsø.
A ten-minute cut of Drone was recently released on UK paper The Guardian’s website. It will reach Norwegian theatres on 27 February, through Tour de Force, and the Kosmorama International Film Festival in Trondheim has invited Schei and one of the main people featured in the movie, former US drone pilot Brandon Bryant, to the 2 March screening at the gathering.