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Festival Selection

  • Festival dei Popoli Florence, Italy (opening film, official selection) 
  • One World International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival Prague, Czech Republic (official selection and winner Václav Havel Award) 
  • Sguardialtrove Film Festival Milan, Italy (official selection) 
  • Detour Film Festival Padua, Italy (official selection and winner Special Jury Award) 
  • Pigneto Film Festival Rome, Italy (official selection) 
  • Vittoria Peace Film Fest Sicily, Italy (official selection) 
  • Arcadia Film Festival, France (official selection)
  • Giovedì da Leoni Film Festival, Tuscany, Italy (official selection)
  • Cinema Previews: Zeise Hamburg, Babylon Berlin, Arsenal Tübingen


Feature Documentary | Germany, Italy 2019 | 112 min.

Languages: English, German, Italian, French
Subtitles: German, English
Co-produced by STRG_F, Panorama and NDR Doku
Directors: Nadia Kailouli and Jonas Schreijäg
Editor: Tim Rieckmann
Music: Nils Frahm
Production: Bettina Wieselhuber
Commissioning editor: Anna Orth und Timo Großpietsch

Press Reviews

„This film about ‘Sea-Watch’ is almost two hours long and it is incredibly impressive.“ (translated from German)

Heribert Prantl, Süddeutsche Zeitung 

„If this film is on a platform or network after the Festival dei Popoli – it’s worth seeing.“ (translated from Italian) 

Marina Cappa, Vanity Fair Italy

„Have I ever seen a documentary that shocked and thrilled me more? I don’t think so.“ (translated from German)

Cordt Schnibben, Journalist

“No frills, no lapse into melodrama. (…) This documentary (…) is the rational narrative of an irrational event that took place in the middle of the sea and grew like a tsunami, overwhelming Europe. A film that prefers prose to poetry and informs an increasingly grotesque series of events for which Italian politics has spent many words – and European politics perhaps too few.“ (translated from Italian)

Ilaria Ravarino,

„The feature documentary “SeaWatch3” goes a step further: it is no longer a report, but a narrative. And in its length, it achieves something that has been missing from reports up to now. It establishes a closeness to the refugees on board. The film takes the time to let them speak. They tell of the flight, of the torture in Libya and of the desperate attempt to cross the Mediterranean in an inflatable boat. They are the contemporary witnesses of the European drama and their faces, on the cinema screen, seem like a memorial. They are also something like an answer to the accusation of voyeurism. You don’t want to look into these faces, but you have to endure them. They are not suffering, they are accusing. There won’t be a second film of this kind, because everything fit together here.“  (translated from German)

Paul Hildebrandt, taz

„The camera is always there. It becomes the 23rd crew member, so to speak. Getting used to it makes the events authentic – no one has to act. With clever editing, the filmmakers make the increasing desperation of the crew and the refugees tangible and comprehensible. (…) However, the filmmakers don’t accuse – it’s enough to point the camera at the people.“  (translated from German)

Werner Bauknecht, Schwäbisches Tagblatt

„It became the great documentary of self-controlled, constantly self-examining journalists. Journalists who showed respect to the people they approached. Journalists who didn’t go out to catch spectacular images, but rather to scan and observe, to understand. In its clever unobtrusiveness and its effective composition, the film opens the senses to understanding“ (translated from German)

Laudatio, Hanns-Joachim-Friedrichs-Preis

„In an exemplary way, the film displays the journalistic ethos of observation. (…) Both the psychology of the migrants and that of the crew, the waiting, the agony, the departure and the drama of arrival are shown in an almost thriller-like condensed intensity, in a depth and richness of color that are unparalleled.“ (translated from German) 

Jury-Begründung, Grimme-Preis

„A true Direct Cinema film, shot with measure, tact and mastery on the very ship which was the scene of one of the most conflicting and emblematic events of the recent migratory crises.“ (translated from Italian)

Gazzetta di Siena

„A film that is enlightening, revealing, inspirational and essential.“

Angeliki Coconi, unsung films