11mm festival jury prize goes to Somalia documentary

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

The documentary “Men in the Arena“ by US director J. R. Biersmith has been awarded the 11mm jury award. The four-member expert jury, composed of Hertha BSC Sport Director Michael Preetz, Alba Berlin Vice-president and film scholar Henning Harnisch, Italian Football correspondent Birgit Schönau and Barcelona’s Offside Festival director Oriol Rodríguez- elected to give the award to the American film. The film traces Somalia’s struggle toward rebirth as a footballing nation.

“A most interesting film about a forgotten land and the essence of the game. A documentary masterpiece”, said jury member Birgit Schönau. Michael Preetz praised the “detailed documentary with superb visual language about a strong issue - especially because of its political aspect. A demanding and challenging project.”

“We are particularly happy this year with the great reception for the political films. That shows that football culture also cares about politics in sport”, said Birger Schmidt, festival director.