Golden 11 for Salomon Kalou

Tuesday, 04 April 2017

In 2015 he won the African Cup of Nations with the Ivory Coast, in 2012 he denied Bayern their dream home Champions League victory and took the trophy back to London with Chelsea, and now he’s added the 11mm International Football Film Festival’s Golden 11 to his mantelpiece. Salomon Kalou is an internationally successful striker, and he’s also the beloved elephant – the protagonist of the award-winning documentary “Salomon Kalou - L'Elephant Cheri" by Angel Chow-Toun.

This very personal documentary gives an insight into the homeland and family of the Ivorian star. As well as accompanying Kalou with her camera for more than a year, filmmaker Angel Chow-Toun also visited his parents and siblings. She describes their star as a regular, modest man, who never loses sight of his background. Very different to a lot of modern football millionaires.

"I am just a little boy from Africa,” says Kalou after the screening. The guests in the cinema are visibly moved to have come so close to the Hertha BSC star. One member of the audience has to keep reminding himself that – yes – it really is his idol sitting just a row in front of him.

The festival’s short film prize, the 11mm shortkicks Golden 11, was won by Mexican film "Domingo" by director Raúl López Echeverría. The story of a passionate football commentating hobbyist won over the jury of seven prominent personalities from the worlds of film and football. Alongside Hertha BSC’s Salomon Kalou on the panel were his former Chelsea colleague Jeffrey Bruma (currently at VfL Wolfsburg), former German international Arne Friedrich, Helmut Schulte (Director of the Contract Player Department at 1. FC Union Berlin), Anne Leppin (CEO of the German Film Academy), Alfred Holighaus (President of the SPIO Film Association) and singer Kerstin Ott, who also provided a wonderful musical accompaniment to the evening.

Sven-Ole Knuth & Waldefried Forkefeld from WM Studio Mitte presented the short film gala in style. The awarding of the two prizes marked the end of a very international 14th edition of the 11mm Football Film Festival.