FLEE wins 6th EUFA 2021

After a three-day online deliberation meeting attended by 25 students representing 25 European countries the film FLEE (DK, F, S, NOR 2021) by Jonas Poher Rasmussen was awarded the European University Film Award (EUFA), which is organised by Filmfest Hamburg and the European Film Academy.

FLEE tells the story of Amin Nawabi (a pseudonym), a 36-year-old high-achieving academic, who grapples with a painful secret he has kept hidden for 20 years, one that threatens to derail the life he has built for himself and his soon to be husband. Recounted mostly through animation to director Jonas Poher Rasmussen — his close friend and high-school classmate, he tells for the first time the story of his extraordinary journey as a child refugee from Afghanistan. Through heartfelt interviews between Jonas and Amin, FLEE tells an unforgettable story of self-discovery. Showing how only by confronting the past it is possible to carve out a future, and the universal truth that only when you stop fleeing from who you are you can find the true meaning of home.

Jury statement: “Jonas Poher Rasmussen's animated documentary FLEE untangles Amin's memories as he unveils his own story from fleeing Afghanistan as a child to growing up openly gay in Denmark. The blend of different animation styles layered with the real voice of the protagonist and archival footage brings a surprising sense of realism to the film. The emotional connection to Amin’s story calls attention to the first-world ignorance of the stark reality for refugees and makes audiences reflect on their own position in society. FLEE is a unique artistic exploration of how trauma affects one's sense of self while also bringing us to the conundrum of universal sense of belonging and home.”

Twenty-six universities from 26 European countries are involved in the European University Film Award, each sending a delegate to the conference, where the nominated films are being discussed and the winner is voted on. The previous winners of the European University Film Awards are: 2020: SAUDI RUNAWAY (D: Susanna Regina Meures); 2019: PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE (D: Céline Sciamma); 2018: HAPPY AS LAZZARO (D: Alice Rohrwacher); 2017: HEARTSTONE (D: Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson); 2016: I, DANIEL BLAKE (D: Ken Loach).

The European University Film Award is organized by FILMFEST HAMBURG and the European Film Academy in close cooperation with the NECS European Network for Cinema and Media Studies and funded by by Hamburg Marketing and Alfred Toepfer Stiftung F.V.S.

In 2019 it became an official category of the European Film Awards.

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