Ministry of the Environment


EKOFILM has selected the winners. A film about deep-sea mining in the oceans receives the Minister of the Environment Award

EKOFILM knows its winners. The jury has decided on the best films from the final twenty-five. There were awards for documentaries in a total of three categories - Nature's Beauty, Central European Films and Short Films, and the Main Prize of the Minister of the Environment for the best film and the President's Award of the festival.

Originally 243 films were entered, totalling over 112 hours in length. From these, the Programming Department selected 25 films from 15 countries which were screened during the 48th EKOFILM Film Festival in Brno. The jury then selected three of them to win the prize. The other two prize winners were selected by the Minister of the Environment Anna Hubáčková and the President of the festival Laco Miko.

In Too Deep - The True Cost of Deep Sea Mining is the title of the film that received this year's Main Prize of the Minister of the Environment for the best film. One of the prizes of this year's EKOFILM festival thus goes to the Netherlands, specifically to director Maarten van Rouveroy.

The deep ocean is the largest, least explored and last untouched ecosystem. It is not only the habitat of millions of species of incredibly diverse organisms, but also the site of precious metals of interest to mining companies. Commercial deep-sea mining would likely lead to the irreversible devastation of the blue heart of the planet, without which the Earth will be uninhabitable for living organisms. Or even for us humans. I believe that the document can be a warning to make a wise decision in time and leave the deep sea in its pristine condition, on which our own existence depends, the Minister of the Environment Anna Hubáčková commented on the award.

The documentary Incendios focused on the burning of Bolivian forests. It was awarded the President's Prize at the festival. In Bolivia, forest burning is still legal and large-scale destructive fires so often plague the country. Czech documentary filmmaker Martin Trabalik and Bolivian director Geraldine Zambrana Velez took their camera to the front lines of the fight against the fire among the volunteer firefighters who are doing everything they can to keep the fire under control. However, the firefighters are not only fighting against the natural elements, but above all against reckless deforestation. The film is a very evocative memento for our society, said Festival’s president Laco Miko.

The category Beauty of Nature was completely dominated by Iranian director Farshid Azari's Drops Give Life

This meditative observational documentary offers what we all need in these hectic times - slowing down. It also suggests a way out of the climate crisis. It demonstrates not only the interconnectedness between the natural world and the human world, but also that change can and must come from each of us, summarises jury member Jan Svatoš.

The theme of recycling was explored in the film that the jury awarded in the Central European Films category. The Recycling Myth was made in Germany by directors Tom Costello and Benedict Wermter. This German documentary uncovers, in an engaging form of investigative reporting, where waste destined for recycling actually ends up. Disturbing revelations show how big companies distort the facts about recycling and deceive consumers in order to grow and continue polluting the environment. The film offers a cautionary and valuable insight into the world of big business and greenwashing, says juror Martin Šrajer.

In the Short Films section, Once There Was a Sea... a documentary about the disappearance of the Aral Sea, cored the top prize. The author of the Slovak documentary is Joanna Kozuch.

Once There Was a Sea... is a mosaic of memories, from which director Joanna Kozuch composes an impressive picture of one of the biggest ecological disasters of the last century. The short animated documentary tells not only about the dying of Lake Aral, but also more generally about the warning consequences of ill-considered human interventions in nature and the powerlessness of individuals in the face of reckless political decisions, says juror Martin Šrajer.

The organiser of the EKOFILM film festival is the Ministry of the Environment of the Czech Republic. The festival is also supported by the Statutory City of Brno and SAKO Brno company.

The festival is held under the auspices of the Minister of the Environment Anna Hubáčková, Minister for European Affairs, Mikuláš Bek, the Governor of the South Moravian Region, Jan Grolich, Mayor of the Statutory City of Brno, Markéta Vaňková, Mayor of the Brno-střed district, Vojtěch Mencl, Rector of Masaryk University Martin Bareš and Jan Mareš, Rector of Mendel University.

14. 10. 2022