The Werner Herzog Film Award 2018 goes to

The Werner Herzog Film Award, an annual award endowed with a sum of Euro 5,000, can go to a feature film, a documentary, a filmmaker, an actor, or anyone working in the art of cinema. It will be given to a special achievement in innovation, courage and vision. The award is open to citizens of all countries. There is no application procedure, and no competition.

The Werner Herzog Foundation Award 2018 goes to




LILIANA DIAZ CASTILLO and ESTEPHANIA BONNETT ALONSO are being awarded for their extraordinary creative dedication and commitment to organise workshops for young filmmakers from around the world under the guidance of a renowned director in order to encourage an innovative and authentic style and vocabulary in filmmaking.

As Werner Herzog explains:

This year we are honouring the vision of the two creators of Black Factory Cinema, based in Barcelona/Spain who initiated a very successful format of film workshops that began with the late Iranian filmmaker and poet Abbas Kiarostami. Young filmmakers from all over the world – all of them already professionals – apply and are selected to join a masterclass in an environment that is mostly unknown for them, like Cuba or the Peruvian rainforest. They are required to arrive without preconceived ideas or prepared scripts for a film. They have to conceive, shoot, and edit a film within nine days. On the tenth day the films will be viewed by all participants. The pressure upon them is relentless, similar to what they are to encounter in the real world of cinema. The person who leads the masterclass announces a general frame, a topic, within which the films have to be made. In 2018, near the Peruvian jungle town of Puerto Maldonado, the setup, made known on the first day, was "Fever Dreams in the Jungle". The young filmmakers had to conceive a story for a short film between 5 and 10 minutes, find their locations and their actors, shoot with their digital cameras they brought with them and edit the films on their own laptops. However, the participants were encouraged to form teams, help each other out, and maintain contacts beyond the workshop. During the entire process – concepts of storytelling, casting, shooting, and editing – I was available and supervised the work in progress. 48 young filmmakers from 28 countries took part and all of them, without exception, completed their films. Three things stood out: the exciting concept, the insight the two awardees showed in making an extraordinary selection from a huge amount of applications, and the calibre of the films made by the participants. A selection of their films, based upon a ballot taken by the entire group, will be shown at festivals around the world, including Locarno, Berlin and Barcelona. This selection will be presented during the award session in Munich. The quality of the selection and the quality of many of the other films that did not make it to the list of the 15 best films give evidence of the vision of Liliana Diaz Castillo and Estephania Bonnett Alonso.

Biography Liliana Diaz Castillo:

Liliana Diaz Castillo (1979) hails from Colombia to create and direct in 2014 the project: Workshop of Authors for young filmmakers with great Masters of Cinema. The project is based on her experience as a student of the Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami, with whom she collaborated for more than 3 years in conducting workshops practices in Colombia 2014, Spain 2015 and Cuba 2016, as well as collaboration in many of his short films. In 2017 she continues directing her project of its creation for young authors from around the world, this time by the German director Werner Herzog, who receives the legacy of the Iranian director and makes it his own in Cuba 2017 and again in the Amazon Rainforest of Peru in 2018. More than 200 short films have been produced thanks to the authors' workshop, many of them awarded at international festivals such as Locarno, Berlinale, among others. In parallel, she develops her work as a director and screenwriter. She is currently preparing ESTELA, her debut feature film to be shot in the fall of 2019 in co-production between Colombia, Spain and Brazil.

Biography Estephania Bonnett Alonso:

I began producing the workshops "Shooting with..." by inviting Abbas Kiarostami, who was already producing these same activities in his home country Iran, I aimed at rendering this activity more international. My idea was to be able to develop a space for creation in which emerging authors will make a short film under the guidance of a master of cinema. After an international call, 50 students were selected to attend the workshop. Each of them had to make a short film on a specific topic from the conception, to the shooting and all the way to the edition using the minimum resources they had at their disposal. With the idea of reaching all different kinds of audience in mind, looking for locations all over the world turned out to be a key element for this initiative. Simultaneously, different "master classes" were held for students and open to the public where a retrospective into the guest's career was made I am currently building my own film production company with bases in Spain and Colombia. My idea is to make all branches implicated in film production to be involved and thus create a stable model in which education, production, financing and distribution are connected and interact which each other. Guided by the idea that creativity generates more creativity and that the ways of making and watching movies are continually evolving, I believe that new ways of producing, creating and imagining are called for.

The award ceremony is going to take place on
Friday, November 2, 2018 at 7 pm
at the Munich Cinematheque (Filmmuseum München), St.-Jakobs-Platz 1

The ceremony is followed by the screening of 15 selected short films from the workshop Peru and a live discussion between the awardees and Werner Herzog.

Limited ticket sale.