"1989" by Anders Østergaard and Hungarian director Erzsébet Rácz received the TV doc award in the Cultural and General Interest category at Prix Italia (19-24 September), the oldest and arguably most prestigious international competition for the media. See trailer below
The jury motivated their choice:
"An unconventional story, the film reveals the mysteries of recent history and highlights the important role played by Hungary. The result is highly impressive, original and unprecedented."
"1989," which premiered last year at CPH:DOX marking the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Iron Curtain, centres on pivotal events leading up to the collapse in November 1989:
When the 40-year-old economist Miklós Németh was made prime minister of Hungary in 1988, no one expected him to be anything but a puppet of the Party. Instead, he went his own way, tearing a hole in the Iron Curtain. Playing a crucial role in the narrative is the attempted escape from the Eastern Bloc by a young East German couple. As they try their luck at the Hungarian-Austrian border, they are suddenly caught in the political power game, and the young man is shot dead. This tragic event accelerates Németh's decision to finally open the borders.
Anders Østergaard's international breakthrough came with "Burma VJ – Reporting from a Closed Country" (2008), about Burma's undercover video journalists filming the monks' massive uprising in 2007. For it he received an Oscar nomination and took home a record-breaking number of international awards.
"1989" is produced by Magic Hour Films, with international rights managed by First Hand Films World Sales of Zürich.
Read interview with Anders Østergaard: The Man Who Tore a Hole in the Iron Curtain