Bosnian Director Jasmila Zbanic Wins Germany's Kairos Prize

Jasmila Zbanic - P 2012
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The filmmaker, winner of the 2006 Golden Bear for "Esma's Secret: Grbavica," is a prominent activist for victims of the Yugoslav War.

Bosnian director Jasmila Zbanic (Esma's Secret: Grbavica) has won the 2014 Kairos Prize, one of Europe's most highly endowed cultural honors, which comes with a $102,000 (€75,000) cash bursary.

Zbanic has been a prominent figure on the European art house scene since Esma's Secret, her 2006 debut about the fate of one of the victims of the rape camps in the Yugoslav War, which won the Berlin Film Festival's Golden Bear for best film. The film, and Zbanic's activism, led the Bosnian government to formally recognize the country's raped women as war victims, entitling them to a state pension. The Kairos Prize is in recognition of both Zbanic's artistic and activist work.

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Berlin Film Festival director Dieter Kosslick will present Zbanic with the Kairos Prize at a ceremony in Hamburg on Feb. 23.

Awarded by the Alfred Toepfer foundation, the Kairos Prize honors European artists and journalists whose work is judged to have a major cultural and social impact. The winners are chosen by an independent jury. Previous winners include Icelandic writer Andri Snaer Magnason, French eco-designer Katell Gelebart and German musicologist Albrecht Dumling