CICAE Art Cinema Award and Ecumenical Jury Award for THEATRE OF WAR (OT: TEATRO DE GUERRA)

February 24, 2018: THEATRE OF WAR has been honored with the CICAE Art Cinema Award, the prize of the International Confederation of Art House Cinemas and the Ecumenical Jury Award at the award presentation of the Independent Juries at the 68. Berlin International Film Festival.

THEATRE OF WAR is an essay on how to represent war, performed by former enemies. The first feature-length film of Argentina’s famous theatre director, performer and visual artist Lola Arias, celebrated its world premiere at this year’s Forum section.

Extract from the jury statement of CICAE: “Faithful to the philosophy and ethics of Berlinale Forum, while blurring the boundaries between fiction and documentary, „Gesamtkunstwerk“ and film, TEATRO DE GUERRA is a brave attempt to negotiate late 20th century postcolonial conflict, The Falklands/Malvinas War, and its painful implications. We would like to highlight TEATRO DE GUERRA ‘s potential to engage diverse international audiences through its analytical and emotional form.”

Extract from the jury statement of the Ecumenical Jury: “More than 3 decades after the conflict has ended, British and Argentinean veterans and young actors explore the stories of the war in a setting that transcends theatre. In this reenactment, the Falkands conflict stands for all wars and their traumatic consequences. War ends lives but here humanity prevails.”
The prize is endowed with 2.500 Euro.

Director: Lola Arias
Argentina / Spain, Germany 2018, 78 Min.
Original language & subtitles: Spanish / English
a GEMA FILMS production
in coproduction with BWP, Sutor Kolonko and SWR/ARTE

The Film
In 1982 Argentina and UK fought the Malvinas/Falklands War. The war ended with the British military victory and took about 1.000 lives, both British and Argentinean.
THEATRE OF WAR tells the story of how six veterans from the Malvinas/Falklands War came together to make a film. British and Argentinian veterans came together to discuss, rehearse and re-enact their memories 35 years after the conflict. The film is a way of showing the social experiment of making an artistic project with one-time enemies of war: the auditions to find the protagonists, the first meetings and discussions with them, the theatrical re-enactments of their memories in different scenarios.
All the scenes in the film are at the same time authentic and artificial. The film playfully switches between reality and fiction, spontaneity and acting. It explores how to transform a soldier into an actor, how to turn war experiences into a story, how to show the collateral effects of war.
THEATRE OF WAR brings together former enemies to perform their wartime and post-war nightmares.

THEATRE OF WAR is part of a project about the memories of war veterans of the Malvinas/Falklands War. The protagonists of the film also perform in the associated play Minefield which premiered in London at the Royal Court Theatre in 2016. It was acclaimed by the critics as the UK Best Play of the year 2016, toured in France, Germany, Greece, UK and Argentina and is booked until 2020.
THEATRE OF WAR was supported by INCAA, the World Cinema Fund and IDFA Bertha Fund.

The Director
Lola Arias is an Argentinean filmmaker, writer, theatre director, visual artist, musician and performer. Her productions play with the overlap zones between reality and fiction. She also created several urban intervention projects.
Lola Arias’ works have been shown at several international festivals (including Lift Festival, Theater Spektakel, Under the radar NY, Wiener Festwochen, Spielart Festival, Steirischer Herbst) and in notable venues like Theatre de la Ville, Red Cat LA, Walker Art Centre, Parque de la memoria, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.

Theatre of War is an audacious re-examination of a puzzling conflict that seeks to uncover painful truth.” The Upcoming
“[…] Arias perfectly encapsulates the pain of these men in a way that grants them autonomy whilst they bear the malevolent legacies of Thatcher and Galtieri.” Scenes Magazine

Press material is available at the Berlinale press service.