The Other Side of the River

Antonia Kilian (DoP)

Special Mention
Statement of the Jury (Isabelle Casez, Birgit Guðjonsdottir, Sabine Panossian)

»›I have lived without a man for 20 years, I can live without one for 100 more.‹ To avoid a forced marriage, 19-year-old Hala escapes Minbic in northern Syria and finds shelter on the other side of the Euphrates with the Kurdish military. In Rojava, she learns to fight and gains the self-confidence she needs to protect herself and other women against violence. When she returns to her hometown to rescue her younger sisters, she realises not everyone sees things her way.

We were impressed both by the protagonist and by Antonia Kilian, who takes over the camerawork in her directorial debut and has crafted a compelling thriller of a documentary about women who fight to control their own lives. There are frequent glimpses of freedom: a billowing curtain, a car journey with windblown hair, a carefree swim in the Euphrates.

Hala’s drama is played out for the most part in images. Kilian’s feel for space and efficient storytelling are key to the film’s extraordinary visual strength. The film-maker reflects on her own motivation, and can actually be seen in the film. She deals with film-making and the influence on authenticity and truth of image production both critically and creatively. We were deeply impressed by Kilian’s achievements and the result of her one-woman show.«

Guest: Antonia Kilian

This film has been nominated for the Audience Award endowed with 1,000 euro. Please vote after watching the movie.
You can find an overview of all nominated films here.

Director / Cinematography

Antonia Kilian


Antonia Kilian, Gurvara Namer, Arash Asadi


Arash Asadi


Nadya Derwish

Sound Design

Stephan Konken


Shkoon (Ameen Khayer, Thorben Diekmann)


Lisa Carlehed, Emilie Claudius Kruse


Doppelplussultra Filmproduktion, Pink Shadow Films, Frank Müller, Antonia Kilian, Guevara Namer, Merja Ritola


Greenlit Productions Oy


jip film & verleih

Portrait of director and cinematographer Antonia Kilian

Antonia Kilian (DoP)

Antonia Kilian, born in 1986, is a director, cinematographer and producer. She studied visual communication as well as art and media at Berlin University of Arts and cinematography at the Film University Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF and the ISA in Havana, Cuba. She has worked as director of photography for numerous films, both short and long films, fiction and documentaries, which ran at numerous international festivals, and she has produced experimental films and documentary shorts. She lived in northeast Syria for over a year, and during this time shot footage for her feature-length directorial debut The Other Side of the River. She divides her time between Kassel and Berlin and runs her own film production company Pink Shadow Films.