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2023 – What a great festival year!

With its 7th edition between 23 and 29 October 2023, the International Roma Film Festival AKE DIKHEA? was able to consolidate and expand its unique position as the world's leading Roma film festival. Under the patronage of Minister of State for Culture Claudia Roth and in partnership with the European Film Academy, the festival invited people to show the courage of their imagination: With the motto "Decolonise Imagination", it posed fundamental questions about artistic production and representation of Roma* in film and art in general. It became clear that Roma filmmakers can take the narrative into their own hands, reshape the meaning of "being Roma" and - in the words of Artistic Director Hamze Bytyçi - proudly show self-determined clichés!

The festival focused on screenings of 20 short, documentary and feature films from 13 countries, two panel discussions on the decolonisation of film archives and on Roma* in pop culture, a captivating flamenco evening and, of course, the audience favourites: the opening and closing evenings with a little glamour and a lot of music! In one week, the packed programme attracted over 1,000 visitors to the BABYLON cinema and the Grüner Salon at the Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz in Berlin.

In addition, 46 international film professionals travelled to the festival as guests who took part in the specialist programme: the annual meeting of the AVAZYA network of Roma filmmakers, the AVAZYA Film Lab or the online speed dating with leading European short film festivals. For the young audience, the dance star of last year's AKE DIKHEA?, David Kwiek aka Mr Quick, offered a workshop in contemporary dance.

This year, the festival team was supported by over 15 volunteers from the "Kaštenca & Barenca" project, who also brought a fresh, young perspective and a great deal of interest in film. And so we look to the future with great hope

Photos © Stephanie Ballantine

Photos © Alexander Ali Rönisch