18 - 22 October 2000, Friedrichsbau-Lichtspiele, Freiburg


On Sunday, October 22 the ÖKOMEDIA 2000 17th International Environmental Film Festival came to an end. 42 films from 17 countries competed in several prize categories.

The Jury (Günther Bludszuweit, producer, author and cameraman; Susanne Müller, video production manager at Greenpeace Germany; Gülsel Özkan, author and filmmaker; Korinna Schack, consultant in the Federal Ministry of the Environment and Mark Soosaar, festival director and lecturer for film directing) awarded the following prizes:

ÖKOMEDIA Award "Golden Lynx" for the Best Artistic Achievement "BHOPAL EXPRESS" by Mahesh Mathai, India/USA,1999, 90 min.

In his first feature film, the 41-year old director deals with the biggest industrial accident in the world. In 1984, 16,000 people died in Bhopal. Today, hundreds of thousands are still suffering the after-effects.   "Bhopal Express" is exciting, humorous and shocking all at the same time .

It relates a story of people and industry and thus a story of power and powerlessness, too. The film not only depicts a catastrophe, but it is skilfully orchestrated in the way in which it levels its accusations. Right up to the present, only very few victims have received compensation. Hopelessly obsolete industrial plants still represent a threat to life and limb in the Third World.