Today, at the International Tourism Exchange (ITB) in Berlin, the Studienkreis für Tourismus und Entwicklung (Institute for Tourism and Development) awarded the TOURA D'OR to the winners of the contest. Since 1990, the film contest has been organised every second year and gives awards to film and TV productions which promote a socially responsible, environmentally more compatible and sustainable way of tourism.
In the category "Informational films and Documentaries" three contributions won the TOURA D'OR trophy. In addition, a "Commendation" was given to one production. One film received the Special "Pedagogy" Award of the Conference of Regional Film Services. No awards could be given in the categories "Service and Magazine Contributions" and "Advertising Films and Advertising Spots". Altogether 60 film productions were entered for the contest. "We are particularly pleased that two thirds of the films entered dealt with developing countries", said the Managing Director of the Studienkreis, Dietlind von Laßberg.
Among the three TOURA D'OR winners of equal rank is the film by Bernd Reufels and Andrea Schubert Lake Baikal - Siberia's Mysterious Soul (ZDF, Editorial Department Wissen und Service/Reiselust, 43 minutes, German, 2005). The documentation won the award because it takes the viewer on a journey to a destination that is indeed worth seeing, and promotes the kind of tourism which puts the least possible burden on people, society, culture and nature. The encounters with fishermen, seal hunters and ship builders portray the living and working conditions of the people and depict insights into the local culture of the Buryats. The cautious tourism development is to show the young indigenous people a possible perspective for their future which might prevent them from migration. Beautiful - but by no means euphemistic - images corroborate both the information and the emotions proliferated by the documentary. The proverbial "magic of the Baikal" is appealing and tempting.
Another film which was awarded the TOURA D'OR 2006 is Cape Verde - Islands of Hope by Antje Christ (Christ Media GmbH, 45 minutes, German, 2005). The contribution provides a good impression of the islands of the Cape Verde archipelago. The structural change of the archipelago towards a beach resort destination for international tourists is portrayed in a lively way and illustrated through personal accounts. The viewer is able to get a differentiated impression and to learn about some of the solutions used for remedying the pressing problems, solutions that bring hope that the future might be more secure and stable. On the other hand, critical comments are not omitted. The TOURA D'OR jury is of the opinion that this is a sensuously beautiful film evoking emotions associated with "beach-wind-sun-hope", supplemented with music that makes the viewer experience the rhythm of Cape Verde.
The TOURA D'OR trophy is also awarded to Wonderful Crete, a production by Ralf Gierkes and Richard Hofer (WDR, Editorial Department Travel, 88 minutes, German, 2006). In Wonderful Crete, the moderator Tamina Kallert accompanies the viewer on a tour of the island. The film presents among others environmentally compatible and socially responsible tourism offers, such as hikes through the canyons of the National Park of Samaria, ecological tourism projects for the protection of the Caretta-Caretta tortoise or bicycle tours through rural regions. In this way, the entertaining and informative film, which is also spiced with practical hints, is intended to appeal to a large group of travellers and culturally interested people. The production encourages the traveller to look behind the tourism scenes through discussion and encounter with the local people. In addition, the film propagates a sensitive and appropriate attitude towards the country and its people.
The jury did not award a TOURA D'OR trophy, but a "Commendation" to the film The Return of Sex Tourism - The Tsunami, Poverty and Prostitution by Wolfgang Luck (a&o buero köln, 45 minutes, German, 2006). The production which was broadcast by the SWR focuses on the worst impacts of tourism, i.e. sex tourism, with Thailand as a case in point. The film features the scene one year after the Tsunami disaster. In a number of personal statements European men confirm their desire for sex with young women. And the victims describe their hopeless situation. The film presents aid projects and illustrates a case of child abuse where the judiciary and the law enforcing authority obviously fail to bring to justice a German with a previous conviction.
Although alternative positions and constructive examples are largely omitted, the investigative contribution may still enhance a change of awareness. The jury argues that one must be critical of the fact that the film does not take an ethical standpoint but rather pinpoints the statements of the culprits and the victims without passing judgement. Moreover, the film does not give the viewer any possibility to probe into possible fields of action.
The Special "Pedagogy" Award of the Conference of Regional Film Services went to the contest entry Being different from one another without fear - An encounter with one's own self in a foreign setting by Matthias Körting and Stephan Schack (European Youth Centre for Education and Encounter in Weimar, 42 minutes, German, 2005). In a film travel diary, a 17 year old girl recounts her experiences and impressions during her journey to Turkey with a youth group that was accompanied by pedagogically trained staff. The "European Youth Centre for Education and Encounter in Weimar" organises such two-week journeys to promote direct exchange. Contacts to families, insights into the everyday life of gardeners or hair dressers, discussions on gender issues, deliberations on religious or cultural differences are the basis for reflection on one's own attitude on the one hand, while also encouraging the acceptance of "diversity" on the other hand.
In his laudation Mr. Gerd Ruge emphasised that "the award-winning films are convincing examples of how foreign travellers can be inspired to develop understanding and readiness to come close to the life of their hosts. Only if the tourist does not shy away from encounter can a holiday tour turn to a model of sustainable tourism."
For detailed project descriptions with rationales for the awards see:
Responsible for the
text: Klaus Betz