• The German actor, screenwriter and director will receive the festival’s lifetime achievement Mikeldi Award during the opening gala on 12 November.
  • ZINEBI 63 will run until 19 November.

ZINEBI – International Festival of Documentary and Short Film of Bilbao, organised by the Bilbao City Council, has awarded the first of two of the 63rd Festival’s Mikeldi of Honour Award to Margarethe von Trotta, the actor, screenwriter and director from Berlin. The award is in recognition of the strength and honesty of her films and of the brilliance with which, right from her beginnings as the great female voice of the New German Cinema, she has managed to reflect the growing empowerment of women in European society after the 1968 Revolution in her work. Von Trotta is now considered as one of the most influential feminist filmmakers of the history of film.

After starting out as an actor working with filmmakers of the ilk of Rainer Werner Fassbinder or Volker Schlöndorff, Von Trotta’s accolades during her long career as a director include the Golden Lion Award and the Critics Award at the Venice Film Festival for her film “The German Sisters” (“Die bleierne Zeit”, 1981), and also the Italian David di Donatello for the Best European Film in 1982 (also for “The German Sisters”) and 2004 (for “Rosentrasse”). Since the end of the 1970s, her feature films have competed in prestigious events including the Cannes, Chicago and Montréal film festivals. Von Trotta has also been awarded lifetime achievement awards at the Goteborg, Telluride and Valladolid festivals, to name a few, along with the 2019 Lola – German Film Award.

Foto Margarethe von Trotta ©Alexander Vejnovic

Von Trotta’s debut as a director was alongside Volker Schlöndorff on the adaption of Heinrich Böll’s novel, “The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum” (“Die Verlorene Ehre der Katharina Blum”, 1975). Her career became a model for filmmakers worldwide thanks to the international impact of her films including “The Second Awakening of Christa Klages” (“Das zweite Erwachen der Christa Klages”, 1978), “Sisters, or the Balance of Happiness” (“Schwestern oder Die Balance des Glücks”, 1979), “Sheer Madness” (“Heller Wahn”, 1983) and “Rosa Luxemburg” (1986). All of them were feature films and stared unforgettable actors, of the ilk of Hanna Schygulla, who was awarded the 2003 ZINEBI Mikeldi of Honour, Angela Winkler, Barbara Sukowa and the recently deceased Jutta Lampe.

Her last feature film was “Searching for Ingmar Bergman” (“Auf der Suche nach Ingmar Bergman”, codirected with Felix Moeller & Bettina Böhler, 2018), a documentary screened at ZINEBI three years ago. She is currently working on her next film, which is provisionally called “Bachmann & Frisch”.


In tributed to the filmmaker recognised with the Mikeldi of Honour, ZINEBI 63 will be hosting, along with the Goethe Institut, an encounter with Margarethe von Trotta, moderated by Helena Taberna, the filmmaker for Navarra, at Bilbao Fine Arts Museum on Saturday 13 November. The event will include a screening of her most distinguished film, which was premiered four decades ago: “The German Sisters” (“Die bleierne Zeit”, Margarethe von Trotta, 1981).

On Friday 12 November, Margarethe von Trotta will collect her Mikeldi de Honor during the opening gala of the 63rd ZINEBI, which will run until 19 November.

INstituto goethe