endowed with

€ 4.000 – donated by KULTUM. Centre for Contemporary Art and Religion in Graz / Diocese of Graz-Seckau

and a voucher for

€ 2,000 – donated by The Grand Post – Post Production Houses

The prize money will be awarded to the director of the film. Austrian short documentary films of the Diagonale ’24 with a length of up to 64 minutes are eligible for the KULTUM award.


Diagonale Prize Short Documentary ’24

Diagonale Prize for Best Short Documentary Film from the KULTUM


Bernhard Hetzenauer

Those Next to Us


Jury statement: We see roads, bends, bridges, an endless stream of lorries and cars, a river, a trailer, a car park – stages of an illegal escape in long static shots. From off-screen we hear the voice of German Lopez Rosales, a young man from Mexico. German is trying to enter the USA illegally with the help of smugglers. We learn how he gets into a boat, crosses the border river, has to hide in a caravan and is finally forced into a boiling hot lorry. In the end, many people are dead, including his friend and a family of five with a baby. Emotional closeness meets visual distance. The harrowing off-screen narration takes us inside the lorry, into the caravan, onto the boat – letting us imagine what the images do not show: The often horrific experience of illegal migrants fleeing. The film cleverly combines its external and internal perspectives. It impressively and sensitively succeeds in portraying the dehumanisation that people on the run experience worldwide – including “next to us”.

Jury short documentary film:
Karin Berger (director, AT)
Norbert Pfaffenbichler (filmmaker, AT)
Julia Zutavern (critic, film scholar, CH)


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