February 14, 2024

“Green border”, the winning film of the UNIMED Award 2023, now at cinemas


One of the most popular films at the Venice Film Festival has arrived in cinemas. Green border, the new film by Agnieszka Holland and winner of the UNIMED Award at the Venice International Film Festival in 2023, is officially out in cinemas in Italy.

In the treacherous and swampy forests that make up the so called “green border” between Belarus and Poland, refugees from the Middle East and Africa trying to reach the European Union are trapped in a geopolitical crisis cynically engineered by Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko. In an attempt to provoke Europe, refugees are lured to the border by propaganda promising easy passage to the EU. Pawns in this hidden war, the lives of Julia, a newly minted activist who has given up her comfortable life, Jan, a young border guard, and a Syrian family intertwine.

As stated by the UNIMED jury of the 2023 edition, “Green Border represents a document of fundamental importance in contemporary history. The story […] highlights the important and complex role played by volunteers, underscores the impact these events had on those who became witnesses to such atrocities, and serves as an active critique of the governments that allowed human rights violations to occur just a few years ago, which remain unpunished to this day. […] A moving film that educates not only about the events but also about empathy, opening the eyes of even the most reluctant viewers and undoubtedly capable of stirring minds fiercely. No matter the black and white we see in people, no matter the light we miss seeing, the viewer will resonate with the movie and the red blood in their hands”.

About the UNIMED Award

The UNIMED Award is a collateral prize at the prestigious Venice International Film Festival and it is awarded by an international jury of students from UNIMED’s member universities, to the film that, in addition to being appreciated for its artistic value, best conveys the messages underpinning UNIMED’s values: diversity, integration, tolerance, respect, dialogue, equality, freedom.

The award was created in collaboration with the Venice International Film Festival and established in memory of Prof. Franco Rizzi, UNIMED Founder and former Secretary General, for his life-long and career-long commitment to improving cooperation between Euro-Mediterranean universities.

Since its foundation, UNIMED has always been committed to using education as a global force and vehicle for mutual understanding. To this end, the UNIMED Award promotes understanding between peoples of different cultures and religious beliefs, combating racism and discrimination, revealing the complex causes of violence and demonstrating success in conflict management. The aim of the UNIMED Award is to encourage cultural exchanges, highlight the value of cultural diversity and promote freedom of artistic expression.

In each edition, UNIMED invited all its member universities to take part in the initiative to constitute the international jury, and in particular considerable efforts are devoted to the involvement of students from the southern shore of the Mediterranean. Over the previous editions, 80 students of 7 different nationalities participated in the award, thus involving 7 Italian and 7 foreign universities. More information here.

The 2023 edition was co-funded by the Ministry of Culture’s DG Cinema which provided funding for film and audio-visual promotion activities and initiatives. Its jury was composed of 19 enthusiastic young people. Discover more here.

Open Call for the 8th Edition of the UNIMED Award

The Call for applications for the 8th edition of the UNIMED Award is open.