The Wake Up Foundation and Springshot Productions are delighted to announce that our documentary "The Great European Disaster Movie" has won the prestigious German CIVIS media prize in the information category. The film has been selected from among 930 applications by media programmes from all over Europe.

The prize was bestowed by the German Federal President Joachim Gauck and the President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz at a star studded event in the German Federal Foreign Office in Berlin in the presence of EU broadcasters yesterday evening May 12th.

Responding to the award Annalisa Piras, director, author and producer of the documentary said:

"Since our film was first broadcast on Arte, SVT and the BBC in the spring of 2015, too many of the potential nightmares shown in The Great European Disaster Movie have come true. Winning this prize fulfils a much better dream: a dream that the media can really help European citizens achieve a cross national awareness of our shared values and common challenges.”

“I want to thank warmly our co-producers, Arte, SVT and the BBC, for their bravery and foresight  in backing this film and their belief in the project’s mission.”

The CIVIS prize, chosen each year by the Organisation of Public Broadcasting Corporations in the Federal Republic, is dedicated to honouring TV, film, radio and internet "contributions to peaceful co-existence in the European immigration society". In nominating the documentary, the CIVIS Jury said: “A thoughtful and moving film - a brilliant presentation. Dramatically illustrates the loss of European values.” 

"We Europeans are facing the greatest test of our lifetimes, a test of whether we can remember the lessons of our past. The film is a provocative warning, but it is not about fear, it is about hope – the hope that Europe can wake up and stand up for its own values of human rights, security and the protection of minorities instead of sleep-walking towards disaster", said Bill Emmott, executive producer of the documentary.

The Great European Disaster Movie is currently the centrepiece of the Wake Up Foundation's Wake Up Europe campaign, a pan-European philanthropic and educational initiative aimed at encouraging EU citizens to debate, to think and to act in order to help save Europe from the multiple crises that are confronting it - in economics, geopolitics, migration, culture.

The campaign's ambition is immodest: to engage, motivate and activate millions of Europeans, young and old.

Many organisations are working with the Wake Up Foundation  across Europe to bring the film to a wider audience and galvanise grass-roots initiatives. The aim is to generate debate and to elicit stronger, more effective and more legitimate cross-national policy responses to the multiple crises facing Europe .

Commenting on Wake Up Europe's public awareness campaign, Roger Casale, Director of New Europeans, one of our partners, said:

"The Great European Disaster Movie is not just a film, it is a call to action.  This film speaks directly to us as citizens of Europe. It reminds us who we are, and that we carry the responsibility for Europe's future.  There is still time to heed the call of Cassandra and stop  the disintegration of Europe.  There is still time to wake up Europe!”

In quotes from the film, Countess Soscha Zu Eulenberg, former Vice-president of the German Red Cross, said:

“I have to say that in my years in Luxembourg, thanks to the experience of how I made friends with French, Italians, the Luxembourg people and the Belgians, I slowly realised, noticed, experienced that living in this European community was the only way to escape from this nightmare (of Europe's past)”

In a further quote from the film, Ozz Nujen, a Swedish-Kurdish comedian said:

“When you let people drown in the Mediterranean Sea that is really European values. Europe is not dying, It's killing itself. It's killing it's so-called values.”


The Great European Disaster Movie was filmed in six countries and has so far been broadcast in 12 and translated into 10 languages, including Japanese. The film is available for one off, educational, public screenings on a strictly not for profit basis. 

Find out more

From time to time we'll share exclusive interview clips (including never-seen-before footage), the most incisive blog posts and the most interesting dispatches from our event organisers as they take the europe debate to the furthest, biggest, smallest, weirdest, most unusual places around europe and beyond.

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Wake Up Europe is a campaign brought to you by the Wake Up Foundation. It was sparked by the themes explored in The Great European Disaster Movie by Annalisa Piras and Bill Emmott.

We believe in the values that inspired the European project but that this project isn't working. Europe is sleep-walking towards disaster. We must wake up Europe so that we can save Europe from itself.

This job is too important to be left to the elites, the media, the political parties alone: ordinary people must be encouraged to discuss what Europe they want to see.

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