For a Thousand Lives: Be Human.

An Appeal from European Filmmakers and Other Film Professionals to our Governments and to the E.U.

Every day, people fleeing war, terror, political persecution and misery are drowning in the sea, suffocating in the back of a truck or tumbling to their death in ports or train stations in their desperate attempts to reach Europe.  According to Amnesty International, more than 23.000 people have lost their lives that way since 2000. These deaths are a direct consequence of E.U. immigration policies. The guilt doesn’t just lie with the traffickers; Europe cannot deny its share of responsibility.

To make matters worse, those who reach Europe often find themselves in degrading living conditions and are subjected to inhumane treatment. The E.U. is spending up to twenty times more money on border control, than on welcoming centres for refugees.

The past tragedies have already led to a change in attitude for many people as can be witnessed in countless acts of personal compassion as well as public demonstrations of solidarity. Sadly, most official politicians seem to be all too slow in accepting the existence of a humanitarian crisis and finding life-sustaining solutions.

We, the undersigned professionals of the European film industry want these deaths to stop. We want to remind you that the European Union was founded “on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities (…) in a society in which pluralism, non-discrimination, tolerance, justice, solidarity and equality between women and men prevail.” (Article 2, Treaty on European Union 2008)

We appeal to our governments and the E.U. to take immediate action to place these values at the core of their asylum politics:

  • The European Union must offer legal ways for people fleeing war, terror, or political persecution to seek protection in the E.U. by setting up infrastructures in their countries of origin, and in third party countries, where they can apply for asylum. This will stop forcing them to take illegal routes and risk their lives.
  • European nations must act in solidarity as we are facing the biggest refugee crisis since WWII. The Dublin convention has obviously led to absurd and unjust burdens for the bordering countries of the E.U. Consequently, immediately repealing the Dublin convention and enforcing a better division of refugees across the various E.U. states is a must.
  • The European nations must stop hindering those individuals, groups and organisations that are trying to help and support refugees on arrival and throughout their stay. They should instead embrace them as a valuable resource which can support their activities. These people are doing YOUR job.
  • The European Countries must create living conditions for refugees that embrace human rights, personal freedom, dignity and physical safety without restriction, and devote the necessary means to ensure that refugees can work legally, get access to education and build a new life.

Europe must act now. Let’s not risk another life.

I, the undersigned, appeal to my national government and the European Commission to implement the measures listed in the enclosed plea in order to end the shocking deaths of refugees and to handle the humanitarian crisis in accordance with the basic values of the European Union.

Barbara Albert
(Writer/Director, Germany) Elena Anaya (Actress, Spain) Alberto Barbera (Director of Venice Film Festival, Italy) Emmanuelle Beart (Actress, France) Ruth Beckermann (Director, Austria) Marco Bellocchio (Director, Italy) Emmanuelle Bercot (Director/Actress, France) Helmut Berger (Director/Actor, Austria) Senta Berger (Actress/Producer, Germany) Susanne Bier (Director, Denmark) Juliette Binoche (Actress, France) Jane Birkin (Actress, France) Sandrine Bonnaire (Actress/Director, France) Dany Boon (Actor, France) Carole Bouquet (Actress, France) Valeria Bruni Tedeschi (Actress, Italy/France) Laurent Cantet (Director, France) Christian Carion (Author/Director/Actor, France) Carlo Chatrian (Artistic director Festival del film Locarno, Italy) Isabel Coixet (Director, Spain) Pedro Costa (Filmmaker, Portugal) Constantin Costa-Gavras (Director, Greece/France) Daniel Craig (Actor, USA/United Kingdom) Alfonso Cuaron (Director, United Kingdom) Jean Pierre Dardenne (Director, Belgium) Luc Dardenne (Director, Belgium) Arnaud Desplechin (Director, France) Romain Duris (Actor, France) Víctor Erice (Director, Spain) Pascale Ferran (Director, France) Veronica Ferres (Actress, Germany) Frédéric Fonteyne (Director, Belgium) Deborah François (Actress, Belgium) Bruno Ganz (Actor, Switzerland) Tony Gatlif (Director/Actor, France) Julie Gayet (Actress/Director/Producer, France) Hans W. Geissendoerfer (Director, Germany) Nikolaus Geyrhalter (Director, Austria) Romain Goupil (Filmmaker, France) Olivier Gourmet (Actor, Belgium) Josef Hader (Actor/Comedian/Writer, Austria) Michael Haneke (Director, Austria) Jessica Hausner (Director, Austria) Michel Hazanavicius (Director, France) Marion Hänsel (Writer/Director, Belgium) Agnieszka Holland (Director/Screenwriter, Poland/USA) Heddy Honigmann (Director, Netherlands) Isabelle Huppert (Actress, France) Stefan Jarl (Director, Sweden) Radu Jude (Writer/Director, Romania) Aki Kaurismäki (Director, Finland) Mika Kaurismäki (Director/Finland) Agnes Kocsis (Director, Hungary) Cedomir Kolar (Producer, France) Peter Kosminsky (Director, United Kingdom) Dieter Kosslick (Director Berlin International Film Festival, Germany) Ariane Labed (Actress, United Kingdom) Yorgos Lanthimos (Director, United Kingdom) Claude Lanzmann (Director, France) Walter Lassally (retired DoP, Greece) Nanouk Leopold (Director, Netherlands) Mike Leigh (Director, United Kingdom) Thure Lindhardt (Actor, Denmark) Caroline Link (Director, Germany) Leon Lucev (Actor, Croatia) Ken Loach (Director, United Kingdom) Sophie Marceau (Actress, France) Karl Markovics (Actor/Director, Austria) Ursula Meier (Director, Switzerland) Margarete Menegoz (Producer, France) Jiri Menzel (Director, Czech Republic) Radu Mihaileanu (Director, France) Yolande Moreau (Comedian/Actress, Belgium) Kornel Mundruczo (Director, Hungary) Cristian Mungiu (Director, Romania) Olivier Nakache (Writer/Director, France) Joshua Oppenheimer (Director, Denmark) György Pálfi (Director, Hungary) Pawel Pawlikowski (Director, Poland/UK) Mikael Persbrandt (Actor, Sweden) Corneliu Porumboiu (Writer/Director, Romania) Nina Proll (Actress, Austria) Jonathan Pryce (Actor, United Kingdom) Jose Luis Rebordinos (Director of San Sebastian Film Festival, Spain) Jeremie Renier (Actor, Belgium) Katja Riemann (Actress, Germany) Karel Roden (Actor, Czech Republic) Isabella Rossellini (Actress, Italy) Stefan Ruzowitzky (Director, Austria) Mahamat-Saleh Haroun (Director, France) Marjane Satrapi (Writer/Director, France) Hubert Sauper (Director, Austria) Lone Scherfig (Director, Denmark) Tom Schilling (Actor, Germany) Volker Schlöndorff (Director, Germany) Hans-Christian Schmid (Director, Germany) Barbet Schröder (Writer/Director, Switzerland) Til Schweiger (Director, Germany) Hanna Schygulla (Actress, Germany) Ulrich Seidl (Writer/Director/Producer, Austria) Léa Seydoux (Actress, France) Ursula Strauss (Actress, Austria) Jasmin Tabatabai (Actress/Singer, Germany) Danis Tanovic (Writer/Director, Bosnia) Béla Tarr (Director, Hungary) Bertrand Tavernier (Director, France) Joachim Trier (Director/Writer, Norway) Fernando Trueba (Director/Writer, Spain) Peter Tscherkassky (Director, Austria) Ana Ularu (Actress, Romania) Tom Tykwer (Director, Germany) Gaspard Ulliel (Actor, France) Magdaléna Vášáryová  (Member of Parliament/former Actress, Slovakia) Karin Viard (Actress, France) Thomas Vinterberg (Director, Denmark) Erwin Wagenhofer (Director, Austria) Alex van Warmerdam (Writer/Director, Netherlands) Peter Webber (Director, United Kingdom) Jasmila Zbanic (Director, Bosnia and Herzegovina) Elsa Zylberstein (Actress, France)


For a Thousand Lives: Be Human.

I, the undersigned, appeal to my national government and the European Commission to implement the measures listed in the enclosed plea in order to end the shocking deaths of refugees and to handle the humanitarian crisis in accordance with the basic values of the European Union.


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