Nazgol Emami, Diana Menestrey, Camilo Colmenares, Madeleine Dallmeyer, Johanna Bentz, Khaled Nawal, Sandra Dajani, Birgit Schulz

Germany , 2018 / 77 min / Without dialogue / documentary, animation, fiction

A collection of short films inspired by, and made for, refugee children.

How should films for children fleeing wars and crises be made? What can these films accomplish? Can cinema relieve suffering and even provide hope? At the height of the refugee crisis, the Goethe Institute launched the Missing Movies project. Following an international call for proposals, a group of eight young filmmakers from Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Germany, Colombia and Iran were selected to tackle these questions. These initial ideas led to the creation of seven unique cinematic shorts (with additional 16mm documentary material from Lebanon, Syria and Greece cut together to form a final clip), each of which reflects a deep understanding of the needs of refugee children – with genres ranging from short feature films and documentaries to animated productions. Each of these films examines a different aspect of life plagued by loss. A life with no home, no family, no friends – and potentially, no future.

  • The Magnifying Glass by Nazgol Emami (2018 – 9’)
  • A Thing About Me, Sara & Moris by Diana Menestrey & Camilo Colmenares (2018 – 3’)
  • The Break by Madeleine Dallmeyer (2018 – 8’)
  • Giant by Johanna Bentz (2018 – 12’)
  • Abdullah by Khaled Nawal (8’)
  • The Magic Balloon by Sandra Dajani (2018 – 10’)
  • A Thing About Me, Jumana by Diana Menestrey & Camilo Colmenares (2018 – 4’)
  • 16mm Stories by Khaled Nawal (2018 – 4’)

The wishes and dreams of the children reflected in the episodes meet with a reality that appears timeless, without denying them a future. This creates a near-poetic melancholy that is repeatedly broken up by the energy of the children – an energy that knows no bounds the world over.

The different films of were produced as part of the Goethe-Institut’s Missing Movies project.

The director of The Magnifying Glass, Nazgol Emami will be present at the screening

Thu 07/03 09:00 Ciné Utopia WITHOUT DIALOGUE Scolaire
Thu 07/03 09:00 Ciné Utopia WITHOUT DIALOGUE Public

In these cinematic miniatures, which were designed by filmmakers from countries such as Syria, Iran, Jordan, Germany and Colombia, the whole emotional range of refugee children is renegotiated.” Glasgow Refugee Asylum and Migration Network, University of Glasgow, 2017

  • VFF Documentary Film Production Award, Munich International Documentary Festival, 2018 (Germany)
Cast & Credits
Sofia Abreham, Julia Dittmann, Michal Krajczok
Nazgol Emami, Diana Menestrey, Camilo Colmenares, Madeleine Dallmeyer, Johanna Bentz, Khaled Nawal, Sandra Dajani
Ahmad Jalboush, Jana Pape
Michal Krajczok
Marian Mentrup
Bildersturm Filmproduktion
Real Fiction Filmverleih

Sandra Dajani is an independent animation artist and director from Jordan. She holds an MFA degree in animation from Tama Art University in Japan. Sandra has more than 10 years of experience in the industry, tackling social issues with black humor. She is a faculty member at Princess Sumaya University for Technology’s Computer Graphics and Animation Department in Jordan.


Khaled Nawal was born in Damascus in 1984. He studied at the Higher Institute of Dramatic Arts in Damascus, The National Polish Film, Television and Theatre School in Łódź and the German Film and Television Academy in Berlin. Alongside his studies in Berlin, he worked for the association “Minor – Projektkontor für Bildung und Forschung” as a theatre and photography trainer on projects with female and youth prisoners. More recently, he has been involved in a visual arts project aiming to empower refugee youth in Berlin by teaching them how to express themselves through film. Wada’ 2015), his first short fiction film, has been shown at many German and international film festivals.


Johanna Bentz was born in Munich, Germany, in 1982. After finishing school in 2003, she spent several years travelling and working throughout Europe, Asia and South America. In 2006 she started studying documentary film directing at the Baden-Württemberg Film Academy. In 2012 she received her diploma in directing for Die Verführungskünstler (2013) which won the Baden-Württemberg Film Prize for Best Documentary. Johanna works as an author and director of film and radio features.


Madeleine Dallmeyer was born and raised in Munich. She studied anthropology documentary filmmaking at university. She has lived in Munich, Perugia, Ludwigsburg, Paris, Istanbul and Bali but currently lives and works in Berlin.


Diana Menestrey was born in 1985 in Bogotá, Colombia. She completed degrees in fine arts at the Colombian National University and experimental animation at Pontifical Xavierian University in Bogotá. During her studies she volunteered for a charity working with children with severe disabilities from poor neighborhoods in Bogotá. In 2014, she completed her postgraduate studies with the experimental documentary film Owami – I am… The film was shown at many festivals including DOKFest München, Duisburger Filmwoche, and Message to Man International Film Festival in Russia. It received a special mention in the International Documentary category at the 11th Monterrey International Film Festival.


Camilo Colmenares was born in 1976 in Bogotá, Colombia. He graduated from the Film School of the National University of Colombia in 2004. He is a founding member of Laboratorio Kinoclaje (Colombian Film Recycling Association) – a creative lab for unconventional animation projects using recycled audiovisual material. In 2014 he finished his postgraduate studies at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne (KHM). He cofounded Vamos Animation in 2016, a studio for animated transmedia projects based in Cologne.


Nazgol Emami was born in Tehran, Iran. At the age of six she moved with her family to Germany. She completed her studies in visual communication at the University of Wuppertal in 2008. From 2009-2012, she completed a postgraduate degree at the Academy of Media Arts in Cologne with a focus on experimental film and documentary film. She works as a freelance graphic designer for various TV stations and creates live directorial projects for festivals.


  • Sandra Dajani
  • 2018 – Der magische Ballon (short in the collection Grenzenlos – Geschichten von Freiheit & Freundschaft)
  • Khaled Nawal
  • 2018 – Abdullah (short in the collection Grenzenlos – Geschichten von Freiheit & Freundschaft)
  • 2015 – In Rooms (documentary short)
  • 2015 – Wada’ (short)
  • Johanna Bentz
  • 2018 – Bella Palanka (documentary short)
  • 2018 – Riese (short in the collection Grenzenlos – Geschichten von Freiheit & Freundschaft)
  • 2013 – Die Verführungskünstler (documentary)
  • 2010 – 3 Frauen für Toni (documentary)
  • Madeleine Dallmeyer
  • 2018 – Die Pause (short in the collection Grenzenlos – Geschichten von Freiheit & Freundschaft)
  • 2018 – Dorf der Vergesslichen (documentary)
  • 2014 – Low Season (documentary short)
  • Diana Menestrey
  • 2018 – Mein allerliebstes Lieblingsding (short in the collection Grenzenlos – Geschichten von Freiheit & Freundschaft)
  • 2014 – Owami – I am… (documentary short)
  • Camilo Colmenares
  • 2018 – Mein allerliebstes Lieblingsding (short in the collection Grenzenlos – Geschichten von Freiheit & Freundschaft)
  • Nazgol Emami
  • 2018 – Die Lupe (short in the collection Grenzenlos – Geschichten von Freiheit & Freundschaft)