MY STOLEN PLANET wins German Documentary Film Music Award 2024

© Farahnaz Sharifi

The Iranian cellist, double bassist and composer Atena Eshtiaghi receives the German Documentary Film Music Award 2024 for her music to MY STOLEN PLANET. Sincere congratulations!

About the film: 
As early as 8 March 1979, shortly after the Islamic revolution, Iranian women protested against the compulsory wearing of headscarves. MY STOLEN PLANET acts as a reminder of their on-going struggle for freedom and the discrepancy between private and public life. Archive images, Super-8, VHS and mobile phone footage document personal acts of resistance and joie de vivre that call out for “Woman! Life! Freedom!” Silvia Bauer

Director and Writer: Farahnaz Sharifi. Camera: Farahnaz Sharifi. Sound: Daniel Wulf. Editing: Farahnaz Sharifi. Music: Atena Eshtiaghi. Production: JYOTI Film. Producers: Anke Petersen, Lilian Tietjen. Length: 82 min. Distribution: CATS&Docs.

About the award winner: Iranian cellist and film composer Atena Eshtiaghi, born in 1989, studied classical music at the Tehran Conservatory of Music. She has also studied Persian music, electro and jazz. She has worked as a soloist and orchestral musician since 2007, including for the Tehran Symphony Orchestra and the Iran National Orchestra. As a film composer, she has written the score for Pegah Ahangarani's award-winning documentary short film "I'm Trying To Remember". Atena Eshtiaghi has been living in Germany for two years, where she founded the "Duo Azadi" with pianist Clara Haberkamp.

Jury statement

“The film music of Atena Eshtiaghi (born in 1989 in Iran) is effective mainly in what it doesn’t do. She defies the conventions of illustrative film music and instead uses silence as a stylistic device for this radical and personal film by Farahnaz Sharifi.

MY STOLEN PLANET is a film about Iranian women’s resistance against the Islamic theocracy that attempts to eliminate any recollections of the freedom of movement that women have lost. The director’s private archive of old Super-8 footage put together with images from current demonstrations is politically explosive against the backdrop of the comprehensive ban on images.

Atena Eshtiaghi gives strong expression to these dispatches of uncensored life by not exaggerating the images in an emotive way but accompanying them with minimalistic patterns. This creates a distancing effect and, at the same time, forms intervals of time in which a deep sorrow is inscribed. Eshtiaghi’s music does not dress the film with a pleasing rhythm but rather stresses heterogeneity and through its precise structure creates a space for the film’s themes to resonate: isolation, resistance, hope.”

The film at the festival

The winning film MY STOLEN PLANET will be screened at the 39th DOK.fest München in May 2024:

2 to 12 May at the Munich venues
6 to 20 May @home

The German Documentary Film Music Award will be presented at a festive award ceremony with film screening on Sunday, 5 May 2024 at 8.00 pm at HFF Munich.

An award for the score of reality

The German Documentary Film Music Award annually honours a composition that connects with the documentary film narrative in an outstanding way and will be awarded for the twelfth time in 2024. It provides a platform for the work of the composers and the value of music as an additional means for the narrative in documentary films.

The prize is endowed with 5,000 euros and is awarded to the team of filmmakers and composers. The German Documentary Film Music Award is donated by the Versicherungskammer Kulturstiftung.

Here you can find out about the conditions of participation that had to be met.

Many thanks to our award donors and funders: