Every fall, producers from all over Europe gather at the Haus des Rundfunks
, Berlin’s historic broadcast house, to listen to the best radio features, investigative reporting, and radio fiction from the continent. Equipped with bilingual scripts, they sit together for a week, listen to the programs, discuss them, and vote on the best of the best.
2016 marked the 30th anniversary of Prix Europa. As in previous years, Hear Now at the Goethe-Institut presents selections from the previous year’s competition. Join us as we hear and discuss some amazing radio productions from the U.K., Ireland, Germany, Denmark, and elsewhere.
Best European Radio Documentary 2016
Queen of the Night
Denmark, 16 min.
Submitting Organization: Danish Broadcasting Corporation – DR
Author: Thomas Smedegaard
Directors: Mikkel Rønnau, Thomas Smedegaard
Sound: Mikkel Rønnau, Thomas Smedegaard
Commissioning editor: Rasmus Bjerre, Hanne Barslund
Producer: Louise Witt-Hansen
Jury Citation: Some of the best documentaries are captivating riddles meant to invite us along on journeys with intriguing companions, unexpected twists, and resolutions which are impossible to predict. This masterfully produced program provokes a listener to examine certain human obsessions by inverting gender roles in a power play of a very musical nature. Along with a glimpse into a world of male musicians, against the backdrop of skillfully mixed classical soundtracks, we have no other choice but to surrender and go along this slightly absurd, but extremely funny and also clever quest.
A Dancer Dies Twice
United Kingdom, 29 min.
Submitting Organization: Falling Tree Productions
Author: Eleanor McDowall
Director: Alan Hall
Sound: Mike Woolley
Commissioning editor: Tony Phillips
Producer: Eleanor McDowall
Best European Radio Investigation
Documentary on One: The Case That Never Was
Ireland, 45 min.
Submitting Organization: Raidió Teilifis Éireann – RTÉ Radio 1
Author: Frank Shouldice
Directors: Frank Shouldice, Liam O’Brian
Sound: Frank Shouldice, Liam O’Brien
Commissioning editor: Liam O’Brien
Producers: Frank Shouldice, Liam O’Brian
Jury Citation: One criteria of a good investigative story is that at least one party involved does not want the story to be told - because he or she has something to hide. That is surely the case in this year’s winner of the Prix Europa. An incredible story, hard to believe yet true. Told in a sober and at the same time humorous way. Very well researched. A David versus Goliath story in the arena of the European Court. But it appears that David does not even know that he is in the arena. Thanks to the work of the reporter, a fraudulent court case was stopped and falsely-based changes to European legislation were prevented.
Best European Radio Music Program
Philip Glass: Taxi Driver
United Kingdom, 30 min.
Submitting Organization: Just Radio Ltd
Author: Paul Smith
Director: Paul Smith
Sound: Chris O’Shaughnessy
Commissioning editor: Tony Philips
Producer: Paul Smith
Jury Citation: Take a young producer, all fired up to present the music of one of the most celebrated composers of our time in a new light. He is looking for a metaphor that may provide a window into the dense flow of minimalism that everyone can understand. Since the composer, whose career began modestly in New York City’s gritty environment of the 1970’s, earned a living as a taxi driver, the young producer takes his listeners on a vivid ride through the Big Apple and along the way - through interview excerpts, city sounds and music - he composes an authentic, elegant portrait.
Till Sound Do You Part – A Portrait of Composer Couples
Germany, 50 min.
Submitting Organization: Deutschlandradio
Author: Sabine Fringes
Director: Helga Mathea
Sound: Gunther Rose, Kiwi Hornung
Commissioning editor: Tina Klopp
Producer: Tina Klopp
Producer: Deutschlandfunk (DLF)
Presented in cooperation with Prix Europa and with Hear Now! an informal group of DC audio and radiophiles, in conjunction with the DC Listening Lounge. Curated by Bill Gilcher.