Afro-German Film Collective Issues Public Statement Citing Anti Blackness in Locally-Produced Films

The three films in question are MEASURES OF MEN (story of the Herero and Namaqua genocide which was perpetrated in German South West Africa between 1904 and 1908), SENECA (about the last days of the ancient philosopher Lucius Annaeus Seneca and the beginnings of Emperor Nero’s despotic regime in Ancient Rome), AND HELT SUPER! (about a family of unique superheroes as they juggle their secret identities and their desire for recognition). All three films screened at the Berlinale in February.

The letter was sent by: Schwarze Filmschaffende e.V., a collective of Black film creatives advocating for equal opportunities, diversity, and discrimination-free education in German-speaking Europe’s film industry.

The letter is addressed to: the Minister of State for Culture and Media; the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and Media (“BKM”); the executive and artistic directors of the Berlin International Film Festival; and the German Film Academy (die Deutsche Filmakademie)


  • The letter expresses concern and disappointment regarding the selection and endorsement of films at the Berlinale, which it alleges perpetuate anti-Black racist images, tropes, stereotypes, and discriminatory narrative forms.
  • The letter highlights the above three films which were financed with European and German public funding and endorsed by the Berlinale.
  • The letter calls for accountability and demands action from the BKM and the Berlinale (including its parent organization, the Kulturveranstaltungen des Bundes in Berlin (KBB)).
  • The letter seeks to initiate a conversation with all relevant stakeholders to implement necessary joint and concrete steps to address the systemic errors and structural anti-Black racism embedded in the German film ecosystem.
  • They demand a public apology, increased representation, and a paradigm shift in the industry, along with diversity and inclusion measures, regular awareness-building measures, archiving of underrepresented filmmakers’ works, and criteria to foster inclusion in hiring new staff.
  • The demands aim to prevent racism in film, stimulate interest and awareness around underrepresented voices, and promote social cohesion and cosmopolitan consciousness.

The letter was sent today, April 17, to members of the press and industry (including Akoroko). Download the 14-pager here.

While Akoroko did attend the Berlinale in February, we didn’t see any of the three films mentioned. Other titles were prioritized and our time in Berlin was limited.

However, we’ve requested screeners, as none of the films is yet available in the U.S. Once we’ve watched each film, we’ll make informed assessments and share.

And should the collective receive a response from its addressees, we will update this item.

Trailers or clips for each film follow:



HELT SUPER! (no English subtitles):