"We are delighted for Bayan, she more than deserves the award," says Kinescope Film Managing Director Matthias Greving. "We see a woman who is torn between her love for her family and her longing for sexual self-determination; Bayan Layla brings this inner conflict to the screen with the greatest emotional power."
The Bavarian Film Prize is not the first award for the Syrian actress, who began her first engagement at the Staatstheater Karlsruhe after gaining her first stage experience in her adopted home of Leipzig and training as an actress at the August Everding Theatre Academy. Bayan Layla was awarded the New Faces Award Film by Bunte magazine in May 2023 for her role as Elaha and received the Götz George Young Talent Award at the First Steps Award in autumn 2023.
ELAHA is Milena Aboyan's feature film debut and also her graduation film at the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg. It tells the story of 22-year-old Elaha, who is increasingly confronted with the expectations of those around her shortly before her wedding. Torn between unconditional love for her family and the desire for a self-determined life, she has to make a difficult decision.
The film is a production of Kinescope Film in co-production with Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg, Essence Film, SWR and arte and has been running in cinemas since November, distributed by Camino Film. ELAHA celebrated its world premiere at the Berlinale 2023 in the "Perspektive Deutsches Kino" section and was awarded the Kaiju Cinema Diffusion Prize at the Locarno Festival, the NDR Film Prize for Young Talent at the Emden Film Festival, the DGB Film Prize and, most recently, the Prix Europa..