Wake Up Europe!

Get Europe thinking, talking - and acting

Something big and exciting is happening in Europe, but for terrible reasons. It's time for people to come together to debate what kind of Europe they want. If you can get an audience together, we can help you create a thought-provoking event structured around the free screening of The Great European Disaster Movie, the latest film by Annalisa Piras and Bill Emmott.


The Wake Up Foundation and Springshot Productions are delighted to announce that our documentary "The Great European Disaster Movie" has won the prestigious German CIVIS media prize in the information category. The film has been selected among 930 applications by media programmes from all over Europe. The prize was bestowed by the German Federal President Joachim Gauck and the President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz at a star studded event in the German Federal Foreign Office in Berlin in the presence of EU broadcasters yesterday evening May 12th.

Responding to the award Annalisa Piras, director, author and producer of the documentary said:

"Since our film was first broadcast on Arte, SVT and the BBC in the spring of 2015, too many of the potential nightmares shown in The Great European Disaster Movie have come true. Winning this prize fulfils a much better dream: a dream that the media can really help European citizens achieve a cross national awareness of our shared values and common challenges.”

“I want to thank warmly our co-producers, Arte, SVT and the BBC, for their bravery and foresight  in backing this film and their belief in the project’s mission.”

The CIVIS prize, chosen each year by the Organisation of Public Broadcasting Corporations in the Federal Republic, is dedicated to honouring TV, film, radio and internet "contributions to peaceful co-existence in the European immigration society". In nominating the documentary, the CIVIS Jury said: “A thoughtful and moving film - a brilliant presentation. Dramatically illustrates the loss of European values.” https://www.civismedia.eu/1/medienp...

"We Europeans are facing the greatest test of our lifetimes, a test of whether we can remember the lessons of our past. The film is a provocative warning, but it is not about fear, it is about hope – the hope that Europe can wake up and stand up for its own values of human rights, security and the protection of minorities instead of sleep-walking towards disaster", said Bill Emmott, executive producer of the documentary.

The Great European Disaster Movie is currently the centrepiece of the Wake Up Foundation's Wake Up Europe campaign, a pan-European philanthropic and educational initiative aimed at encouraging EU citizens to debate, to think and to act in order to help save Europe from the multiple crises that are confronting it - in economics, geopolitics, migration, culture.

The campaign's ambition is immodest: to engage, motivate and activate millions of Europeans, young and old.

Many organisations are working with the Wake Up Foundation  across Europe to bring the film to a wider audience and galvanise grass-roots initiatives. The aim is to generate debate and to elicit stronger, more effective and more legitimate cross-national policy responses to the multiple crises facing Europe .

Commenting on Wake Up Europe's public awareness campaign, Roger Casale, Director of New Europeans, one of our partners, said:

"The Great European Disaster Movie is not just a film, it is a call to action.  This film speaks directly to us as citizens of Europe. It reminds us who we are, and that we carry the responsibility for Europe's future.  There is still time to heed the call of Cassandra and stop  the disintegration of Europe.  There is still time to wake up Europe!”

In quotes from the film, Countess Soscha Zu Eulenberg, former Vice-president of the German Red Cross, said:

“I have to say that in my years in Luxembourg, thanks to the experience of how I made friends with French, Italians, the Luxembourg people and the Belgians, I slowly realised, noticed, experienced that living in this European community was the only way to escape from this nightmare (of Europe's past)”

In a further quote from the film, Ozz Nujen, a Swedish-Kurdish comedian said:

“When you let people drown in the Mediterranean Sea that is really European values. Europe is not dying, It's killing itself. It's killing it's so-called values.”

The Film

The Great European Disaster Movie was filmed in six countries and has so far been broadcast in 12 and translated into 10 languages, including Japanese. The film is available for one off, educational, public screenings on a strictly not for profit basis. 

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  • We urgently need all to talk about Europe, understand and discuss what it is about, fight shallow thinking, ideologies and prejudices and find out how we can better live together on our continent. The Great European Disaster Movie is an excellent starting point. Come on: start the debate!

    Imke Henkel

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  • A campaign focusing on real European issues and real people and their understanding of these issues. The debate on Europe is about to get interesting!

    Kinda Haddad

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  • At last a campaign that puts the onus on all of us to make the EU a better place to be rather than relying on some mysterious reform process from on high.

    Professor Michael Shackleton

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