Tracing Addai - Director: Esther Niemeier

Director: Esther Niemeier - 2018 - RBB - 30 Min.

Based on personal archive material TRACING ADDAI, an animated documentary, follows a young man in his yearly 20s, who leaves his family in Germany to join a Salafi-group in Syria. An encounter between Addai’s mother and Ilias, a home-comer from Syria, helps to reconstruct the fragments of the story of the son and his comrades.

“From the very beginning I wanted to make an animated documentary. On the one hand I wanted to protect the protagonists and keep them anonymous, on the other - to recreate places that don’t exist anymore and to give Addai a face in the film. The animation enables a lot of freedom in the visual storytelling. Another important point for me was to make Addai’s story more accessible and transferable for the viewers without loosing the emotional aspect of it.” - Esther Niemeier


  • San Sebastián Intl. Film Festival – NEST Competition (2018)
  • ZINEBI Intl. Festival of Documentary and Short Film of Bilbao (2018)
  • DOK.fest München – Student Award (2019)
  • Tampere Intl. Short Film Festival – Intl. Competition (2019)


  • Finalist: Foreign Documentary – Student Academy Awards (2018)
  • Licensing to The New York Times & Bundeszentrale für Politische Bildung
  • Best Short Animation Film – ZINEBI