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FIFDH Geneva 2024 – FIFDH Industry/Awards

Country Focus: Switzerland

FIFDH Impact Days crowns its victors

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- The industry section of the Geneva-based human rights festival has granted awards to three projects and wrapped its most successful edition to date

FIFDH Impact Days crowns its victors
The winners of FIFDH Impact Days (© Claire Zombas)

The sixth edition of Impact Days, the industry-focused segment of Geneva’s International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights (FIFDH), concluded on 12 March, and this year it turned out to be the most successful edition to date. The gathering brought together impact filmmakers, NGOs and philanthropists from across the globe, and revealed the winners of its esteemed awards.

The event attracted 200 participants from 24 nations, engaging them in global case studies, talks and networking. It organised 120 one-to-one meetings, connecting partners on social and environmental causes. Sixteen projects (see the news) gained exposure through a pitching session, with three receiving special awards. The winning teams focus on preserving the Quechua language, redefining masculinity through football, and addressing climate-induced conflict in Kenya.

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One notable aspect of the event was the introduction of the Impact Africa: Community Screening Grant – a new partnership between The StoryBoard Collective, Sunshine Cinema and FIFDH. This initiative provided 10,000 CHF (circa €10,400), a solar-powered mobile projector and a training programme on its usage. The grant was presented to the film Between the Rains, directed by Andrew H Brown and Moses Thuranira, which was selected in the festival competition. Producer Samuel Ekomol picked up the grant on behalf of the project.

The event also brought professionals to Geneva from organisations such as OXFAM International (Belgium), the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in the Netherlands and ILO Brazil, offering a unique opportunity to learn from organisations creating short and feature films for advocacy purposes. It garnered increased and new support from a range of national and international partners, including the City of Geneva, Fondation Leenaards, the Haas Foundation, the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, The StoryBoard Collective, the Philanthropia Foundation, the Federal Office for Culture via Media Desk Suisse, and the US-based Ford Foundation and the International Resource for Impact & Storytelling (IRIS).

The Impact Fund by The StoryBoard Collective, aimed at enhancing media impact production through strategic alliances and grants, honoured Augusto Zegarra Pineda-Arce’s Hakuchu Munayta by presenting it with the StoryBoard Impact Award, valued at 10,000 CHF. The documentary portrays a young, indigenous man's endeavour to preserve his language from extinction. His aspiration: to dub The Lion King into Quechua, the language of the Incas. Alongside his eight-year-old companion Dylan, his journey prompts a re-evaluation of his role as a father. The project is being produced by Claudia Chávez Lévano and Paloma Iturriaga, of Peru’s Estudio Alaska 88.

The Sublimages Award was bestowed upon Helena de Castro’s Brotherhood of Weeping Men. This award offers complimentary translation and subtitling services aimed at helping the film reach strategic audiences, valued at approximately €2,000. The movie tells the story of a group of men who, for 30 years, have gathered weekly on the secluded island of Fernando de Noronha to play football, share meals and drinks, and collectively express their emotions through tears – a ritual that has become integral to their lives. The project is being produced by Roberta Sauerbronn for Saraguina Filmes from Brazil.

The StoryBoard Collective even extended its support to a third project, offering a similar grant under the Impact Africa: Community Screening Grant initiative. In collaboration with Sunshine Cinema, they will provide 5,000 CHF (€5,200) along with a solar-powered mobile projector and training on its usage. This was awarded to The Battle for Laikipia by Peter Murimi from Kenya and Daphne Matziaraki from Greece. The documentary delves into the complexities of a conflict in Kenya, where rainfall dictates peace or violence, exacerbated by climate change and historical tensions between indigenous pastoralists and landowners in a wildlife conservation area. The project is being produced by Maya Craig and Toni Kamau for We are not the machine Ltd.

Here are the winners of FIFDH Impact Days 2024:

StoryBoard Impact Award
Hakuchu Munayta - Augusto Zegarra (Peru)
Producers: Claudia Chávez Lévano, Paloma Iturriaga (Estudio Alaska 88)
Impact producer: Ellen Schneider

Sublimages Award
Brotherhood of Weeping Men - Helena de Castro (Brazil)
Producer: Roberta Sauerbronn (Saraguina Filmes)
Impact producer: Rodrigo Díaz Díaz

Impact Africa: Community Screening Grant Award
The Battle for Laikipia - Daphne Matziaraki, Peter Murimi (Kenya)
Producers: Maya Craig, Toni Kamau (We are not the machine Ltd)

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