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FIFDH GENEVA 2024 Awards

The 22nd FIFDH announces its award winners

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- Name Me Lawand by Edward Lovelace, The Cage Is Looking for a Bird by Malika Musaeva and The Settlers by Felipe Gálvez have received the Grand Prizes at the Geneva-based human rights gathering

The 22nd FIFDH announces its award winners
l-r: Name Me Lawand by Edward Lovelace, The Cage Is Looking for a Bird by Malika Musaeva and The Settlers by Felipe Gálvez

The 22nd edition of Geneva's International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights (FIFDH) has wrapped, revealing its victors after running from 8-17 March. The event attracted in excess of 30,000 attendees and featured over 250 speakers representing diverse backgrounds. These participants engaged audiences at venues and strategic spots filled to capacity, advocating for their respective missions.

Commencing with the Creative Documentary Competition, the jury, consisting of Alain Kassanda, Ella Glendining, Mariana Lorenzo (known as Maremoto), Chadi Aoun and Abdul Aziz Muhamat, awarded the Geneva Grand Prix, valued at CHF 10,000 (approximately €10,390) and sponsored by the city of Geneva, to Name Me Lawand [+see also:
film review
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]
by Edward Lovelace. The documentary portrays the odyssey of a deaf Kurdish teenager in exile who discovers the potency of communication, enabling him to embrace the world around him. The jury's statement emphasises, “Through immersive filmmaking and intricate sound design, we are drawn into the personal journey of a young boy navigating childhood trauma and displacement, all while endeavouring to find his footing in today's challenging world. A tribute to all of the children out there confronting the extraordinary.”

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The Gilda Vieira de Mello Prize, valued at CHF 5,000 (€5,193) and dedicated to her son, Sergio Vieira de Mello, was presented by the Barbara Hendricks Foundation for Peace and Reconciliation to Life Is Beautiful [+see also:
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]
by Mohamed Jabaly. According to the jury, “Gaza as depicted in the film no longer exists. Its streets, squares and the faces that populate the filmmaker’s memories have been eradicated in the ongoing genocide in Palestine. What we are left with are the images that tell of the past, already under Israeli occupation. Cinema becomes the compass of an odyssey that takes us all to Gaza.” Regarding the Youth Jury Prize, sponsored by Peace Brigades International (PBI) and accompanied by CHF 1,000 (€1,038), this was awarded to Photophobia [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Ivan Ostrochovský, Pavol Pe…
film profile
]
by Ivan Ostrochovský and Pavol Pekarčik, which “tactfully balances subtlety, delicacy and humour, yet remains poignant in its portrayal of the harsh realities of war”.

In the Fiction Competition, the Fiction Grand Prize, valued at CHF 10,000 and provided by the Hélène and Victor Barbour Foundation, was jointly awarded to two debut films. The Cage Is Looking for a Bird [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Malika Musaeva
film profile
]
 by Malika Musaeva, as stated by the jury, “portrays women in a subtle yet potent manner, illustrating intergenerational dialogue as a potential catalyst for significant social change”. Additionally, The Settlers [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Felipe Gálvez
film profile
]
by Felipe Gálvez “impressed the jury with its formal mastery serving an uncompromising narrative, prompting contemplation on our relationship with the world and history”. The jury comprised Sepideh Farsi, Meenakshi Shedde, Flavia Zanon and Thierry Oppikofer. The Youth Jury Prize, offered by the Eduki Fondation and accompanied by CHF 1,000, was bestowed upon Green Border [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 by Agnieszka Holland, for “its realism and aestheticism; often disconcerting given the atrocity on display, this film moved us as much as it revolted us”.

In the Focus Competition, the CHF 5,000 Prize of the OMCT (World Organisation Against Torture) went to a filmmaker whose movie demonstrates a commitment to human rights, in order to support the writing of his or her next film, and the winner was Total Trust [+see also:
film review
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]
by Jialing Zhang, which, according to the jury, “unveils what appears to be a real-life Orwellian 1984 scenario; the documentary vividly portrays the persecution of Chinese human rights defenders and exposes the use of cutting-edge state surveillance technology tools to tightly control the lives of millions of people”.

Finally, the Artopie Award was given to It’s Always Been Me by Julie Bezerra Madsen, and the jury, composed of young teenagers from different units of the HUG (Geneva University Hospitals), asserted: “The tales of Max and Bastian deeply resonated with us. Their exploration of gender identity struck a chord. We were especially drawn to the film’s engaging rhythm and its open-minded approach.”

Here is the full list of award winners at the 22nd FIFDH:

Creative Documentary Competition

Geneva Grand Prix
Name Me Lawand [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
- Edward Lovelace (UK)

Gilda Vieira de Mello Prize
Life Is Beautiful [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
- Mohamed Jabaly (Norway/Palestine)

Youth Jury Prize – Documentary
Photophobia [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Ivan Ostrochovský, Pavol Pe…
film profile
]
- Ivan Ostrochovský, Pavol Pekarčík (Slovakia/Czech Republic/Ukraine)

Fiction Competition

Fiction Grand Award (ex aequo)
The Cage Is Looking for a Bird [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Malika Musaeva
film profile
]
 - Malika Musaeva (France/Russia)
The Settlers [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Felipe Gálvez
film profile
]
- Felipe Gálvez (Chile/Argentina/Denmark/UK/France/Germany/Taiwan)

Youth Jury Prize – Fiction
Green Border [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 - Agnieszka Holland (Poland/Czech Republic/France/Belgium)

Focus Competition

Prize of OMCT
Total Trust [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
- Jialing Zhang (Netherlands/Germany)

Artopie Award
It’s Always Been Me - Julie Bezerra Madsen (Denmark)

Champ-Dollon Men’s Jury Prize
Un jour ça ira - Stan Zambeaux, Edouard Zambeaux (France)

Champ-Dollon Women’s Jury Prize
A Northern Soul [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
- Sean McAllister (UK)

La Brenaz Jury Prize
Un jour ça ira - Stan Zambeaux, Edouard Zambeaux

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