Update was successful. The best film of the One World 2018 is The Deminer


This year’s 20th annual One World film festival has its winners. The juries handed out a total of nine prizes, the most prestigious was won by the Swedish documentary The Deminer. “Compelling, innovative and passionate,” reads the official statement of the international jury. Who else will be honoured by the brand new prizes?

International Competition

The International Jury chose a Best Film and a Best Director from a total of 12 films representing new ways of exploring the question of human rights in documentary film.

The Award for Best Film went to The Deminer by directors Hogir Hirori and Shinwar Kamal. The film’s main protagonist, Fakhir Berwari, is a legend in the Iraqi town of Dohuk who dedicated his life to getting rid of all kinds of explosives, even at great personal risk. “Our choice for best film is an exceptional force combining precious personal archives with contemporary scenes. This is not only a powerful story about war, but about family, memory and loss,” explains the jury in its official statement.

The Best Director Award went to Talal Derki, author of Of Fathers and Sons. Derki, who came to Prague to introduce the film in person, uses the camera to explore the actions of a man fighting for an Islamic caliphate and for his family. He has succeeded in creating a unique study of the Islamic radicalization of children.

The International Jury’s special mention goes to Laura Bari, director of Primas. The jury called Primas  “a creative and vibrant voice in a remarkable and urgent film that compels us to look beyond victimhood to the beautiful and inspired ways in which girls and women can survive and thrive after experiencing sexual violence.”

Václav Havel Jury

The Václav Havel Jury chose from among the documentaries screened in the Right to Know section, and presents its award to films that make an exceptional contribution to the defence of human rights.

This year, the jury unanimously decided to present the main prize in the category of human rights to the film Watani – My Homeland by German director Marcel Mettelsiefen. The film is a shocking eyewitness report on the life of the family of a commander in the Free Syrian Army in war-ravaged Aleppo. In explaining its decision, the jury states, “This film demonstrates that in our world, every single person – and most of all, every child – deserves love and peace. We completely understand the feelings of the protagonists as we are compelled to ask ourselves: Would we be able to save our own family or our own country under similar circumstances?”

Special mention goes to The Venerable W. by director Barbet Schroeder (France, Switzerland / 2017 / 100 min.). The film was chosen primarily because it explores the current tragic situation of the Rohingya in Myanmar. “Nationalism and racism appeal to people's basest instincts. In an era of rising populism, this film is a warning to all of us. We cannot fight for our human rights by violating the human rights of others. We shouldn't blame a religion but those who abuse religion and power,” says the jury in its statement.

Czech Competition

This is the second year that the festival presented awards to the best Czech-produced documentaries. The Czech Competition jury chose from ten films, five of which had their premiere at the festival, and gave its award to Non-Parent by director Jana Počtová. The stories of the film’s protagonists show the broad spectrum of possibilities for (non)parenthood – from a single woman who adopted twins to a couple that doesn’t want any children at all. “In a refreshingly direct, fast paced, young and equally adult way the film depicts the modern varieties of propagation and parenthood. Full of humour and with a passionate editing, the film unveils the daily life and intimate perspectives of a diverse range of protagonists,” states the jury in its decision.

Special mention went to the directing duo of Klára Tasovská and Lukáš Kokeš and their documentary Nothing Like Before about the life of four teenagers who are forced to grow up before they would like to, and must find their place in society.

Student Jury

The Student Jury chose the best film in the festival’s section of films for students. It is composed primarily of secondary school students who are organizers of One World in Schools student film clubs. The Student Jury’s award went to the documentary Peace to You All by Slovak director Juraj Mravec which shows the lives of ordinary people in the midst of the conflict in eastern Ukraine. According to its official statement, the jury “chose a film we can relate to and which intrigues its audience with its authenticity and relevance to current events. We believe this documentary offers multiple perspectives and shows its subject matter in a complex yet easy-to-follow way.”

Avast Foundation Audience Award

The most sucessful film of One World Film Festival is the documentary City of Ghosts by Matthew Heineman. City of Ghosts won the Audience Award, obtaining a 1,13 mark. This win confirms that war in Syria is still an ongoing topic of interest to the audiences. The film is a testimony of journalists Hamud and Hassan who are members of the activist group Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently. Despite the brutal repressions, the journalists publish the most up to date information about the war torn city. Their work has been awarded internationally numerous times. Film has been shown at Sundance 2017 and won the Jury Award at Sheffield Doc/fest, among others.

Slovak film When the War Comes by director Jan Gebert has secured the second place with 1,14 mark. Audiences also favoured the film The Cleaners by Moritz Riesewieck and Hans Block which placed third.

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