One World 2020 announced its winners!
At five minutes to twelve… literally. That is precisely the time when the jurors made their final decisions regarding the winners of this year’s One World Human Rights Documentary Film Festival. Just after that, the festival had to be interrupted. Nonetheless, the awards will find their recipients despite the government-ordered restrictions. The festival organisers, working in collaboration with Mall TV, decided to arrange an online awards ceremony. The winners were announced on Thursday, 2 April. A recording of the live broadcast is available on the following website. But that’s not the end of the festival — it the situation allows, we will try to organise the festival this autumn.
Who recieved the prize?
The International Jury awarded two prizes – one for Best Film and the second for Best Director. They had thirteen films to choose from, all of them excellent from the perspective of original style and presenting testimonies about the situation regarding human rights.
The Best Film Award went to the Romanian documentary Collective (Romania, Luxembourg | 2019 | 109 min.), directed by Alexender Nanau. The film draws attention to the extensive corruption existing in the Romanian healthcare system, which led to the deaths of dozens of young people after a fire in the Collective club Since the interruption of the festival, the film is available for viewing on the HBO GO platform.
As far as the Best Director Award is concerned, the jury chose Thomas Balmès for his documentary Sing Me a Song (France, Germany, Switzerland | 2019 | 95 min.). This film shows the efforts of a young monk in Bhutan to maintain personal relationships during an era when modern technology has reached all of the corners of the world.
The Václav Havel Jury had the task of selecting the film from the Right To Know category which best contributes to the protection of human rights.
The winner in the Right To Know category was the film Welcome to Chechnya (directed by David France | USA | 2020 | 107 min.). To be gay is to bring shame onto the entire family – a situation which is hard for us to imagine in today’s Czech Republic. This documentary presents the stories of homosexuals who were forced to flee their homeland, as the Chechnyan security forces started to enforce an uncompromising bloody policy against them – arrest and physical punishment are the order of the day.
The Václav Havel Jury also awarded their special prize to the directors Jonas Schreijäg and Nadia Kailouli for their documentary Sea-Watch 3 (Germany, Italy | 2019 | 112 min.). The main protagonist – the ship’s captain Carola – saved more than forty refugees from drowning. However, they had to spend several weeks onboard the ship, because no European country would allow them to dock.
The Czech Competition is one of the festival’s traditional categories. The jury responsible for choosing the best Czech documentary includes representatives from various international festivals. This year’s winner of the Czech Competition is the documentary Caught in the Net (Czech Republic | 2020 | 100 min.) made by the directors Barbora Chalupová and Vít Klusák. The jury particularly valued the theme of this film.
The jury also awarded its Special Prize, in this case to the documentary Town of Glory (Russia, Czech Republic, Germany | 2019 | 82 min.), for its daring criticism of political propaganda as well as for the eloquent way the situation is portrayed by the fascinating protagonists and the films talented director Dmitry Bogolyubov.
The Regional Jury is made up of three representatives from the regional festivals. A juror cannot be from the ranks of the organising team, but someone who believes in One World and supports it. The winning film is added to the selection of documentaries included in the Get Your Audience! project.
The film that made the greatest impression on the jury was The Self Portrait (Norway | 2020 | 80 min.), made by the directing team of Espen Wallin, Margreth Olin, and Katja Hogseth. The documentary is a portrait of the photographer Lene Marie Fossen, who battled anorexia for more than twenty years. The disorder first became apparent when she was ten and stopped eating. She ultimately found enjoyment in photography, but living with an eating disorder is never simple.
The Student Jury is commissioned with choosing the best film from those selected specifically for students. It comprises secondary school students from the ranks of the organisers for the Student Film Clubs under the One World in Schools programme.
The Student Jury Prize was awarded to Mai Khoi & The Dissidents (directed by Joe Piscatella | USA |2019 | 70 min.), which presents the story of the Vietnamese dissident Mai Khoi. At first, she became a star of the music scene in her homeland thanks to her patriotic song. But, after her personal encounter with censorship, she decided to no longer support the regime, which, of course, displeased the government.
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