The juries of the 19th annual One World International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival granted seven awards to films that were screened in Prague from 6 to 15 March.
INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION JURY
The Best Film award went to Nowhere to Hide by director Zaradasht Ahmed (Norway, Sweden | 2016 | 85 min.)
“Thanks to the courage of its protagonist and the dedication of its filmmaker who doesn’t take no for an answer, this best film award not only allowed us to witness the life of a family man and a proud professional in circumstances that none of us wishes to experience, but also gave us unique access to a country torn apart,” the jury said about its decision.
The Best Director award went to Jiu-liang Wang for Plastic China (China | 2016 | 82 min.)
“The awarded director proved some incredible talent in finding an intimate, complex and yet respectful way to document the harsh reality of social classes faced with the aftermath of an economic globalisation that has bittersweet consequences,” the jury said. “For many of us, recycling simply means preserving nature. For many others, it is a way of surviving that might affect your health and that of your children.”
VÁCLAV HAVEL JURY
The Václav Havel Jury awards films that make an extraordinary contribution to the defence of human rights.
The award for a film making an extraordinary contribution to the defence of human rights went to Chasing Asylum by Australian director Eva Orner (Australia, USA | 2016 | 96 min.)
“This is an original and shocking film that exposes the international community’s moral, legal and political failure to tackle one of the most pressing humanitarian issues that the world faces today: the flow of refugees fleeing persecution, conflict and many other perils at home,” the jury said in its decision.
Special Mention by the Václav Havel Jury to director Duro Gavran for his film News from Laayoune (Croatia | 2016 | 50 min.)
“The film depicts the Sahrawi nonviolent struggle for justice,” the jury said in a statement. “While Sahrawis under occupation in the occupied territory face multiple human rights violations, Sahrawi refugees languish in the middle of the Sahara Desert awaiting a long-promised referendum on self-determination, but the UN Security Council has so far failed to implement the vote. With this special mention we urge the international community to act.”
CZECH COMPETITION JURY
The Czech Competition Jury this year for the first time selected the best film from among Czech documentary productions and co-productions.
The Czech Competition Jury Award went to Miroslav Janek’s Normal Autistic Film (Czech Republic | 2016 | 88 min.)
“This is an exquisitely crafted and masterfully edited film with a wonderful and uplifting story about the inner lives of five exceptional children, whose hidden worlds are revealed to us in a beautiful way,” the jury said.
The Czech Competition Jury gave Special Mention to Robert Kirchhoff’s documentary A Hole in the Head (Czech Republic, Slovakia | 2016 | 88 min.)
“This is a powerful and poetic film that reminds us that we still don’t know everything about the Holocaust,” the jury said. “The director and his crew create a visual landscape for an important testimony of the Roma people and acknowledge them among the forgotten victims of the Second World War.”
The student jury chooses the best film from a selection of films for students.
The Student Jury Award went to Death by Design by director Sue Williams (USA | 2016 | 73 min.)
AVAST FOUNDATION AUDIENCE AWARD
Vigorous 104-year-old blogger Dagny Carlsson from Sweden enchanted audiences at the 19th annual One World Human Rights Documentary Film Festival. The documentary about her active experience of extreme old age Life Begins at 100 won this year’s AVAST Foundation Audience Award.