One World 2017 The Winners

As usual the Prague-based festival delivers precise and informative press releases. Here is the one about the winners… 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 (PHOTO) by director Zaradasht Ahmed (Norway, Sweden | 2016 | 85 min.), in which a male nurse in Iraq films his daily life scarred by war. Later he must flee Islamic State and himself becomes the protagonist of the story. Motivation:

“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 Best Director award went to Jiu-liang Wang for Plastic China (China | 2016 | 82 min.). It presents life in a Chinese family business for plastic recycling, where adults as well as children must eke out a living among the waste imported from Europe. Motivation:

“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… 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 went to Chasing Asylum by Australian director Eva Orner (Australia, USA | 2016 | 96 min.). The film exposes the inhumane conditions in detention camps on islands in the Pacific where Australia holds asylum seekers. Motivation:

“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… Specifically, Chasing Asylum portrays the hypocrisy and moral bankruptcy of the Australian government’s policy of shipping asylum seekers and migrants to offshore prison camps, to be held indefinitely as punishment for seeking refuge in Australia.”

Special Mention by the Václav Havel Jury to director Duro Gavran for his film News from Laayoune (Croatia | 2016 | 50 min.). Motivation:

“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. One World created this new jury in order to support the presentation of Czech documentary films at foreign festivals.

The Czech Competition Jury Award went to Miroslav Janek’s Normal Autistic Film (Czech Republic | 2016 | 88 min.). The documentary shows the rich inner lives of children with autism and the ways they cope with the world around them. In February this year the film also won the Czech Lion Award and the Czech Film Critics Award. Motivation:

“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 Czech Competition Jury gave Special Mention to Robert Kirchhoff’s documentary A Hole in the Head (Czech Republic, Slovakia | 2016 | 88 min.). The film presents rare testimony about the Roma Holocaust. Motivation:

“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.”

STUDENT JURY

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.). Motivation:

“We decided to award the film mainly because the topic touches all of us, a generation surrounded by electronic devices,” the jury said in its statement. “We believe that the public is not knowledgeable enough about the risks of production of consumer electronics and that raising awareness about environmental pollution is very important. We appreciate that the film also showed positive examples of responsible manufacturing and gently communicated the message that when it comes to the Earth’s problems we are all in it together.”

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Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

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