The press releases from the festival in Prague are comprehensive and informative so here is a copy-paste of the one about the awards to be given at… the closing ceremony of the festival in the Lucerna cinema in Prague on Wednesday, March 11.
The award for Best Film this year went to The Look of Silence by American director Joshua Oppenheimer, who took home the same award at One World 2013 for his film The Act of Killing. Both documentaries deal with the same topic: the mass murder of accused communists in Indonesia in the 1960s.
One World this year screened a record number of films: 114 documentaries as well as a screening of Winter, Go Away! in response to the murder of Russian politician Boris Nemtsov, which occurred two days before the start of the festival. The number of festival guests was also significantly higher, with exactly 100 filmmakers and protagonists coming to Prague to present their films. In total One World invited 234 foreign guests, including human rights activists and film festival organisers.
Attendance this year was at the same level as last year. Despite the sunny weekend, 24,864 spectators visited afternoon and evening screenings in the first week of the festival. School screenings in the first festival week (five weekdays) were attended by 6,433 pupils and students and 365 teachers. Afternoon screenings for schools will continue until Friday, March 13.
The Grand Jury granted the Best Film Award, Best Director Award and Special Mention. It selected from among 15 documentaries in the Main Competition.
The Best Film Award went to Joshua Oppenheimer’s The Look of Silence (Denmark, Indonesia, Great Britain, Norway, Finland / 2014 / 99 min.). The film was represented at the festival by producer Signe Byrge Sørensen, who during an extended Q&A presented the campaign with which the filmmakers are trying to open a debate in Indonesia about a taboo chapter in the country’s history.
„The Best Film Award goes to a film that had a strong directorial vision, sustained a years-long focus on its subject and told a story that defies expectations while directly confronting a lingering legacy of genocide in Indonesia,“ reads the jury statement.
The jury granted the Best Director Award to Democrats by Camilla Nielsson (Denmark / 2014 / 108 min.), who came to Prague to present her film.
„This film stood out for its raw portrayal of the struggle to write a new constitution in a country ruled with an iron fist by the brutal dictator Robert Mugabe. The director of this film told this complex story by following two adversaries who embodied the stark conflicts inherent in building a new country from scratch. Their process was messy and often dangerous, but it also raised serious questions faced by everyone around the world who aspire to have a say in how they are governed,“ reads the jury statement.
Special Mention went to director Judy Rymer for I Will Not Be Silenced (Australia / 2014 / 84 min.).
„We award a Special Mention to a film whose main character undertook a gruelling 7 year battle. After a nearly unspeakable crime, Charlotte challenged a biased system to find justice for herself and set an inspiring example for other women in the Kenyan slum of Kibera,“ reads the jury statement.
Grand Jury members: Anna Har, director of Freedom Film Fest, the only human rights festival in Malaysia; Brian Knappenberger, director, screenwriter and producer, who presented his new documentary The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz at One World; Liz Rosenthal, founder and CEO of Power to the Pixel, an organisation that focuses on interactive projects; Lise Birk Pedersen, a Danish filmmaker, whose documentary Putin’s Kiss won the Student Jury Award at One World 2013; and Radim Procházka, Czech producer, director and teacher at FAMU.
Václav Havel Jury
The Václav Havel Jury awards the prize to a film that makes an exceptional contribution to the defence of human rights. They also decided to award a Special Mention. The jury selected from among 11 documentaries in the Right To Know category.
The award for a film that makes an exceptional contribution to the defence of human rights went to Those Who Said No by director Nima Sarvestani (Sweden / 2014 / 89 min.) (PHOTO). The award will be collected by a protagonist and an initiator of the Iran Tribunal Iraj Mesdaghi who is coming to Prague.
„This documentary is first and foremost a message to whoever commits human rights violations: they will be held accountable. Impunity for human rights violations is intolerable for victims, their relatives, and for the society as a whole. Even years after the violations occurred, Iranian victims and their relatives had the power to join forces to reclaim justice – ignoring how much control one might have over State mechanisms or how powerful one might be. The perseverance of those victims and their relatives deserves the highest recognition, because in the spirit of Vaclav Havel they are the proof that one person can make a difference,“ reads the jury statement.
The Václav Havel Jury granted Special Mention to A Quiet Inquisition by directors Alessandra Zeka and Holen Kahn (USA, Nicaragua / 2014 / 66 min.).
„One´s personal beliefs or religious views are not the subject of this documentary; the theme is rather the politicians who adopt a law ignoring medical realities and needs of women and girls. Such legislation inscribes in stone discrimination against women, depriving thousands of critically needed medical help, causing deaths and creating illegality for those providing medical care. (…) We aim at recognising the bravery of the medical staff filmed in the documentary and at highlighting an issue unknown to many. We further hope that the authorities of Nicaragua will recognise the need to provide medical care to those in need and change its legislation accordingly,“ reads the jury statement.
The members of the Václav Havel are: Larysa Artiugina, film and television director and scriptwriter from Ukraine; Florian Irminger, head of advocacy at the Human Rights House Foundation; Alfredo Romero, Venezuelan lawyer and executive director of the NGO Foro Penal Venezolano, which helps victims of torture and arbitrary detentions; Mona Seif, Egyptian activist and founder of the “No To Military Trials for Civilians Group” initiative; and Ekaterina Sokirianskaia, director of the Russian branch of the non-profit organisation International Crisis Group.
Czech Radio Jury
The Czech Radio Jury grants an award for the innovative use of music and sound in documentary film.
This year the award went to The Queen of Silence by director Agnieszka Zwiefka (Germany, Poland / 2014 / 83 min.). The director will return to Prague to collect the prize.
„The Queen of Silence provides a unique insight into the interior world and sense of sound of a girl with a severe hearing handicap. The jury particularly appreciated the fine balance achieved between the use of sound, music and silence. In this documentary, the role of sound is as important as the image, and at times even more important. The music used in the film subtly underscores the parallel worlds of the central character, Denisa, a dancer,“ reads the jury statement.
The members of the jury were sound engineers from Czech Radio: Tomáš Zikmund, Jiří Litoš and Jiří Slavičínský.
The Student Jury selects from a school film collection. Its members are mainly high school students and organisers of the student film clubs of the One World at Schools project.
The Student Jury Award went to Warriors from the North by directors Søren Steen Jespersen and Nasib Farah (Denmark, Somalia / 2014 / 58 min.). The director will come back to Prague to collect the prize.
„The Student Jury awards a prize to a film looking at a pressing issue from a non-traditional perspective. The film gives students the opportunity to reflect on the questions of social inclusion and the unwillingness to accept religious or cultural differences. We also appreciate the fact that the documentary is not judgmental and does not jump to simplistic conclusions. The student jury also commends the authors’ ability to create an authentic and totally absorbing atmosphere,“ reads the jury statement.
There were four members of the Student Jury: Karolína Blaková, Jan Novotný, Rebeka van Overloop and Nikola Voráčová.