Award Winners of the 16th International Human Rights Film Festival (FICDH)

20 de OCTOBER, 2015

On Wednesday June 24, in a warm closing ceremony, the 16th International Human Rights Film Festival (FICDH), organized by the Instituto Multimedia DerHumALC (IMD), announced the awarded films for the Feature, Short and Medium Length, and Argentinian Documentary Film Official Competitions, as well as the Audience Award, and the INCAA TV, RAFMA, and SIGNIS awards.

The Cervantes National Theater was the scene where this 16th edition reached its end, with a special tribute to Sofía Yussen D’Alessio, a recently deceased active militant of Mothers of Plaza de Mayo, which featured cheerful testimonies and anecdotes of her relatives together with the screening of excerpts of the film “Sofía turns 100 years”, by Hernán Belón. We also made a kind tribute to Elsa Oesterheld, Grandmother of Plaza de Mayo and widow of Héctor Oesterheld, author of the classic Argentinian comic book, El Eternauta.
During the past week in Buenos Aires, 112 titles from 39 countries were screened, and more than 20 international guests and around 20 national guests came together. With screenings in over 10 venues in the city, including a sub venue in Moron district, the attending audience up to Wednesday 24 was around 10,000 people. More than 130 volunteers collaborated in different areas with great commitment.
Besides, every day there was a screening space dedicated to Schools, where short films produced by educative institutions and social organizations were screened, including works developed during the year by the program Educar en Derechos Humanos a través del cine (Educating in Human Rights through Cinema), led by the IMD. More than 2000 children and teens from schools and social organizations participating in the festival attended the screenings and the scheduled activities and workshops.

Regarding the awards, the film which was worthy of the 1st Prize for the Feature Film Competition, according to the verdict of the jury conformed by Alejandra Darín, Jack Boghossian, Taco Ruighaver, Olivia Welke and Javier Rebolledo, was the Danish work “The Look of Silence”, by Joshua Oppenheimer, which was awarded with US$ 5,000, granted by Aquafilms, sponsor of the FICDH festival.

The jury’s verdict states that “…the film constitutes the right to the truth, an exercise which goes beyond the screen, which makes the viewer an active participant of what is being told. The force of what the scenes and characters transmit us makes it difficult to remain impassive, because it raises a fundamental question to us regarding the human society: What happens when there is no truth, when there is no justice, and when the official history is written by the violators of human rights… By consequence, it is also an example of the transforming effect of cinema, which brings hope when it is made in communion with all the senses.”
Likewise, both “Los del suelo” (Argentina), by Juan Baldana, and “The Wanted 18” (Canada, Palestine, France), by Amer Shomali and Paul Cowan, were awarded with a Special Mention by the jury of feature length films.

The short film “Listen” (Finland/Denmark), by Hamy Ramezan and Rungano Nyoni, was positioned as the winner of the Short and Medium Length Films Official Competition, obtaining both US$2,500 from Transparency International and the Copia Cero Award, which grants the subtitling of the film to any language of the filmmaker’s choice.
The verdict of the jury, integrated by Lohana Berkins, Daniel Cholakian, Carolina Karagueuzian, Paola Pelzmajer and Solen Rouillard, states that the film “renders a cinematographic treatment that allows multiple points of view and symbolic spaces, accounts for a system of reproduction of the male chauvinist violence that religious traditions, public institutions and familiar structure take part in, in a plot in which domination, beliefs, fears and indifferences come together.”

The First Mention of the Short and Medium length Film Official Competition is awarded to “Giovanni and the water ballet” (The Netherlands), by Astrid Bussink, followed by the animated short film “Padre” (Argentina), by Santiago ´Bou´ Grasso, which was awarded with the Second Mention.

About the awarded documentary, the jury emphasizes that the film “makes the universe of the women visible, a universe usually erased in a masculine world such as the one of the mines. It weaves together stories of different violent acts towards women who are protagonists in conditions of high vulnerability and who, nevertheless, manage to recover the power of their voices by joining one another.”
In this category, the jury decided to grant a Second Mention to “Gran Chaco” (Argentina), by Lucas van Esso, given the importance of the subject addressed. This film also received the Audience Award, since it was the most voted film by the audience of the FICDH festival.
Likewise, the SIGNIS jury, from the Argentinian Catholic Association for Communication, made up by Carlos Ferraro, Alejandro Malowicki and Rocco Oppedisano, awarded the 1st Prize to “Mujeres de la mina” and a Special Mention for “Gran Chaco”.

INCAA TV, via Paola Pelzmajer and on behalf of Vanessa Ragone, also granted a prize in cash of $5000 pesos plus a broadcasting contract for 4 years to the film: “Catalina y el Sol” (Argentina), by Ana Paula Hönig.
Representing the Argentinian Network of Audiovisual Festivals and Exhibitions (RAFMA), Néstor Granda (general director of Libercine festival) and Liliana Amate (Uncipar festival) grant the RAFMA’s National Short films by Emerging Directors Award to "Mujeres de la mina”.
Finally, after the winners were given the awards’ statuettes, Malena D’Alessio, former member of the music group Actitud Maria Marta and granddaughter of Sofía Yussen, the tribute to whom was shown earlier on, offered a musical performance with candombe rhythms and hip hop protest songs, together with outstanding musicians that put the whole audience dancing on their feet.

Once again, the FICDH festival team would like to thank all the participants, directors and the great team of volunteers for being part of this network, Networking, identities in contact, looking forward to a new meeting in 2016 and paving the way for the International Environment Film Festival (FINCA), to be held next year.