The 18th edition of the Geneva International Film Festival on Human Rights has revealed its prizewinners, despite the exceptional conditions caused by the new coronavirus pandemic.
This year’s festival took place online, ensuring the continuity of the event.
Whilst the public could not attend screenings and debates, they could follow them on Livestream on the festival website, Facebook or YouTube.
The Jury also watched the films from a distance and announced the winners online.
The winner of the Grand Geneva Award for the Creative Documentary Competition was the film Colectiv by Bucharest-born filmmaker, Alexander Nanau.
“Colectiv is a spectacular political thriller that details of a team of sports journalists who investigate the collective nightclub fire in Romania and, in doing so, uncover high-level government corruption in the Ministry of Health itself,” said President of the Jury Pamela Yates.
In October 30th 2015 a fire at the Colectiv nightclub in Bucharest killed 27 people and injured 180.
Fierce protests later broke out when over 30 injured people died after contracting infections in Romanian hospitals – forcing the resignation of the Prime Minister and his cabinet.
The film uncovers high-level government corruption within the Ministry of Health.
The Gilda Vieira de Mello Award for Peace and Reconciliation went to the film ‘Radio Silence’ by Juliana Fanjul.
The well-known Mexican radio host and journalist, Carmen Aristegui, is fighting against fake news, government corruption and the related drugs trade.
When her radio station fired her in 2015, she started her own channel and continued broadcasting online, where she now has around 18 million listeners.
“At the centre of this documentary is the figure of Carmen Aristegui. This fighter, this Mexican journalist, inspires us so much with her courage, a courage which in my eyes resonates strongly with the whole festival team who decided, despite the very complicated coronavirus situation, not to give up and to set up a 2.0 program to try to continue to communicate the messages of fight and defence that our films carry,” said the films director, Juliana Fanjul.
The Grand Prize for Fiction and Human Rights was awarded to the film Maternal by Maura Delpero.
In a country where abortion is not yet legal, Delpero’s first fiction film deals with a significant social issue by setting it in a convent- a place where pregnant and often underage girls cohabit with women who will never be mothers.
The Geneva International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights (FIFDH) is the world’s largest event dedicated to cinema and human rights.
All the debates and lectures can be found on the festival website.