An interreligious jury appointed by SIGNIS (World Association for Catholic Communication) and INTERFILM (International Inter-Church Film Organisation) has been present at the Festival
Visions du Réel in Nyon since 2005. The jury includes a member of INTERFILM and SIGNIS, and a member of the Jewish and Muslim faiths.
The jury gives an award to a feature-length film in the international competition and possibly a commendation that sheds light on existential, social or spiritual questions as well as human values. The prize of CHF 5’000 is donated by both the Swiss Catholic Church and Médias-pro, the Media Department of Reformed Churches in the French-speaking part Switzerland (CER), and the Swiss Federation of Jewish Communities.
The Interreligious Jury unanimously awarded its Prize to the film Liberation, The User’s Guide directed by Alexander Kuznetsov (France, Russia, 2016). In the jury’s opinion it is “A film which creates a portrait of two young women, confined within a neuropsychiatric establishment in Siberia but in search of their dignity and independence. The film-maker tackles the subject with remarkable simplicity and narrative rigour. This desire for liberty requires them to call on courage, perseverance and solidarity in order to reach their goal.”
The jury awarded a Commendation to the films Looking Like My Mother directed by Dominique Margot (Switzerland, 2016) “A courageous work of personal and universal significance, displaying exceptional creativity” and to Still Breathing directed by Anca Hirte (France, 2016) “an avant-garde work which approaches a difficult subject with a delicate and innovative vision.”
The members of the Interreligious Jury 2016 were Nasser Bakhti, Carouge (Switzerland/Algeria); Alan Foale, Leeds (England) Pierre Marguerat, Lausanne (Switzerland) – President; and Ilaria Piperno, Rome (Italy).
The 2016 Ecumenical Jury awarded its Prize to It’s only the end of the world (still, below)directed by Xavier Dolan (Canada, France).
What cannot be said in words can be communicated by the face, rendered transcendental by Xavier Dolan’s filming. In what is not said, the screams and the looks, we find the history of a family where love is unspoken and where people yell not to reveal what is essential. Upon his return Louis, the prodigal son who came to announce his impending death, chooses instead to inspire love and hope to his relatives.
The Jury awarded two Commendations. The first to American Honey directed by Andrea Arnold (United Kingdom). “A road-movie that gives a loving glimpse of a forgotten youth, a ‘sales crew’ travelling from town to town. It shows their ability of inner strength and dignity, while at the same time providing a social seismograph of various segments of society. It is a threefold journey: a journey of the crew, a journey from wealth to poverty and an inner journey of each of the protagonists, Star and Jake haven’t lost their ability to dream and to transform themselves.”
The second Commendation went to I, Daniel Blake directed by Ken Loach (United Kingdom). “Sustained by the great artistic qualities of the director, this movie portrays a man at the end of his life, who puts his own suffering aside to be of service to a family challenged by marginalization and poverty. Like a Good Samaritan, he brings them the attention and affection that are as necessary to human beings as material needs.”
The Jury in 2016 consisted of Cindy Mollaret (France, President); Karin Achtelstetter (Canada); Ernest Kouacou (Ivory Coast); Gabriella Lettini (USA); Teresa Tunay) Philippines; Nicole Vercueil (France).
At the 62nd International Short Film Festival 5-10 May 2016, the Ecumenical Jury, appointed by INTERFILM and SIGNIS, awarded its Prize of €1500 donated by the Evangelical Church in Oberhausen and the Catholic Film Work in Germany, to a film in the International Competition to 489 Years (still, below) directed by Hayoun Kwon (France, 2016).
In his memories a soldier takes us on an excursion in the demilitarized boarder area between South Korea and North Korea. Thrilling computer-animated sequences capture his view of a dangerous journey through a mined paradise. Beauty and horror meet here and make us aware of the ambivalence of outer and inner limits.
In addition, the jury awarded a certificate for a film in the International Competition for Children’s and Youth Films, in connection with a recommendation for the church film distribution companies in Germany, Katholisches Filmwerk and Matthias-Film, to Viaduc directed by Patrice Laliberté (Canada, 2015).
17 year old Mathieu is out one night to spray a graffiti on a highway bridge. The reason for his action won’t be revealed until the end of an exciting film that shows in various ways the lifestyle of young people. Viaduc inspires viewers to question their own prejudices as well as superficial points of view.
Members of the 2016 Jury: Eberhard Streier (Germany, President), Christian Murer (Switzerland), Dagmar Petrick (Germany), Thomas Schüpbach (Switzerland).
Censored Voices, directed by Mor Loushy (Israel, 2015) has received the SIGNIS-WACC Human Rights Award 2015. A feature-length documentary the film revisits an ages-long conflict still reverberating in one of the most troubled regions of the world.
In Censored Voices, Israeli writer-director Mor Loushy presents a starkly different, dark side of that story, which began to surface when writer Amos Oz and editor Avraham Shapira interviewed their fellow kibbutznik combatants just returned from the front.