Award-winning films of the 19th Verzió International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival were announced on Saturday at Toldi Cinema. The three juries awarded three main prizes and two special mentions. The prize winners can be watched in Toldi Cinema on November 14, Monday and November 15, Tuesday.
The festival screenings continue in cinemas until Wednesday. Between November 14-20, most of the films can be viewed online at festival.verzio.org.
Best Human Rights Film: Little Palestine – Diary of a Siege (Lebanon, France, Qatar, 2021, d.: Abdallah Al-Khatib)
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This year’s films have challenged us, led us to reflections and made us hopeful for a future of less hardship and inequality. On that note, tonight’s winner embodies first-hand representation of a complex, on-going atrocity that deserves urgent attention and political action, that questions indifference and discrimination through a lens that directly tackles the access to basic human rights. War can never be a natural state for anyone.
It has given a political voice to his community, one that is usually lost in the background noise of world affairs, while also providing introspection on the dreams and hopes of everyday people. A collection of home videos under the most tragic circumstances has been transformed into an artistic advocacy project that has presented us with threats, fear and danger. The intentionality of his actions has transcended the screen and geographical distance to take us on a raw exploration of life through the eyes of a refugee. For this and many more reasons, the Best Human Rights Film Award goes to Little Palestine: Diary of a Siege.
Jury members: Amina Ghazouani, Ramona Aristide, María Belén Soriano, Mucsi Blanka, Nagy Márk
Best Student/Debut Film: The Revolution Devours Its Children! (Burkina Faso, Austria, 2020, d.: Jan-Christoph Gockel)
Buy tickets for: November 13. Sunday 15:00 & November 14 Monday 17:00: TICKETS
The film challenges us continuously to question the claim of documentaries to represent the “reality.” As audience our feelings oscillate between humor and embarrassment, as this multilayered work tackles the subconscious reminiscent of colonialism in our everyday lives, language, and behavior, and furthermore tells us a story about endurance, democracy, and activism. Congratulations to The Revolution Devours Its Children!
Jury members: Yuliia Kovalenko, Anna Ladinig, Révész Bálint
Best Hungarian Documentary: Holy Dilemma (Hungary, Germany, 2022, d.: Vízkelety Márton, Ugrin Julianna)
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A beautiful personal story of a young man's life intertwined between traditions and personal ambitions, duties and desires, family love and commitment towards the community. The film follows in a personal, sincere and open way the painful obligation to make the almost impossible choice between two incompatible ways of life. The jury praises the sincere character-driven approach, starting from a little rural village in Hungary, but containing a huge international relevance, without implying any opinion or judgement, but reflecting on deep-rooted social themes through the life of a young dedicated priest. The award for best Hungarian film 2022 goes to Holy Dilemma.
Jury members: Boronyák Rita, Frederik Nicolai, Jannik Splidsboel
Audience Award: The Killing of a Journalist (Denmark, Czech Republic, USA, 2022, d.: Matt Sarnecki)
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Special Mention in the International Competition: Bigger Than Trauma (Croatia, 2022, d.: Vedrana Pribačić)
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We are pleased to have the chance to honor one more film in this seemingly impossible task. This unique project has moved us for its authenticity and originality. It made us take a look inside ourselves and question social stigmas regarding mental health, women’s rights and post-war trauma. Through a lens of intimacy and warmth, it reminded us of the importance of community and human connection, and provided us with an honest portrayal of the difficulties of unfolding pain at any stage of life.
These women have bravely shared their burden of trauma and its destructive aftermath to bring light on a universal problem, and to remind us that the survivors of war crimes deserve compensation and accountability. This documentary was remarkable for giving a voice to an underrepresented sector of society that is rarely presented as main characters, who, with their strength and courage, took us on a journey of self-discovery, healing and love. Our special mention tonight goes to Bigger Than Trauma.
Special Mention in the Hungarian Competition: Howling Like We Do (Hungary, Slovakia, 2022, d.: Dér Asia)
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The International Jury of Hungarian Films grants a special mention to director Asia Dér and her team as a token of their appreciation. Lajos Kassák, poet and painter has lived under right and left-wing dictatorships, in times of revolution and war. In all those eras, he found his personal but relevant way to anticipate, act and react, without ever denying his personal principles. Hungarian director Asia Dér's documentary film, Howling Like We Do, is not just a simple biopic of Lajos Kassák, but a delicate portrait of the fate of contemporary Central European artists who relate to power in the same way as Kassák did. But moreover, the film makes in an intelligent way the link with the present and how history seems to repeat itself over and over. Lajos Kassák would be flattered by this fresh, funny and original work. Thanks for it.