The winners of the 15th Verzió have been announced!

The Hungarian winner of the 15th Verzió Audience Award is A Woman Captured, the international winner is The Time of Forests. The Human Rights Film Award goes to Srbenka, the Best Student/Debut Film Award goes to The Island. No Obvious Signs, Their Voices and Film for Carlos received Special Mention.


The winning films of the 15th Verzió International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival were announced on November 10th, Saturday evening, in Toldi cinema, Budapest.


This year, for the first time, the Audience Award was presented to a Hungarian and an international film. These films received the most votes from the audience. The Hungarian winner, Bernadett Tuza-Ritter’s film, A Woman Captured, explores human trafficking through the story of a woman forced to work as a slave. This staggering work is the first feature-length documentary to compete at the Sundance Film Festival and, according to the latest news, is among the top five documentaries competing for the European Film Award.


The international winner of the Audience Award is a work by French director, Francois-Xavier Drouet, The Time of Forests, which shows industrial forestry and its alternatives. The forest, a symbol of intact nature, is subject to unpreceded industrialization. Living forest or green desert — the decisions of today shape the landscapes of tomorrow.


Srbenka received the Human Rights Film Award from a five-member Student Jury. A 12-year-old girl has been murdered in the winter of 1991, in Zagreb. A quarter-century later, a renowned Croatian theatre director adapts the story for the stage. The Croatian film director, Nebojša Slijepčević’s work, which has been nominated for the European Film Award, explores how the generation born after the Yugoslav wars copes with history’s dark shades.


Jack Atmore, Nóra Aujeszky, Kyung Rae Park, Kamilla Simor and Lucy Szemetová, the Student Jury members, awarded a Special Mention to the Ukranian film, No Obvious Signs. Alina Gorlova’s work tells the story of a woman returning from war with post-traumatic stress syndrome who tries to return to her daily life. What does life look like behind the curtains of military heroism? How long will she struggle with the aftermath of the war?


The best student/debut film was chosen by the International Jury whose members are, film director Diana Groó, director/producer Péter Kerekes, and program curator Antonello Vinci. The winner of the Best Student/Debut is The Island. Adam Weingrod’s documentary is an intimate view into the life of residents at a hospice situated on the tense border between East and West Jerusalem, across from the walls of the Old City. For two years, the director accompanied patients and caregivers who shared their intimate stories. The film sensitively captures the moments of humour, tenderness, and sadness for those who live and those who depart on their last journey from the hospital.


The International Jury awarded two Special Mentions to Their Voices and Film for Carlos. The polish director, Eri Mizutani’s, short-film, Their Voices, takes us to a polish boarding school, an isolated and caring home for hearing-impaired students. Renato Borrayo Serrano’s work, Film for Carlos, follows a young man from Guatemala studying in Russia, and shows the difficulties Carlos has with his mother and father-in-law after the birth of his first child.


Every child has the right to freely express their opinion about issues concerning them, which is why a Kids' Jury, supported by UNICEF, was established this year to select the Best Kids' Film of the festival. The three members of the jury awarded Granny Project, by Bálint Révész.


The closing ceremony ended with a screening of Liberation Day, a Norwegian-Latvian coproduction. Much to the surprise of the whole world, the Slovenian cult band, Laibach, was the first rock group invited to perform in the fortress-state of North Korea. Confronting strict ideology and cultural differences, the band struggles to get approval from the censor before playing to an audience that has never been exposed to alternative music.


The screening was followed by a discussion with festival director, Oksana Sarkisova, Ugis Olte and Morten Traavik, directors, and Ivan Novak, a member of Laibach.