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Women's rights, ecology and torture scoop top FIFDH 2022 awards

Women's rights, ecology and torture scoop top FIFDH 2022 awards
Copyright euronews
Copyright euronews
By Frédéric Ponsard
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Women's rights, ecology, and torture scoop top FIFDH awards as the Geneva film festival closes. Cinema reports.


Over ten days, the International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights brought together artists, activists, journalists, and the public in Geneva for film and debate.

The Grand Prize for Fiction was awarded to two films - Freda, by Haitian director Gessica Généus, and Vera Dreams of the Sea by Kosovan filmmaker Kaltrina Krasniqi.

Vera Dreams of the Sea

The latter tells the tale of a widow, forced to take on a ruthless rural patriarchy to claim an inheritance, for her, and her daughter and granddaughter.

The film also won the Festival’s Youth Prize, an award Krasniqi told Euronews has particular significance.

"You know, when you make a movie you think about audiences, of course, and then you think that people of a certain generation who resonate with issues but then getting a prize from youth meant quite a lot to me because that means the story resonates with other generations as well."

Invisible Demons

Invisible Demons also won a Youth Jury Prize.

The hard-hitting documentary centres on New Delhi’s poorest inhabitants and how they are dying from pollution and climate change. Often, it makes for uncomfortable viewing.

"Invisible Demons for me is like a feeling of being on top of a giant caterpillar called capitalistic civilization, and it's a roller coaster that doesn't stop. And it comes from a fear of how we are in a position where we feel that there is no other way to keep going on but this. It's something endless, and relentless," the film's director Rahul Jain told Euronews.

White Torture

White Torture directed by Iranian lawyer and human rights activist Narges Mohammadi won the festival’s Grand Reportages category. It focuses on psychological torture and its destructive effect on victims.

Mohammadi is currently imprisoned in Iran.

Her friend, Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi, is the film’s ambassador. Sitting down with Euronews, she said: "In my opinion, this film represents the state's repression of prisoners of conscience and political prisoners in Iran. But at the same time, it represents resistance, because the repression continues, but the resistance of the people also continues."

After two pandemic-enforced digital editions, this year was also a chance for the festival to finally get back to some form of normality by meeting in person and welcoming back live audiences.

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