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Días de Santiago winner of Fribourg Fest

The Regard d’Or of the 18th edition of the Fribourg International Film Festival was awarded Sunday to “Días de Santiago” by Josué Méndez, Peru. Unanimously the International Jury, presided by Argentine director Eliseo Subiela, “recognised the cinematographic quality of this first work as well as the actor’s performance.” Such quality and performance also greatly impressed the other Juries. “Días de Santiago” also took the EX-CHANGE Award conferred by the Youth Jury, the Ecumenical Jury Award, and the FIPRESCI Jury Award. The International Jury attributed its Special Award to Argentine Raúl Perrone’s film “La Mecha.” The Jury of the IFFS (International Federation of Film Societies), for its part, chose to bestow its award on “Alf Chahr” by Faouzi Bensaïdi of Morocco. And the General Public Award went to Pedro Pérez Rosado’s “Cuentos de la Guerra saharaui” from Spain.

The Documentary Award went to “Nodongjada Anida” by KIM Mi-re from South Korea. The Jury, presided by Eliane Ballif, saluted “the extraordinary perseverance and courage” of the young woman director and her merit in “showing in detail and from within, a social conflict in an Asiatic country, while revealing the extreme harshness of the conflict.” The Jury decided to give a Special Mention to “Ma Famille africaine” a Swiss film by Thomas Thümena, who “dynamites all the conventions of thinking and language.”

Since its creation in 1980 the Fribourg Film Festival pursues its will to combat all forms of discrimination and censure, to respect the freedom of expression and the perception of others. That is why the organisers of this 18th edition chose to support the works of filmmakers who dare to speak up. The presence of Fernando Solanas at the opening of the Festival with his testimonial film “Memoria del saqueo,” denotes this will; as well as the will to continue facilitating dialogue and encounters through the debates and seminars that encourage cultural and social diversity. Likewise, and so that we may not to forget, the Festival dedicated its sections to the conflicts and crises in many countries, alongside a young and bantering international competition. By the power of their topics and the acknowledged courage of their authors, the documentary films attracted many a spectator and were incentives to lively debates. Thomas Thümena’s “My African Family” very quickly drew a full house, proving that the dialogue between North and South is of direct concern to us. It is interesting to note that the vast retrospective on the Cinemas of Central Asia was also often sold out.

In all more than 28,000 movie-goers (1,000 more than at this time last year) filled the theatres in Fribourg, Bulle and Düdingen.

“Moi et mon blanc” (“Me and My White Man”) by Pierre Y. Yameogo (Burkina Faso/France), that will close this week of dialogue on a comical note, will be projected at a free showing on Monday 29 March at 6.00 pm at the REX1. “Moi et mon blanc” is one of the four Films from the South of which the Festival acquires copies to be distributed by trigon-films throughout French-speaking Switzerland (as from beginning April in Geneva, Lausanne and Fribourg). The other Films from the South are “Nizhalkkuthu” (“The Servant of Kali”) by Adoor Gopalakrishnan, shown in 2003; “Alf Chahr” (“One Thousand Months”) by Faouzi Bensaïdi and “Días de Santiago” by Josué Méndez, the big winner of this 18th edition.

The 19th edition of the Fribourg International Film Festival will take place from 6 to 13 March 2005.


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