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One World announces its awards

One World, 6th Annual Human Rights Documentary Film Festival Prague,
Czech Republic, 15-22 April 2004

The Minister of Culture of the Czech Republic Award for the Best Film:

Arna's Children, directed by Juliano Mer Khamis and Danniel ArnaDanniel, Israel, Netherlands, Palestine
When you sign on as a juror for the One World International Human Rights Film Festival you know you will be meeting people whose rights are being wronged and whose stories are deeply moving. But few of us jurors expected to meet a Jewish woman leading a dozen or so Palestinian children in the Jenin Refugee Camp to express their hatred of Jews, in an effort to transform that hatred into a positive force. Nor that these children would develop as very human characters in a tragedy rocking Israel and the Middle East and sweeping
a number of them to their deaths. But that is the power of passionate filmmaking and of the film the majority of the jury has voted as Best Film of this Festival. It is entitled Arna's Children.

But the jury is made up of passionate filmmakers who, confronted with a choice of 15 films, can hardly be expected to make unanimous decisions. In fact, a minority of this jury, two out of five, voted to name another
documentary as Best Film, S-21: The Khmer Rouge Killing Machine, about the horrors of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. Here is their statement: We have two Votum Separatum in our jury. Marcel Lozinski and Patricio
Guzman believe that the film, Arna's Children, does not qualify the actions of its heroes as terrorism and that it does not show who is behind the scenes pushing these children towards suicide. With this negation the filmmakers are simplifying things and putting in question their responsibility towards the conflict between Israel and Palestine in a moment when the entire world is being threatened by terrorism.

The Best Director Award:
S-21: The Khmer Rouge Killing Machine, directed by Rithy Panh, France
The jury was united in a unanimous decision on this major award. This is an impressive, personal and very human film which highlights the horrible consequences of totalitarianism. It is an universal film about all forms of
totalitarian systems which, in the name of the criminal ideology, have resulted in the deaths of millions of people during the 20th century. This documentary should be a warning against political fanatism, which continues to
threaten us in the 21st century. S-21: The Khmer Rouge Killing Machine is a clever, enriching and topical film.

The Václav Havel Special Award
for the film with the most significant contribution to human rights awareness:
S-21: The Khmer Rouge Killing Machine, directed by Rithy Panh, France
This film shows us how frightening and cruel things can happen when people focus in on the darkest attributes and instincts of other people and then use these attributes to manipulate them. It is a factual and eloquent anatomy of total power and it is also evidence of the difficulties in reconciling the past.

I sense a great warning in this film. Nobody can say: 'It couldn't happen in our country!' On the contrary, unbelievable things happen all the time in societies where there is an atmosphere of deferring to authority.
This atmosphere can change free will into manipulation, free decision-making into deference to orders, civil activities into paralyzing fear. We have experienced it here in Europe and we can never say that we have won for once and for all.

This documentary reminds us, that nobody - and especially not those of us who have experienced a totalitarian state - should believe that living in a free society means that they don't need to be aware of these issues and
that they are safe forever. These filmmakers have brought this message to our attention.

I want to thank the organizers of the One World Festival and all the filmmakers for their efforts to restore dignity to a lot of unhappy people.

The Mayor of Prague Award for the best short documentary:
My Body, directed by Margreth Olin, Norway
All the films exhibited a broad array of styles, lengths and formats that collectively made a strong statement for how issues of human rights can be expressed in every medium and style of filmmaking. The jury selected My Body as the winner because this film - through gifted cinematography, expert editing and storyline development - presented an important and particularly universal message of the extreme damage that capitalism and the western gaze have done to the individual's self image (physical and spiritual) and the harmful results. Ms. Olin's command of a wide variety of film/video formats, and the expert layering of these formats, combined with a pointed sense of humor and daring self-exposure, combined to give her film the top prize.

Special mention: Detail, directed by Avi Mograbi, Israel
In contrast to its title, Detail presented a fully realized story in an eight-minute framework. This film concisely and powerfully travels to the heart of the problem in Israel and Palestine by dissecting the relationship of those who hold the power and the powerless. It is a strong cry of outrage and anguish for a conflict that affects the whole world.

Special mention: Three Poems by Spoon Jackson, directed by Michel Wenzer, Sweden
Three Poems by Spoon Jackson was exceptional as well, both for its lyrical visuals, and for its strong humanistic message. The clever structure of phone calls, and spoken poetry over the phone line - combined with the clearly close relationship of Michel Wenzer and Spoon Jackson - gave this film a strength and deep emotion that crystallizes the intense need for real justice and humane treatment of those caught in a dehumanizing prison system.

The Rudolf Vrba Award for the best film in the Right to Know Category:
To Live is Better than to Die, directed by Chen Weijun, China This documentary deals with the problem of HIV and AIDS, which are global problems and which people should be aware of. The Rudolf Vrba Award Jury feels
that the winning documentary is very professional and they especially value its report on mutual responsibility between people and on each state's responsibility for its citizens. The film is very important in relation to
human rights issues. The jury has chosen a meaningful quotation from the film: "This film is about life, love and death."

Special mention: Lest We Forget, directed by Jason DaSilva, USA The value of the film lies in revealing human rights violations in the USA, a country that is considered to be a democratic state. The Jury also valued the fact that this documentary evokes compassion for the suffering of innocent people who are victimized by state authorities.

The Czech Radio Award for the best use of sound or music in a documentary:
Surplus, directed by Erik Gandini, Sweden This film uses sound in a very elaborate and creative way. Sound in
all of its forms - i.e. real sounds, artificial sounds, spoken comments and music - strongly emphasises the rhythmic factor of the whole film. The principal statement of the film is based on sharp contrasts and sudden editing. The result is a dynamic, ironic and ultimately unjoyful statement on the paradoxes and contradictions of a society that is painfully going through the process of so-called globalization. This film is composed in the same way as a music composition where individual audio plans form a single rhythmic complex.
Monologues by famous personalities (and ordinary people as well) are edited, phased, permeated and articulated into elaborate rap songs. The director used all factors in this film in a very efficient, harmonious and balanced way in order to form an alarming statement about a contemporary, disharmonious and
unbalanced world.

The Plzensky Prazdroj Audience Award: My Flesh and Blood, directed by Jonathan Karsh, USA
This film has been very popular with viewers throughout the festival and it has topped the audience poll for most of the week.

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