Award winners 2021
Norwegian competition program
Eleven new Norwegian documentaries participated in this year’s Norwegian competition program. The winning film is awarded the HUMAN Award, and NOK 50,000. The winning film also qualifies for the Amanda nomination for Best Documentary.
This year’s jury for the Norwegian competition program has consisted of Åse Svenheim Drivenes, Håvard Bustnes and Julie Lunde Lillesæter.
WINNER: GENERATION UTØYA
- Dir: Aslaug Holm & Sigve Endresen
- Prod: Fenris
Rarely have we seen a more necessary film, with such strong, vulnerable and impressive protagonists. The winning film captures the time we live in, and balances finely between pain and hope. Fortunately, it lands on hope, a hope we desperately need.
It is a strongly visual film that shows that words mean something. With a cautious look, and without being bombastic, it addresses some of the most important topics in the public debate today.
It clearly shows the consequences of hate speech, and that the fight against right-wing extremism in Norway has not been won. Every word counts. We cannot take democracy for granted.
The film beautifully portrays the brave young politicians who refuse to be silenced, and who defy the traumas, despite being attacked by the terrorist. For them, it is vital to continue fighting for what they believe in. The rest of us can only thank you for helping us believe in the future.
The film shows that there is hope for democracy. Making a film about our deepest pain, that still brings hope, is a feat in itself. The winning film is Generation Utøya.
HONORABLE MENTION: ALL THAT I AM
- Dir: Tone Grøttjord-Glenne
- Prod: Sant & Usant
Honorable mention goes to a film that with unique attention, caution and respect directs the camera towards its main character. With a very accomplished visual expression, the director manages to tell the main character’s story on her terms. In a brave way, the film dares to enter into the unpleasant, and thus gives a voice to a young woman who until now has been asked to keep quiet about her painful story. The everyday moments in the main character’s life contain emotional depth and subtle system criticism.
The main character’s strength and openness impress and touch us. The film forces us to see the consequences of a societal problem that is unfortunately bigger than we want to believe. Honorable mention goes to All that I am.
International competition program
Ten international documentaries with a focus on human rights competed for
HUMAN Rights Human Wrongs Film Award, and NOK 30,000 given by Amnesty International Norway and the Norwegian Helsinki Committee.
These two organizations have been close partners of the festival since the beginning, and with this award we want to highlight the filmmakers’ efforts to make human rights issues known to a larger audience.
This year’s jury for the international competition program has consisted of Anders Hammer, Laila Susanne Vars and Leiv Igor Devold.
Winner of the international competition program
This year’s International Competition Program offers a broad selection of human rights documentaries. We have been touched by the stories and impressed by their artistic level.
- Dir: Mira Jargil
“The war is not only bombs and weapons. No. The war destroys your life, not only your home. It destroys families. It destroys everything.”
That’s the words of Rana Agha in a movie that takes us on a long journey after the original flee, where four family members are divided between three countries. In order to reunite they not only have to struggle against the traumas of the war in Syria. They also have to battle against the bureaucracies in the countries they have ended up in. The two boys are losing a vital part of their childhood. And the whole family has to fight hard to keep their hope for a new future together.
We want to praise the director Mira Jargil for making an observational and intimate documentary that brings us very close to this small family. And we want to praise the two boys and the parents for sharing their experiences with us.
Told in a raw way, the documentary Reunited is an emotional rollercoaster, and it is this year’s winner of The Human Rights Human Wrongs Film Award. We were deeply touched by the mother Rana’s unbreakable faith that it is possible to restore human dignity.
Thank you for a beautiful movie.
HONORABLE MENTION: IN MY BLOOD IT RUNS
- Dir: Maya Newell
A movie that deserves a special mention captures a wide range of human rights by spotlighting colonial structures and social injustice. It helps us understand the overwhelming over-representation of Aboriginal youth in juvenile detentions in Australia.
Through the narrative of Dujuan, an Aboriginal child, and the director’s culturally sensitive approach, we get to know how Australia’s education system fails to incorporate indigenous people, traditional knowledge and learning, through erasing the history of the people who first were living in Australia.
This movie gives voice to both elders and youth who still live with the consequences of the inhuman policy of forced removal of Aboriginal children from their families – The Stolen Generations. This is a heart-wrenching and important contribution to the discussions about the relationship between indigenous peoples and settlers, highly relevant also for other indigenous people in the world.
Our honorable mention goes to In my blood it runs, directed by Maya Newell.