Award Winners at HUMAN 2023
Read all about the award-winning films and why the juries fell for them.
On the penultimate day of HUMAN 2023 we are very happy to present this year’s award winners! The competition was extremely hard, and the discussions amongst the jury members have run on into the late hours of the festival evenings. Two main awards have been handed out this Saturday evening at Vega Scene in Oslo. In addition, each jury have awarded one honorable mention.
The following are the complete statements of both juries.
An Honorable Mention goes to a film we hope is a glimpse into the future with a co-existence of greater solidarity.
This film is an intimate portrait of a person often referred to as a group representative, often spoken for by others. But we meet a unique individual, strong in character, ready to use their own voice whenever possible.
The film addresses the theme of freedom of speech, but is at the same time through its documentary practice an extension of Norway’s democratic space.
Of equal importance is the fact that the protagonist, through their presence in interactions with others, reminds us of the empathy we harbor, but not always show. That reminder feels acutely important today.
Honorable mention goes to Extraordinary Me by director Ragnhild Nøst Bergem.
The HUMAN Award 2023
The main award in this year’s Norwegian competition program goes to a film that went straight to the jury’s hearts.
It’s a film full of surprises, that truly highlights just how important the trust between filmmaker and subject is in documentary filmmaking.
The winning film is conscious in its use of cinematic tools. The filmmaker masters the genre breaking register of modern storytelling, utilizing some of the most effective tools in fiction and true crime in an original way to tie multi-faceted archive material together. At the same time, this film is incredibly present in the moment, as only a documentary film can be. The intimacy between the filmmaker and protagonist also allows for much needed release through gallows humor.
The confidence in the film’s form is especially impressive as this is a debut feature length film. Rarely has the hard labor of clearing a farm’s field of boulders been so loaded with symbolism.
Through a deeply personal story and the film’s own conception, this film highlights a widespread issue in society. Themes such as men’s mental health and abuse of young boys, which is bravely tackled, is still shrouded in self-eradicating silence.
The winning film has had a long production period. It is a story that has taken the time it needed to take, showing the complexity in being human. Here, the use of time has proven not only to be cinematic, but of existential importance.
The HUMAN Award 2023 goes to Forget-Me-Not by director Anton Ligaarden.
The jury wants to give an honorable mention to a film that addresses children’s rights and the lack of legal protection.
The film — by using few storytelling tools — manages to articulate a heartbreaking story about the Israeli military’s unlawful treatment of stone-throwing Palestinian children as terrorists.
Clips from video surveillance of the streets of the Aida refugee camp near Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank and video surveillance of interrogations by the Israeli military police are masterfully cut together with unsheathed and dense interviews against a black background.
Director David Wachsmann treats everyone equally. The responsible officials from the Israeli military and an Israeli defense lawyer in the military court are given the same opportunity to present their version as the four minor Palestinian boys. The boys are interviewed after they were released from Israeli prisons two to four years after they were caught for throwing stones.
The result is startling. The jury believes that the Israeli film Two Kids A Day is a revealing and wise film. Now the Israeli authorities is demanding the filmmakers to repay the funding support they received.
The Human Rights Human Wrongs Award 2023
The film receiving the award for best international human rights documentary at the HUMAN 2023 has many human qualities. It shows love, unity and not least the fight for justice. The directors have managed to create unprecedented trust in the subjects of the film. The trust is visible in many of the film’s warm, intimate and emotional scenes.
The documentary is about violence against women, which is the world’s most extensive violation of human rights. Since 2015 more than 2,500 women have been lost to femicide in Turkey.
However, the documentary focuses on the life of a woman who survived. The assassination attempt against her was committed by a man who had his proposal rejected. A bullet cannot be removed from the protagonist’s brain — and the film shows her intense struggle to recover, and the help she got from the whole family.
Directors Nick Read and Ayse Toprak have been working on this film for five years. The directors have managed to create trust with the whole family. When filming had started, the protagonist’s sister- her closest supporter in life- was killed by a jealous partner. The film is a warm family portrait and at the same time a merciless attack to a legal system and a state that does not protect women from the violence or provide justice to the victims.
The film’s caring dramaturgy, sensual photography, and emotional clips both sooth audience and evoke strong thoughts.
My Name Is Happy is an important film. It provokes and gives hope.
The jury congratulates the team.
EXTRA SCREENINGS SUNDAY
Both award-winners will have an extra screening on Sunday March 12, so you get one final chance to catch them before the festival ends.
FORGET-ME-NOT is screened at 9 pm @ Vega Scene, kino 3. Tickets will go live here shortly.
MY NAME IS HAPPY is screened at 9 pm @ Vega Scene, kino 2. Tickets will go live here shortly.
Festivalteamet i HUMAN gratulerer vinnerne hjerteligst, og vil benytte anledningen til å takke skaperne av alle de nominerte filmene vi har hatt gleden av å ha i festivalprogrammet vårt i år. Takk!