Life is Beautiful. Credit: Jeden Svet

Palestinian Film ‘Life is Beautiful’ Wins Main Prize At One World Festival

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The winner of this year’s One World (‘Jeden Svet’) International Human Rights Film Festival is Palestinian director Mohamed Jabaly’s ‘Life is Beautiful’, about life in exile in Norway.

The jury prize for directing went to Kumjana Novakova for ‘Silence of Reason’. The audience vote was won by the documentary ‘My New Face’ by director Jarmila Stukova. The award ceremony was held in the presence of President Petr Pavel.

Life is Beautiful is a personal documentary testimony of a young Palestinian filmmaker who is about to embark on his first trip to Europe. Little does he know that his month-long stay in Norway will turn into a forced exile. “The documentary poignantly portrays the plight of a Gazan filmmaker who has been forced into exile due to the political situation in his homeland. He finds himself stateless and facing a rigid bureaucracy, but finds inspiring support from the small Norwegian community,” the jury said.

The jury also praised the film for its humour and diary form. “It tells a universal story of perseverance, strength and hope with an incredible sensitivity to what unites us,” the jury added.

Novakova, the award-winning director of Silence of Reason, used archival material from The Hague Tribunal to give voice to women who faced brutal sexual violence and torture during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. “Although the film relates to one specific historical event, it also speaks to all armed conflicts taking place today and the increasing use of rape as a weapon of war,” the jury said. Credit: Jeden Svet.

The Vaclav Havel Jury Award for Best Film went to ‘’, directed by Brazilian documentary filmmaker Caio Cavechini. It depicts a divided Brazilian society where threats and violence are the common tactics of right-wing extremists.

Viewers chose their favourite from 96 feature films, which included documentaries and, more recently, feature films on human rights. The Audience Award went to the documentary My New Face, in which the protagonist recovers from an acid attack by her ex-partner, learns to live with the loss of her sight, and finds a new path in life.

The Prague part of the festival was visited by 21,000 spectators this year. One World will run in more than 40 cities across the Czech Republic until 21 April.

The festival includes the annual presentation of the Homo Homini award, which has been given by People in Need since the 1990s to individuals and groups that have made a significant contribution to the protection of human rights and democracy. This year the prize was awarded to representatives of the imprisoned editorial staff of the independent Azerbaijani online media Abzas Media.

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