Juries and Awards

Two international juries and a youth jury will award three and two prizes respectively in the FIFDH international competitions. Four other prizes will be awarded in other competitions.

Creative Documentary Competition Jury

Alain
Kassanda
Jury 2024: Alain Kassanda
Filmmaker and director of “Colette et Justin”

Alain Kassanda, a native of Kinshasa, emigrated from the DRC to France at the age of 11. After studying communication, he began organising film screenings in various cinemas in Paris. He then became the programmer of an art house cinema in Paris, before moving to Ibadan, in south-west Nigeria, from 2015 to 2019. There he directed Trouble Sleep, a medium-length film following the daily lives of various protagonists in the world of transport. The film won the Golden Dove for best short film at the DOK Leipzig festival in 2020 and the Special Mention of the Jury at the Visions du Réel festival in Nyon, Switzerland. Subsequently he created Colette et Justin, a feature length film that blends family history with the story of the decolonisation of the Congo, selected for the international competition at IDFA in 2022 and awarded a prize at the FIFDH in 2023. His third film, Coconut Head Generation, is an in-depth look at university life in Nigeria, tackling various aspects of power imbalances in contemporary Nigerian society.

Ella
Glendining
Jury 2024: Ella Glendining
Filmmaker and director of “Is There Anybody Out There”

Ella Glendining is a writer and director. She is dedicated to telling authentic stories about people living with disabilities. Her film Is There Anybody Out There? – premiered at the Sundance Film Festival 2023 and presented at the FIFDH 2023 – and received several awards, including the Silver Horn for the Director of a Film on Social Issues at the Krakow Film Festival 2023, the prestigious FIPRESCI International Film Critics Award and the Bring The Change Award at the Biografilm Festival 2023. Ella also received two nominations at the BIFA 2023, Best Debut Director – Feature Documentary, and the Raindance Maverick Award. Ella was one of three winners of the BFI and Chanel Filmmaker awards 2023, which celebrate “creative courage”, and was nominated for a BAFTA Breakthrough 2023. Ella is currently writing an historical drama, Curiosities of Fools, which she shall also be directing for the BFI.

Mariana
Lorenzo
Jury 2024: Mariana Lorenzo
Illustrator and designer

Mariana Lorenzo, aka Maremoto (1994) is a queer textile designer and illustrator born and raised in Mexico City. Her art passionately advocates for women’s rights, exploring themes of mental health, self-esteem, feminism, and LGBTQIA+ advocacy. Maremoto’s frame of work that goes from digital illustration, muralism, frame by frame animation, rug making and embroidery, embodies a spirit of freedom and resistance, breaking barriers in human identity and always finding new ways of telling stories. Her colourful landscapes and attention-grabbing typographies are a way to lure spectators in thus making them engage with hard-hitting topics.

Chadi
Aoun
Jury 2024: Chadi
Animation film director and dancer

Director of animated films, budding storyteller and dancer, Chadi Aoun is passionate about the many facets of audio-visual creation. Born in Beirut, he grew up in several Mediterranean countries and was influenced by the rich visual cultures that shaped his artistic profile. After spending two years studying fine art in Paris, he returned to Beirut, where he obtained a master’s degree in animated film from the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts. In 2004, he co founded the YELO label, a collaborative design and animation company. He is also involved in a number of stage performance projects to satisfy his passion for dance and live performance. His most recent projects include working on the short film Waves 98 by director Ely Dagher, which won the Palme d’or Court Métrage at the Cannes Film Festival in 2015, and creating the Haneen exhibition for UNICEF at the Civil War Museum in Beirut, his award-winning short animated film SAMT (Silence) on the theme of dance as a means of resistance. His latest collaboration with dancer and choreographer Ali Chahrour won him the ZKB sponsorship prize for The Love Behind my Eyes at Zurich’s Theater Spektakel in 2022.

Nathan
Law
Jury 2024: Nathan Law
Democracy activist and former Hong Kong legislator

Nathan Law is a Hong Kong activist, currently in exile and based in London. During the Umbrella Movement in 2014, Nathan was one of the five representatives who took part in the dialogue with the government, debating political reform. Upholding nonviolent civic action, Nathan Law, Joshua Wong and other student leaders founded Demosistō in 2016 and ran for the Legislative Council election. Nathan was elected with 50,818 votes in the Hong Kong Island constituency and became the youngest Legislative Councilor in history. Yet his seat was overturned in July 2017 following Beijing’s constitutional reinterpretation, despite international criticism. He was later jailed for his participation in the Umbrella Movement. In 2018, Nathan and his fellow student activists Joshua Wong and Alex Chow were nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Due to the risk imposed by the National Security Law, he left Hong Kong but  continues to speak up for Hong Kong people. In 2020, he was listed as one of the 100 most influential people in the world by TIME. A year later, he was named a Pritzker Fellow at the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics.

Fiction Competition Jury

Sepideh
Farsi
Jury 2024: Chadi
Film director and screenwriter

Born in Tehran in 1965, Sepideh Farsi took to the streets at an early age to photograph political demonstrations, unaware of the risks.Arrested at the age of 16, she spent almost a year in prison. Upon her release, Sepideh Farsi was banned from university. She moved to Paris in 1984 and studied mathematics. After several years as a photographer, she went on to make art videos, documentaries and feature-length fiction films, which were selected and awarded at numerous festivals around the world (Locarno Film Festival and Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), among others). Her films include Tehran without authorisation, Red Rose as well as 7 Voiles and Harat. A politically-engaged artist, Sepideh Farsi has shot her films in Iran, Afghanistan, India, Greece and France. Her latest film, The Mermaid, an animated anti-war manifesto (opening film in the Panorama section of the Berlinale 2023 and in competition at the Annecy Festival), is currently on international release.

Meenaskshi
Sedde
Jury 2024: Chadi
Programmer, journalist and film director

Meenakshi Shedde is a film curator, journalist, filmmaker and communications consultant focused on development issues, based in Mumbai. With 27 years’ experience in development, she has collaborated with the World Bank, UNDP, UNESCO, Sangram and SaciWaters, among others. As Vice Chairperson, Point of View, she amplifies women’s voices through the media. Her career in film includes programming for the Berlin, Toronto, and Jio Mami Mumbai Film Festivals. She served on Cannes Film Festival’s Semaine de la Critique 2023 jury, and as a Golden Globe Awards International Voter. A script consultant for top film festivals, she has curated for the British Film Institute and TIFF Cinematheque. A filmmaker with experience on 15 productions, she emphasises the impact of films on inclusive audiences, and has edited 21 books.

Flavia
Zanon
Jury 2024: Chadi
Producer

Flavia Zanon studied Political Science before obtaining a Master’s degree in Asian Studies from the University of Geneva. She began her career with the Paris-based production company Les films de l’air, working on a number of stimulating projects. On her return to Switzerland, she joined the Tous Écrans Festival (newly GIFF) team and programmed the short films in the Swiss competition for two editions. 

In 2012, she worked with Joëlle Bertossa on the creation of Close Up Films. From that point on, they made their mark on the Swiss audiovisual landscape by producing and co-producing films that combine courage and ambition, such as I Am Not Your Negro (Oscar nomination for Best Documentary in 2017), Yalda (Sundance Grand Prix 2019) and Les Hirondelles de Kaboul (César nomination for Best Animated Film 2019).

In 2020, Flavia Zanon was selected to represent Switzerland as part of the prestigious Producers on the Move programme at the Cannes Film Festival. Recently, she produced the documentary Nostromo by Fisnik Maxville, winner of the National Competition at Visions du Réel in 2021, as well as the feature film Foudre by Carmen Jaquier, three times nominated for the Prix du Cinéma Suisse 2023.

Thierry
Oppikofer
Jury 2024: Thiery Oppikofer
Representative of the Barbour Foundation

After a professional career as founder and editor-in-chief of several media outlets, and as host of programs on Léman Bleu Télévision, Radio-Lac and Yes FM, Thierry Oppikofer is the founder and managing director of the Journal de l’Immobilier, a real estate supplement of the daily newspaper Le Temps.  A member of the board of the Hélène and Victor Barbour Foundation since 2019, he represents the Foundation in its various cultural activities. He has always been interested in cinema and his participation in the Jury of the Grand Prix Fiction, offered by the Hélène Barbour Foundation for the 2023 edition of the FIFDH, is in keeping with his professional activities.

Youth Jury

Youth Jury – Creative Documentary Competition

Alba AMOS, Collège Rousseau

Audrey BADO, Collège Claparède

Xochitl BECHADE, Collège Voltaire

Lucia CHOFFAT, Collège Voltaire

Tristan ENGEL, CEC Émilie-Gourd

Vincent SCHMOCKER, Collège de Saussure

Youth Jury – Fiction Competition

Tala BENHATTAT, CEC André-Chavanne

Juliette HVALA, Collège Claparède

Luise LACKNER, Collège Voltaire

Léa NOIRJEAN, CECG Madame de Staël

Alessia PIERDOMENICO, CEC André-Chavanne

Mathieu SORMANI, Collège de Candolle

FIFDH’s Awards

Creative Documentary Competition

Geneva Grand Prix
Endowed with CHF 10’000
Offered by the City and State of Geneva
Awarded by the International Jury

Gilda Vieira de Mello Prize, in honor of her son Sergio Vieira de Mello
Endowed with CHF 5’000
Offered by the Barbara Hendricks Foundation for Peace and Reconciliation
Awarded by the International Jury

Youth Jury Prize
Endowed with CHF 1’000
Offered by Peace Brigades International (PBI)

Fiction Competition

Grand Prix Fiction
Endowed with CHF 10’000
Offered by the Hélène and Victor Barbour Foundation
Awarded by the International Jury

Youth Jury Prize
Endowed with CHF 1’000
Offered by the Eduki Foundation

Focus Competition

World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) Prize
5’000 CHF prize
Awarded to a filmmaker whose film bears witness to his or her commitment to human rights, to support the writing of his or her next film.
Awarded by the OMCT Jury

Other Competitions

Impact Days

StoryBoard Impact Strategy Award
CHF 10,000 prize, donated by StoryBoard Collective.
Awarded to one of the 16 selected projects of the Impact Days 2023 program.
Selection is based on the quality of the impact strategy presented by each project, demonstrated by its feasibility and relevance in the current context of the theme being addressed. Human rights organisations give their feedback on this after one-to-one meetings with the filmmakers; the final decisions rest with the Impact Days team and The Storyboard Collective.

Sublimages Impact Award 
Offered by Sublimages.
Translation of the final version of the film and location of subtitles offered in one of these 4 languages: English, French, Spanish or Portuguese.
Awarded to one of the 16 selected projects of the Impact Days 2023 program.

Special Jury

Prix Artopie, HUG – Day Hospital