Juries and prizes 2020

Two international juries, documentary and fiction, will award three awards as part of the FIFDH international competitions. Despite the cancellation of the Festival's public events, the juries will award their prizes on March 15.


Juries - Creative documentary section

Pamela Yates - President of the Jury

Pamela Yates is an internationally-renowned documentary filmmaker whose work has focused on war crimes, memory and justice in the United States and Latin America. Her trilogy on Guatemala (When the Mountains Tremble, Granito: How to Nail a Dictator, award winner at the FIFDH, and 500 years), as well as The Reckoning: The Battle for the International Criminal Court, and State of Fear: The Truth About Terrorism, have earned her international recognition. Pamela Yates is also a seasoned activist. Together with Paco De Onis, she founded Skylight Pictures, a company that specializes in the production and distribution of documentary films that are committed to impact campaigns. The FIFDH has regularly screened her films, and she will participate in the 2nd edition of the Impact Day, the FIFDH’s own professional programme.



After completing law school, Badiucao fled to Australia, where he became a visual artist, street artist, illustrator and performer. He is one of China's few political cartoonists : having built his reputation on social networks, he has since been published in the New York Times, The Guardian, and featured on the BBC and CNN. Convinced that artists have the power to deconstruct the arrogance of authoritarian rule, he regularly ridicules Xi Jinping, represented as Winnie the Pooh, or Mao Zedong. The artist also created a performance around Tank Man, the man who famously faced a column of tanks on Tiananmen Square, which went viral worldwide. A masked operative, Badiucao has long been nicknamed the "Chinese Banksy". On 5 June 2019, after being identified and threatened by the Chinese secret service, and to commemorate Tiananmen's 30th anniversary, he revealed his face to the world. Badiucao will address the audience after the screening of the film dedicated to him.



An "artistic dissident", architect at heart and photojournalist based in Paris, Reza Deghati has travelled the world for 40 years with a particular passion for places of conflict, refugee camps and the great turning points in history. Regularly published in the most important international media (National Geographic, Time, Newsweek), he has won both the World Press Photo and the Infinity Award. His latest book, Iran, rêves et dérives, was written with his brother Manoocher, also a photojournalist in exile. A staunch activist, Reza is actively engaged through his associations Aïna and the Ateliers Reza in providing photography training for young people and women in vulnerable civil societies, especially in Afghanistan, Kurdistan and Sicily.


Adelina von Fürstenberg

Founder of the NGO ART for The World, Adelina von Fürstenberg is an international art curator of large travelling art exhibitions. While studying Political Science, she founded the Centre of Contemporary Art for Geneva, which she directed for 10 years. She has gone on to curate numerous exhibitions throughout the world, demonstrating a unique flair for spotting talent and providing a platform for it. In 2015 she was awarded the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale for her curating of the Armenian Pavilion. Adelina von Fürstenberg also produced more than 45 short movies, working with filmmakers from different horizons: she just finished Interdependence, a collection of films revolving around climate change, signed by Mahmat Saleh Haroun, Bettina Oberli, Silvio Soldini or Daniela Thomas.


Nora Philippe

A filmmaker, curator, and writer, Nora Philippe has directed Like Dolls, I’ll Rise (2018), which was selected in over 30 festivals in 15 countries, Job Center, Please Hang On (2014), shot over a year in a Seine-Saint-Denis unemployment agency, and The Ensorcery of James Ensor. Pursuing her work on “archives ordinaires,” material culture, and black feminisms, she curated the Black Dolls exhibition at La maison rouge in Paris in 2018, and is currently preparing a documentary film with ARTE on the restitution of African artefacts by Western museums. She has also produced over 10 creative documentaries, focused on social, political and historical issues with her production company Les Films de l’Air.


Burhan Sönmez

Kurdish author Burhan Sönmez was born in 1965 in a small village in Anatolia. Winner of the prestigious Sedat-Simavi Prize and the Vaclav Library Foundation's "Disturbing the Peace" award for courageous dissenting writers, his works have been translated into some thirty languages. He is a member of the Board of the International PEN Writers' Association. He is a human rights lawyer who has practised for many years in Istanbul. After an exile of more than ten years in England, he now lives between Turkey and Cambridge. His new novel, Labyrinth, published by Gallimard, is a powerful tale of memory and identity. Compared across the Atlantic to Modiano and Camus, it has received excellent critical acclaim.

  • A conversation with Burhan Sönmez. Friday 6 March, 12:15 pm. More info


Juries - Fiction competition

Claudia Bluemhuber

Over the last 10 years, Claudia Bluemhuber has produced over 40 ambitious international films, including The Wife, for which Glenn Close won a Golden Globe, the Oscar-nominated Loving Vincent, The Railway Man, starring Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman, Eye in the Sky, starring Helen Mirren, and Official Secrets, with Keira Knightley. Claudia was named a “Film Mogul” at the Toronto Film Festival 2014 and was awarded the “Pioneer of the Year Award” in 2015 at the Cannes Film Festival.  Besides the big screen, she also actively develops and finances ambitious TV projects for the BBC and CBS. Claudia is also a vocal advocate for social change through the power of storytelling. This year, she co-founded Reel Motion Impact, a non-profit association using the moving image as a medium for empowerment, with an ambitious project revolving around the SDG’s (Sustainable Developement Goals) that will be launched during the FIFDH.


Alaa al-Aswany

A writer and dentist, Alaa al-Aswany became an international literary phenomenon following the publication of his novel The Yacoubian Building in 2006, which was later adapted for the big screen. The following year, he published Chicago, then Automobile Club of Egypt in 2014. His books have been translated into 37 languages. A democratic activist and columnist for several major Egyptian newspapers, he would end each of his articles with "Democracy is the solution". He played an active role in the Arab Spring and was one of the most popular heralds of Tahrir Square. This experience inspired his novel The Republic of False Truths (2020), the French version of which is banned in most of the Arab world. In Egypt, Alaa al-Aswany is banned from publication but also from any broadcast media.

  • A Conversation with Alaa al-Aswany, organised by the Société de Lecture. Monday 9 March, 7 pm. More info


Claude Barras

Claude Barras is passionate about images: computer graphics, animation, illustration and design. His career reflects his love for drawing in all its forms. His celebrated animated short films, including La Banquise (2007), Le Génie de la boîte de ravioli (2009), and Chambre 69 (2012) have been screened worldwide, but it is his first feature-length film that earned him international recognition. Indeed, Ma vie de Courgette, about a little boy in a childcare home, has since been distributed in 60 countries, earned 2 Césars and the European Film Award, as well as nominations for both the Golden Globes and the Oscars. While producing short films for the Hélium Films collective in Lausanne, Claude Barras is currently developing a new animated feature film taking place in Borneo, among the Penan indigenous people.


Nadia Ben Rachid

Nadia Ben Rachid is an acclaimed editor known for her work in both documentary and fiction cinema. She learned her craft through working with filmmakers such as Roman Polański (Pirates, Bitter Moon, Frantic), Henri Verneuil on The Vultures, Claude Berri on Uranus and Germinal, Agnieszka Holland and Roland Joffé. She is the editor of choice for Abderrahmane Sissako : after Waiting for Happiness, Life on Earth and Bamako, Timbuktu earns her the César for Best Editing. She has also edited a number of films for Anne Aghion, Yamina Benguigui and other renowned filmmakers, and received the 1st Final Cut Prize at the Venice Film Festival in 2013 for Kaouther Ben Hania’s Le Challat de Tunis. A member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts since 2015, she describes the process of editing as shaping a director’s vision into a “harmonious, fluid idea”.


Philippe Cottier

Philippe Cottier is a Swiss lawyer. Since 1995, he has served as board member of the Helene and Victor Barbour Foundation and Secretary of the Board of the Foundation since 2005, representing it in various cultural activities. He has always been particularly interested in cinema and his participation in the Fiction Grand Award, offered by the Hélène and Victor Barbour for the 2019 edition of the FIFDH is a continuation of his work.


FIFDH Awards

Awards Creative Documentary Competition

Grand Geneva Award

10’000 CHF
Offered by the City and Canton of Geneva • Awarded by the International Documentary Jury


Gilda Vieira De Mello Award, as a tribute to her son Sergio Vieira De Mello

5’000 CHF Offered by the Barbara Hendricks Foundation for Peace and Reconciliation • Awarded by the International Documentary Jury


Youth Jury Award

1000 CHF Offered by the Peace Brigades International (PBI)


Awards Fiction Competition

Fiction Grand Award

10’000 CHF
Offered by the Hélène et Victor Barbour Foundation. Awarded by the International Fiction Jury.


Youth Jury Award

1000 CHF
Offered by the Eduki Foundation


Competition Grand reportage

The World Organization Against Torture (OMCT) Award

5’000 CHF
Offered by the world Organization against Torture (OMCT) to a director whose film demonstrates his or her commitment to the human rights’ cause to help in the writing of his or her next film project • Awarded by the OMCT Jury


Special juries

Awarded by a jury composed of detainees of the Prison de la Brenaz, Champ-Dollon and La Clairière as well as of patients of HUG's Hôpital de jour. The award goes to three French and/or Swiss productions.

  • Prison and hospital programme


Further reading