Juries and prizes 2019

Two international juries, documentary and fiction, will award three awards as part of the FIFDH international competitions.



Juries - Creative documentary section

Leïla Slimani - President of the Jury

A Franco-Moroccan novelist born in 1981, Leïla Slimani was awarded the 2016 Goncourt Prize for her novel The Perfect Nanny, published by Gallimard and translated into 44 languages, making her the "most widely read French author in the world". An acclaimed author, feminist and committed activist, her fearless writing has sparked many a passionate debate. She addresses issues such as sexual addiction In the Garden of the Ogre, the story of a double child murder and social struggle in The Perfect Nanny, and the violence of patriarchy in Sex and Lies: Sexual Life in Morocco. Leila Slimani is French president Emmanuel Macron’s personal representative for French language and culture, but has used her position to publicly challenge his stance on migrants last November. A public conversation with Leila Slimani is organized by the Société de Lecture:


Fellipe Barbosa

Born in 1980 in Rio de Janeiro, Fellipe Barbosa is one of the most emblematic figures of contemporary Brazilian cinema. After directing the short film Salt Kiss, he was admitted to the Sundance Institute in 2008, where he developed and directed his first feature film, Casa Grande, presented in Rotterdam in 2014. In 2017, he went on the trail of a missing friend in Malawi, accompanied by villagers who recount their versions of the story. Gabriel and the Mountain, a powerful and personal film, was awarded at the Critics' Week in Cannes and toured in International Festivals. Fellipe Barbosa is currently preparing a feature film dedicated to Leila Alaoui, a Franco-Moroccan photographer who died during the attacks in Ouagadougou and to whom the FIFDH dedicated its 2016 edition.


Hussain Currimbhoy

Hussain Currimbhoy is a documentary programmer for the Sundance Film Festival. Before joining Sundance, he was, from 2008 until 2014, the director of programming for the Sheffield Doc/Fest in the UK. Currimbhoy was born in Canada, and has spent time living and working in Australia, Japan, the Netherlands, and the UK before settling in Los Angeles. After graduating from the Victorian College of Art in 2002, he started RVO4, a touring short film festival, and curated film programs for the Australian Centre for the Moving Image. He has written and directed 8 short films which have played at international film festivals. Currimbhoy is a regular guest speaker at film festivals and film schools around the world.

A public conversation with Hussain Currimbhoy will take place during the Festival:


Julie Trébault

Founded in 1922, PEN America is the largest of the centres that make up the PEN International network, which brings together 7,200 writers from around the world to defend artistic creation and freedom of expression. Julie Trebault leads the organisation’s Artists at Risk Connection (ARC), which specifically supports artists and filmmakers at risk. Passionate and well connected, Julie Trébault began her career as the Head of Higher Education and Academic events at the prestigious Musée du Quai Branly in Paris. In 2008, she joined the National Museum of Ethnology in Leiden, the Netherlands, where she created a network of 116 international museums. Prior to joining PEN America, she served as director of public programs at the Museum of the City of New York.

Julie Trébault will host a meeting with filmmaker Eddy Munyaneza about the Filmmaker At Risk initiative:

Juries - Fiction competition

Pat Mitchell

Pat Mitchell is an American entrepreneur, producer and activist. She was the first woman president and CEO of PBS after being the president of CNN Productions. Her career is guided by the desire to use media as a force for social change, especially with regard to women's representation. The projects she produced have received 35 Emmy Awards and 5 Peabody Awards. She is a consultant to numerous companies, and chair of the Women's Media Center Board and the Sundance Institute board. Mitchell also served as president and CEO of the Paley Center for Media, a global thought leader for forums on the role of media in society. She is currently finishing a book entitled Becoming a Dangerous Woman: Embracing a Life of Power and Purpose.

Pat Mitchell will meet the Festival audience at a professional lunch, organized with Giving Women:


Uzodinma Iweala

Born in 1982 in the United States, and of Nigerian descent, Uzodinma Iweala is a graduate in both literature from Harvard University and surgery from Columbia University. Aged 23, he published his first breathtaking novel, Beasts of No Nation, the intimate story of a child soldier, translated around the world and adapted to the screen by Netflix. He is the author of many novels and essays, and produced the film Waiting for Hassana. While continuing to practice medicine, he runs the publication “Ventures Africa”, which deals with politics, culture and innovation. He founded Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria, which supports investments in health, and Lumos Txtlite, which supplies solar energy. In 2017, Uzodinma Iweala caused a sensation in Geneva with a provocative speech about philanthropy, where he stated, “stealing a thousand dollars and then giving me a dollar as you pass by on the street cannot be called philanthropy”.

Uzodinma Iweala will participate in the FIFDH Forum, alongside Ratna Kapur:


Shahin Najafi

Originally from the underground scene, Shahin Najafi, born in 1980, is a prominent sound poet, musician and composer in Iran’s musical landscape. He tackles issues as diverse and engaged as theocracy, poverty, sexism, censorship, child slavery, summary executions, drug abuse and homophobia. In 2012, he was the target of several fatwa death sentences for his song Ay Naghi!, and the website HonareNab.ir posted an online video game called Shoot the Apostates inviting internet users to murder him. He is the author of a poignant autobiography entitled When God Sleeps, and currently resides in Germany, where he was forced into hiding.

Shahin Najafi will give a concert at the Alhambra during the Festival:


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.


Anne Deluz

Born in 1964, Anne Deluz began her professional career alongside emblematic Swiss filmmakers: Michel Soutter, Alain Tanner with whom she collaborated for some fifteen years, Claude Goretta, and Francis Reusser. In the 1990s, she moved to Spain. She alternates between productions with filmmakers such as Fernando Trueba, writer-director David Trueba, Mateo Gil, la Cuadrilla or the Norwegian Bent Hamer. She also leads directing workshops at the Cuban Film School, San Antonio de Los Banos. She returned to Switzerland in 2001 and began directing in various television genres: comedies, psychological dramas, fiction series and documentaries for Swiss and French television. She has since produced Fernando Trueba's La Reina de Espana (2016) and Frédéric Choffat and Julie Gilbert's My Little One (2019). She is currently co-writing and directing the TV Bulle series for RTS and developing the animated feature Red Jungle by Juan José Lozano and Zoltan Horvath.


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

500 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

500 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