The FIFDH unveils its 2020 awards list

The Festival juries watched the films remotely and delivered their awards list.

Creative Documentary Competition

The International Jury of the Creative Documentary Competition was presided by Pamela Yates, with Badiucao, Reza, Adelina von Fürstenberg, Nora Philippe and Burhan Sönmez.


Grand Prize of Geneva

CHF 10'000 - Offered by the City and State of Geneva

Colectiv by Alexander Nanau

“Colectiv is a spectacular political thriller that details a team of sports journalists who investigate the Colectiv nightclub fire in Romania and in doing so uncovers high level government corruption in the Ministry of Health itself. The film centers the story of the victims and survivors in an unusual and profound way, and asks the question, “When we know the truth of what happened, how are we going to act?”

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Gilda Vieira de Mello Prize in tribute to her son Sergio Vieira de Mello CHF 5'000 - Offered by the Barbara Hendricks Foundation for Peace and Reconciliation

Radio Silence by Juliana Fanjul

“Radio Silence delves deeply into the brave spirit of journalist Carmen Aristegui, and explores all of her complexity, generosity and intelligence in one of the most dangerous countries to work as a reporter uncovering corruption – Mexico. The feminist solidarity and long term commitment on the part of director Juliana Fanjul to making sure the world knows about this human rights heroine will insprire audiences everywhere.”

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Special Mention to "Gaza" by Garry Keane and Andrew McConnell

“Gaza is artistically a beautiful movie that pictures the plurality of life against a singularity that can be called violence. The hope out of desperation and the beauty out of ugliness are the promise of this rich movie. That knife blade pushes people to make a moral choice: which one is better, a life with simple expectations or violence with aggression. That is the question of “Gaza” as well as the age we live in.”

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Youth Jury Prize CHF 1000 - Offered by Peace Brigades International (PBI)

The Youth Jury of the Creative Documentary Competition was composed of Theophano Chraïti, Lucie Dene, Karin Diaper, Terry Hemecker and Maxime Monney


Overseas by Sung-A Yoon

“We decided to award the Youth Jury Prize to Overseas from Sung-A Yoon. This creative documentary highlights a little-known and inhuman issue: the condition of Filipino women working as domestic workers around the world. The film treats this subject with finesse and originality thanks to a process of mise en abîme where these women train to play their future role in a school preparing them to be enslaved by their employers and removed from their families. The treatment in pastel colours brings a softness that contrasts with the harsh reality they are confronted with.”

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Special Mention To "I Am Not Alone" by Garin Hovannisian

“We chose to give a mention to a film that gave us an extraordinary experience: I Am Not Alone by Garin Hovanissian. This truly optimistic documentary inspires hope and shows the impact that one can have, as an individual, on the world around us. We are happy to have seen this film which speaks particularly to young people and gives us strength and courage.”

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Fiction Competition

The International Fiction and Human Rights Jury was presided by Claudia Bluemhuber, with Claude Barras, Nadia Ben Rachid and Philippe Cottier.


Grand Prize Fiction and Human Rights

CHF 10’000 - Offered by the Hélène and Victor Barbour Foundation

Maternal by Maura Delpero

“I would like to be different, but I can’t...” the sentence of Lu (Agustina Malale) to her friend Fati (Denise Carrizo) summarizes the dilemma the teenage mothers face in MATERNAL. These young mothers and their children can turn to no other place than a religious convent. So their world clashes with the strict moral codes of the nuns that provide shelter for them and their children. Maura Delpero’s debut film is a sensitive portrayal with layered performances and a lot of subtext. It never relies on stereotypes or tries to suggest an easy solution. As the story unfolds, the audience is slowly drawn into the life of Paola, Lu and Fati and the children. The acting by the three lead actresses is superb, authentic and convincing and the child actors leave you with a lasting image of urge, understanding that they are the ones suffering the most from the situation. It interrogates a system that on one hand prohibits abortion but on the other hand does not really provide support to the teenage mothers. The directing, cinematography, dialogue and pace make this directorial debut a genuine discovery.”

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Special Mention to "Kuessipan" by Myriam Verreault

“Myriam Verreault’s Kuessipan shows us a world seldomly portrayed on screen. An intimate moment in time in the life of two young Innu women and their families. It is joyful, dramatic as well as tragic and hopeful at the same time. A skillfully-crafted film, Kuessipan is beautiful in its simplicity and originality.”

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

The Youth Jury for the Fiction Competition was composed of Eulalie Félix, Emma Grau, Dounia Lafkiri, Raphaël Probst and Marie Wagneur


Balloon by Pema Tseden

“For its beautiful shots and aesthetics, for its attachment to the characters, for its original approach to sexuality still taboo in today’s world, for its subtle and complex treatment of the issue of abortion and women’s rights, for its relevant use of traditional music, its actor’s game and the power of its symbols, we, the Youth Jury, award the prize of the Fiction Competition to Balloon directed by Pema Tseden.”

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Special Mention to "Kuesspian" by Myriam Verreault

“We would like to give a special mention to the film Kuessipan by Myriam Verreault. The connection between the characters, the determining role of writing and poetry, and the question of belonging to a community, a culture and a territory moved us enormously. In addition, this film deals with the issues of the youth who represent us.”

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Grand Reportage Competition

Prize of OMCT

CHF 5'000 - Offered by the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT)


Délit de solidarité / Assistance à personne en danger : un crime by Pietro Boschetti and Frank Preiswerk

“We chose to award the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) 2020 prize to Délit de solidarité, whose authors have managed, in a sober but profoundly moving way, to drive us to the essence of what human rights is about by asking a simple question: what do we do, as human beings, when the law prevents us from showing basic humanity to those most in need, just because they don’t have a legal status? At a time when thousands of children, women and men fleeing war and persecution are treated like criminals at Europe’s frontiers, even stripped naked in the cold by border guards of democratic countries, we dedicate the award to the citizens featured in the film. They are not activists, but ordinary people who chose to obey their conscience rather than a law that they find immoral. We feel inspired by them.”

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Special Juries

Champ-Dollon Jury Prize

Women unit, offered by the City and State of Geneva

The Cleaners by Hans Block and Moritz Riesewieck

“This film allowed us to discover how powerful and untouchable big social networks like Google and Facebook are. The moderators who work there have not received adequate training and we were affected by the lack of psychological support they receive and their meagre salaries. However, without them, there would be chaos on the social networks. Hans Block and Moritz Riesewieck had the courage to introduce us to this unknown world. Thanks to them!”


Special Mention to "Ceux qui travaillent" by Antoine Russbach

“We would like to give a special mention to Antoine Russbach’s «Ceux qui travaillent». This film has made us understand how important communication is in our societies and how important it is not to take decisions alone that have serious consequences. Whatever the problem, not to choose money in front of a human life... Hats off to the director!”


La Brénaz Jury Prize

Offered by the City and State of Geneva

The Cleaners by Hans Block and Moritz Riesewieck

“We, the jury of the Brenaz, award the prize for the best film to «the cleaners» by Hans Block and Moritz Riesewieck. We were particularly aware of the different points of view discussed around the same theme, social networks and their moderators. We were touched by the frankness of the moderators, their suffering and the lack of supervision they are subject to and by the connections the film makes with questions of morality, politics and personal values around the big social networks such as Facebook or Google. Thank you and keep up the good work! Choukrane – Danke – Diarama – Muchas Gracias”


La Clairière Jury Prize

Offered by the City and State of Geneva

Numéro 387 disparu en Méditerranée by Madeleine Leroyer

“We are extremely pleased to be able to award the prize for best film to Numéro 387 disparu en Méditerranée, because this subject touched us and showed us a facet of migration whose harshness we were unaware of. Our outlook has changed and it has made us sad to discover the ravages of the migratory route today. These missing persons have given us a lesson in life and we would like to say that to forget them is to kill them a second time.”


Special Mention to "Sous la peau" by Robin Harsch

“We would also like to give a mention to the direction of Sous la peau. We found the director’s approach to the subject of trans-identity very interesting and important.”


HUG - Artopie Jury Prize

Artopie Prize - An HUG-Children Action Project, with the support of the Harcourt Foundation

Sous la peau by Robin Harsch

“We, the Hug Artopie jury, award the prize for best film to Sous la peau of Robin Harsch for the quality of its direction on an important subject that concerns us all. The highlighting of the association of the refuge made us realize the importance of the support that must be given when one goes through a difficult moment in one’s life, whether it is for a quest for identity or a change of identity. We would also like to underline the courage of Effi, Soan and Logan to have witnessed their transition through Sous la peau.”