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Media Jury finally nominates award-winners for the Human Rights Documentary Film Festival “Ukrainian Context”

19.04.2007    source: www.helsinki.org.ua
The media jury assessing documentary films from Ukraine, Belarus and Russia in early April this year had an entirely understandable reason for being somewhat preoccupied: hard to judge films when there is a whole political “show” unfolding before you

The Film Festival this year had two juries. One was made up of human rights defenders who chose the best film on human rights issues, the other a panel of journalists who assessed publicist works of colleagues from Ukraine, Belarus and Russia.

The human rights jury announced their verdict at the closing of the Festival. There was almost unanimous agreement that the best film on human rights was the work by the Russian directors Yulia Panasenko and Svetlana Strelnikovaya “The Idiot”.  The award for “Development of a theme” went to the film “The end of the game” by Russian director Anna Dranitsyna, while a film by the Indian director Avinasha Deshpande “The Great Indian show” was awarded prize “For presentation of an issue”.

The media jury was unfortunately unable to make their choice on the best publicist work due to the political situation in the country and a number of events connected with this. At the closing ceremony, one of the members of the jury and a journalist from TV Channel “1+1” Maxim Butkevych apologised for this, saying that had the country’s politicians not decided to organize their own “show”, the jury would have had no problem.

Thus, after a small delay, the awards have been announced. The main prize went to the film by the well-known Belarusian director Viktor Dashuk: “Femida – a woman of ill repute”. The film addresses problems of the judiciary in a totalitarian state. Three of the five journalists gave this work their highest rating.

“This film is an epoch-making testament to the crime against humanity in Belarus. It is a major documentary. Both the producer’s work and the filming deserve the highest praise. A journalist diagnosis with the psychology of a serial killer and the present regime, hits the mark 100 %”, was the comment from jury member and presenter of Channel 5 “Roman Chaika”.

The journalists also decided to show solidarity with their human rights colleagues and highlighted the film by Russian director Anna Dranitsyna “The end of the game” for “presentation of an issue” As Maxim Butkevych put it, the film was not only wonderfully made, but it also raises the crucial and higher pertinent issue of privacy.  This is an area which was long not understood by the average member of the public and is only now beginning to worry people outside a narrow circle of legal experts and human rights defenders.

This was the fourth such festival in Ukraine since 2003. It was founded by the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union (UHHRU) and the civic organization – the Centre for Modern Information Technology and the Visual Arts,  with the support of the International Renaissance Foundation, the National Union of Ukrainian Cinematographers and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Ukraine.

More than 100 films from almost 40 countries were shown.

Viktoria Onyshchenko, UHHRU

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