NIHRFF Award Winners 2023

from left to right: Juruna Mallon (director The Intrusion), Andrea Kuhn (NIHRFF director), Lara Lima (producer The Intrusion), Alisa Kovalenko (director We Will Not Fade Away), Isabelle Krauß (NIHRFF festival production), Kilian Kuhlendahl (director Lonely Oaks), Photo: Uwe Niklas

International Human Rights Film Award Nuremberg

The Intrusion (Brazil, France 2023, 107 min, directed by Flora Dias, Juruna Mallon)

„Think of a place and its people who have undergone drastic changes. What was once a forest has now become a village, andwhat was once a village has transformed into a regional airport, dispersing the villagers. Picture a spotlight shining on this situation. In their film, ‘O Estranho’/’The Intrusion,’ Flora Dias and Juruna Mallon portray the conflicts inherent to a place that serves as a microcosm of the broader challenges associated with change, demonstrating a genuine commitment to the human experience intertwined with it. The protagonists of ‘O Estranho’ have been profoundly shaped by their environment; they have adapted to it while seeking traces of the past, literally digging for stones as physical remnants of a place they once called home. The film neither idealizes nor mystifies the past; instead, it weaves it into the contemporary struggles of marginalized communities.We were moved by the physicality of the characters, the power of their friendship, and the moments of lightness -especially their dancing and their unwavering persistence. We are looking forward to seeing more from these talented filmmakers in the future. It is with great pleasure that we present the Best Picture award at the Nuremberg Human Rights Film Festival to ‘O Estranho’ by Flora Dias and Juruna Mallon.“

The International Jury: Ute Adamczewski, Claudia Tosi, Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese

Audience Award

Lonely Oaks (Germany 2023, 102 min, directed by Fabiana Fragale, Kilian Kuhlendahl, Jens Mühlhoff)

Open Eyes Youth Jury Award

We Will Not Fade Away (Ukraine, France, Poland 2023, 100 min, directed by Alisa Kovalenko)

„The documentary “We Will Not Fade Away” by Alisa Kovalenko deeply impressed and touched our jury. This work stands out for its extraordinary ability to portray the lives of young people living in the Donbas war zone, located in eastern Ukraine, in a time of upheaval and uncertainty in a region at war. Alisa Kovalenko shows a remarkable sense for the personality of each individual and manages to portray her protagonists in a sensitive and authentic way. The film offers intimate insights into the dreams, challenges and inner strength of the teenagers as they face the traumatic events in their country. Despite the war they are forced to grow up in, they embark on the long journey to the Himalayan mountains and prepare themselves with anticipation.The camerawork and visual design of the film are powerful and sensitive. The haunting images capture theemotional highs and lows of thoseyoung people and convey a powerful message to the audience about human will and hope. We were particularly impressed by the scenes from the Himalayas, which gave the film a certain lightness while watching it, despite the heavy subject matter. Even with long landscape shots that are not accompanied by spoken words, one never gets bored and the film never feels tough. “We Will Not Fade Away” is not only an impressive portrait of young people, but also a call for empathy and understanding for the challenges young people face in war zones. Nevertheless, the lives of each individual young person are in the foreground and each story moved us deeply in its own way. Overall, “We Will Not Fade Away” is a poignant masterpiece that shines with emotional depth, visual brilliance and a powerful message. We are sure that this film will also move the younger audience, who will be able to see this film as part of a school programme, and educate them about the war that has already been going on in Ukraine since 2014. Our jury agreed that this film enriches our understanding of human nature and the struggle for a better future and therefore deserves the highest praise and recognition.

Special Mention:

People Can Die Twice (Germany 2019-2022, directed by Hamze Bytyci)

First of all, we would like to take this opportunity to give an honourable mention for the seven animated biographies about persecuted Sinti and Roma during the Nazi dictatorship in the short filmprogramme “People Can Die Twice”.

Each one of these films had a very individual and creative artistic style and each one was thus completely different from the other, which shows us how diverse a story can be told after all.

More importantly, the theme to which these films are dedicated is of great importance, because the memory of all that the Sinti and Roma had to go through during the Second World War is of great importance and we see it as our duty to ensure that this painful past is not forgotten andis revealed to a wider audience.

The Open Eyes Youth Jury 2023 were Aras Celebi, Juliane Leimgruber, Sofia Konoshchenko, Alessandro Stolk, Antonia Strekies. The prize money was kindly donated by STABILO International.