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Ecumenical Award at the Locarno Film Festival

Tuesday 16 August 2016, by SIGNIS

Locarno, August 16th, 2016 (SIGNIS/Interfilm). At the 69th Festival del Locarno 2016, which was held from August 3-13, 2016, the Ecumenical Jury appointed by SIGNIS and INTERFILM awards a prize and two commendations.

The Ecumenical Jury awarded the film Godless , directed by Ralitza Petrova (Bulgaria/Denmark/France 2016)

Godless tells the story of a young woman, Gana, who works as a caretaker in a Bulgarian city. As part of a crime ring, she steals the ID cards of her patients. Due to an unjust society, limited choices, and a painful personal history, she lives in a cold, hard world without compassion or love. Gana yearns for a release from the pain in her life. The film is a profound cry out of the depths of misery, and it explores vital questions. Will her lamentation be heard? Finally, what is the path toward liberation in a devastatingly corrupt society?

The jury awarded a first commendation to the film Mister Universo , directed by Tizza Covi and Rainer Frimmel (Austria/Italy 2016)

Mister Universo is set within the world of a circus. The main character, after losing a totem from his childhood, begins a quest to replace the lost object. On his journey, Tairo discovers the nature of human relationships, the importance of family and his true identity.

The jury awards a second commendation to the film Marija , directed by Michael Koch (Germany/Switzerland 2016)

Marija tells the story of a Ukrainian woman in Germany who seeks a better life, despite the many obstacles facing immigrants such as herself. The film is a narrative for women from Eastern European countries who often struggle to survive by selling their bodies. Marija pursues her dream by using her intelligence, relational skills and her deep conviction to persevere.

The members of the Ecumenical Jury were:

  • Werner Schneider-Quindeau (Germany) – President
  • Paul Block (USA)
  • Walter Chikwendu Ihejirika (Nigeria)
  • Charles Martig (Switzerland)
  • Martina Schmidt (Switzerland)
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