Interreligious Jury at Nyon Film Festival honours Iranian Filmmaker
(SIGNIS / INTERFILM). The 53rd Visions du Réel Festival in Nyon (Switzerland) started on 7 April 2022 and ended on Easter Sunday, 17 April, with the screening of the award-winning films. After the digital and hybrid editions of the past two years, the Interreligious Jury was looking forward to returning to the cinemas. My Paper Life (Ma vie en papier), directed by Vida Dena (Belgium, France, Iran, 2022), received the Prize of the Interreligious Jury at the 2022 edition of the film festival. The film offers insights into the life of a Syrian family in Belgium, characterized by the director's empathy toward her characters. Starting with drawings made by the family members, their experiences of refuge and their dreams are confronted with the realities they have to deal with. At the centre are the daughters, two young women searching for their way between tradition and modernity. With attention and tenderness, Vida Dena shows the problems typical of refugee families: shaken identities and often difficult experiences of integration. But they also inspire dreaming; life proves stronger than all obstacles. The Jury is very proud to be able to award this touching film, which - although shot almost exclusively in the family's living quarters - connects past and future, life and dream, roots and identity, and which consists to a considerable extent of drawings that are integrated in a surprising and convincing way as poetic animations. Due to the pandemic, all Jury members came from Switzerland only. The 2022 Interreligious Jury members were Ali Biçer, Noëmi Gradwohl, André Joly (President), and Blanca Steinmann. An interreligious Jury has been present at the Visions du Réel Festival in Nyon since 2005. It includes a member of INTERFILM, SIGNIS, and two members of the Jewish and Muslim faiths. Every year, the Jury awards a feature-length film from the international competition that sheds light on existential, social or spiritual issues and human values.
SIGNIS Awards Two Documentaires at Cinélatino Film Festival
(SIGNIS). A SIGNIS Jury took part in the Festival Cinélatino, 34es Rencontres de Toulouse from March 25th until April 2nd. The Jury awarded two films in the documentary competition. The long-form documentary Del Otro Lado (Columbia, 2021), directed by Ivan Guarnizo, won the first Prize of the SIGNIS Jury. "This film is one of those that catches you with a well-constructed story, with an investigation that required a lot of work and patience, and with a deep and emotional message", said the Jury. They added: "History does not take refuge in the past to feed the thirst for revenge. On the contrary, the past helps to understand and learn to forgive and love. This is a story about reconciliation, forgiveness, empathy and grace". The Jury also awarded the short-form documentary Deus Me Livre (Brazil, 2021) directed by Carlos Henrique de Oliveira and Luis Ansorena Herves. This documentary explores how a cemetery employee who was also a pastor shares the meaning of his call to bury the dead and help others. For the Jury, his message to all of us is that God is with us. Essentially, we are all the same, and our time here on earth is limited. There is no time to lose, and we must seek to do good with everyone we encounter. The members of the SIGNIS Jury were Néstor Marino Briceno (Venezuela), Monique Beguin (France), and Douglas Fahleson (Ireland).