The 37th Fribourg International Film Festival took place in Fribourg, Switzerland, from March 17th to the 26th. The goal of this Festival is to promote the understanding between cultures through films, giving preference to productions that stimulate reflection and provoke discussion.

Every year, the Festival becomes an important rendezvous for film buffs of all cultures and origins, for amateurs of classics and novelties, for auteur cinema as well as for contemporary popular productions. The FIFF wishes to contribute to the cinematographic and cultural diversity in Switzerland and in Europe. 

The Ecumenical Jury, appointed by INTERFILM and SIGNIS, is present at the Festival awarding a prize of 5.000 CHF, donated by the Church Aid Organisations in Switzerland “Lenten Offering” and “HEKS/Brot für alle”. The prize is awarded to directors who draw attention to those works of quality which touch the spiritual dimension of our existence, expressing the values of justice, human dignity, respect for the environment, peace and solidarity. These values, shared in all cultures, are also those of the Gospel. 

This year’s winner is Jin Ong for the film Abang Adik, Malaysia (2023). The movie tells the story of Abang and Adi, two undocumented orphans living in present-day Malaysia. While the older brother, a deaf-mute, has resigned himself to a life of poverty, his younger sibling burns with indignation. A brutal accident upsets the fragile balance of their relationship. A poignant tale that stays with you long after the credits roll. 

The Jury stated they were “impressed by the light-footed, fluid narration, the inspiring acting, the images full of warmth, the skillful use of sound and music: a flawless work, completely rounded”.

“The film is a plea for justice and human dignity, and it shows, in a universal way, strong solidarity among the marginalized of society. Their tragic life situation is illuminated by love and tenderness”.

Members of the Jury: Philippe Cabrol (France), Bernadette Meier (Switzerland), Florence de Tienda (France), and Stefan Haupt (Switzerland) as President.a