On the closing day of the 2016 Movies that Matter Festival, Alexandria Bombach and Mo Scarpelli received the VARA Audience Award for their documentary Frame by Frame. Earlier this festival, several prizes were handed out to filmmakers and activists whose films have opened eyes and sharpened our view on the world in these turbulent times. Some 24,000 people visited the festival at the Filmhuis Den Haag and Theater aan het Spui venues.
As part of Amnesty International’s main programme A Matter of ACT, an international jury awarded two prizes. The Golden Butterfly for Best Film (worth € 5,000) went to Hooligan Sparrow, a brave documentary by young Chinese filmmaker Nanfu Wang. The A Matter of ACT Human Rights Award (worth € 5,000) went to Ye Haiyan (Hooligan Sparrow) who can be seen in the same documentary, for challenging the impunity surrounding a sex scandal.
Fishermen’s wives Nega en Eliete from the Fisherman’s Union of Maré earned a special mention from the jury. In No Rio E no Mar! they stand up against polluting oil companies and government indifference.
The Camera Justitia jury awarded the Silver Butterfly (€ 5,000) for best film on human rights and social justice to directors Patrick Reed and Michelle Shephard of Guantanamo’s Child: Omar Khadr. The film tells the story of 15-year-old Canadian Omar Khadr who was detained without a trial in Guantanamo Bay. This programme is co-funded by vfonds.
This year’s festival audience chose Frame by Frame by Alexandria Bombach and Mo Scarpelli as its favorite film. The documentary zooms in on four brave Afghan photojournalists who try to literally set up new frames in a country where photography was banned for years. The VARA Audience Award represents a cash prize of € 5,000. Furthermore, Dutch broadcaster VARA will buy the rights to the film in order to screen it during the 2017 festival.
A jury composed of students from the Hague University of Applied Sciences rewarded The Chosen Ones by David Pablos with the Students’ Choice Award (worth € 1,500). The jury members selected the ‘highly original, relevant and authentic’ film, dealing with the trafficking of women in corruption-ridden Mexico, because of its capacity to stir both fascination and reflection among students.
This year’s MovieZone MtM Award, presented by the youth jury of EYE Film Institute Netherlands and the Movies that Matter Festival, went to the film El Clan by Pablo Trapero. The jury report stated: ‘El Clan is a film about a Mafia family that has been kidnapping people in Argentina since the eighties. We were impressed by the unexpected plot. We think that this cleanly cut movie will appeal to young people.’ El Clan is part of EYE’s film education programme and will be released in Dutch film theatres by distributor Cinemien on 14 April 2016.