The Award Ceremony of the Movies that Matter Festival was held on the evening of Wednesday, 30 March in Theater aan het Spui, in The Hague. The festival was more popular than ever; 14,500 people came to the event last year, while this year's festival attracted 17,500 visitors in just one week. Palestinian activist Ayed Morrar and the documentaries Sarabah and Impunity won awards.
A Matter of ACT Award
The Movies that Matter Festival showcased prominent activists again this year, screening ten documentaries in the main programme presented by Amnesty International: A Matter of ACT. The winners of the Golden Butterfly awards were selected by an international jury, consisting of Bianca Jagger (jury chairwoman), human rights advocate and founder and chair of the Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation, filmmaker Mohamed Al-Daradji, Frans Huijnen (managing director of the Equal Treatment Commission), filmmaker Pamela Yates and film journalist Belinda van de Graaf.
The first Golden Butterfly, the A Matter of ACT Human Rights Award (€ 5,000), went to Palestinian activist Ayed Morrar. Morrar united Fatah members, Hamas members and Israelis in their peaceful efforts to oppose the destruction of his village, Budrus, by the Israeli separation wall. The jury also presented a Special Jury Award to the three Asian activists Suciwati Munir, Angkhana Somchai and Padma Perera from Josefina Bergsten's film Unjust. These three brave women fought for justice after their husbands were killed by the secret police.
The second Golden Butterfly, the A Matter of ACT Documentary Award (€ 4,000), goes to the director of the best film in this programme; this year's winners were Maria Luisa Gambale and Gloria Bremer for Sarabah. This documentary shows how the ‘Senegalese Queen of Hiphop' Sister Fa fights the practice of female circumcision. A Special Jury Mention went to The Jungle Radio, which shows Yamileth Chavarría and her work to establish a radio station in the jungle of Nicaragua. Her unique mission: to fight widespread domestic violence against women and children.
Camera Justitia Award
The Camera Justitia programme addresses the theme of human rights and justice, featuring films and debates about international law, jurisprudence, and the fight against impunity. The seven films in this programme were followed by debates. The jury for the Camera Justitia Award consisted of Lousewies van der Laan (jury chairwoman and practicing lawyer), Andrea Kuhn (director of the Perspektive Filmfestival der Menschenrechte in Neurenberg) and documentary filmmaker John Appel. The jury awarded the Silver Butterfly, the Camera Justitia Award and a cash prize of € 3,000 to the directors of the film Impunity: Juan José Lozano and Hollman Morris.
VARAgids Audience Award
The audience of the Movies that Matter Festival voted the feature film Min Dît - The Children of Diyarbakir by Miraz Bezar as the winner of the VARAgids Audience Award. This touching film tells the story of Turkish-Kurdish children that fall victim to the political conflict. The director will receive an amount totalling € 5,000.
MovieSquad Movies that Matter Award
Neukölln Unlimited, a film by Agostino Imondi and Dietmar Ratsch, won the MovieSquad Movies that Matter Award. The MovieSquad Youth jury consisted of five young people between 16 and 20 years old; they selected the winning film. In addition to the award, the director also receives € 2,000 to promote the film and is eligible for inclusion in one of the film education programmes of the EYE Film Institute.
Students' Choice Award
A jury of students from The Hague University of Applied Sciences presented the Students' Choice Award to the documentary The Green Wave by Ali Samadi Ahadi. The award-winning film depicts the 2009 Green Revolution in Iran through animated blogs and tweets. The director will receive a cash prize of € 1,000. The Students' Choice Award is made possible in part by The Hague University of Applied Sciences.