The Movies that Matter Festival's Award Ceremony took place in Theater aan het Spui in the Hague on Wednesday 31 March. It was announced that the festival had a record number of visitors. Last year 10.000 people visited the festival, this year it came down to 14.500. The awards went to To Shoot an Elephant, Mugabe and the White African, No One Knows About Persian Cats, Reporter, Tibet in Song and human rights activist Shadi Sadr.
A Matter of ACT Award
This year's Movies that Matter Festival put the spotlight on prominent activists, including Rebiya Kadeer, Somaly Mam, Shadi Sadr and The Yes Men, in ten documentaries within the A Matter of ACT main programme, that awards two Amnesty International prizes: a Golden Butterfly for the most imposing and inspiring activist or organization, and a second Golden Butterfly for the best documentary. An international jury, composed of Ruud Lubbers (president), Thekla Reuten, Sandra Lutchman, Maciej Nowicki and Sridhar Rangayan, elected the winner. The first Golden Butterfly, Amnesty International's A Matter of ACT Award (€5,000) for the most imposing and inspiring human rights defender or organisation, goes to lawyer, activist and former prisoner of conscience Shadi Sadr. Sadr (1974) is an expert in the field of women's rights in Iran. She was in charge of a counselling centre for women, that has meanwhile been closed by the Iranian government, and developed an action-oriented web site that campaigns for equal rights for women. The Iranian authorities arrested her on several occasions. The second Golden Butterfly, Amnesty International's A Matter of ACT Documentary Award (€4,000) for the director of the best film in the programme, goes to Alberto Arce for To Shoot an Elephant. Arce's documentary shows what happened when the Israeli authorities closed off the Gaza Strip from the outside world for two months. A special mention was reserved for the film The Sari Soldiers.
Camera Justitia Award
The Camera Justitia programme sheds light on the human rights and justice theme with films and debates about international law, justice and the fight against impunity. This year's edition included seven documentaries, followed by debates. The Silver Butterfly, or Camera Justitia Award, rewards the director of the film that portrays an urgent human rights issue with the highest degree of expressiveness and humanity. The jury for the Camera Justitia Award was presided by Minister of Justice Hirsch Ballin (president), Willem van Genugten (professor of European and International Law) and Ally Derks (IDFA director). The Silver Butterfly as well as a €3,000 prize went to the documentary Mugabe and the White African by Lucy Bailey and Andrew Thompson, dealing with the resistance against land expropriations in Zimbabwe.
Students' Choice Award
Out of a pre-selection of three films from the festival programme, a jury made up of Renate van der Linde, Patrick Robijn and Donia Ibrahimi, all students of ‘Haagse Hogeschool', elected Reporter by Eric Daniel Metzgar. The director of the winning film receives a €1,000 prize. In his documentary Reporter Nicholas Kristof, who won the Pulitzer Prize twice, reveals the impact of the civil war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). In the summer of 2007, he went to the DRC to cover the civil war, interviewing people whose life stories embody the human rights crisis in the Congo. Reporter is not only the story of a neglected conflict in Africa, but also a plea for thorough journalism, which is increasingly jeopardized by down-spiralling budgets.
De Students' Choice Award is co-sponsored by ‘De Haagse Hogeschool'.
MovieSquad All Rights Award
The film No One Knows About Persian Cats (Bahman Ghobadi, Iran, 2009) won the MovieSquad AllRights Award 2010. The MovieSquad - five young people aged 16-20 years: Fatima el Youssfi, Ikrame Tajioui, Renske Derkx, Lesley Smit and Lotte Hamelink - watched films, discussed their content with film makers and journalists and attended film parties, thus witnessing the festival from the inside. The Award Winner, chosen out of nine films that were featured in the festival's main programme, receives the MovieSquad Award as well as €2,000 for promotional purposes. No One Knows About Persian Cats is also nominated for inclusion in one of the education programmes of EYE Film Institute Netherlands.
The audience of the Movies that Matter Festival granted the VARAgids Audience Award to Tibet in Song by Ngawang Choephel. The maker of the documentary receives € 5,000.