Winners A Matter of Act

Winners Movies that Matter Festival 2017

From Friday the 24th of March until Saturday the 1st of April, the yearly Movies that Matter Festival took place in Filmhuis Den Haag and Theater aan het Spui. On the last Saturday of the festival, the VARA Audience Award was given to the movie Bram Fischer by Jean van de Velde. Earlier that week, several other film makers and activists received awards for their eye-opening work that challenges our view on the world.

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), which went to Hissein Habré - A Chadian Tragedy by Mahamat-Saleh Haroun. In this documentary, he gives a voice to the victims of the violent regime of Hissein Habré, former dictator of the African country Chad. The A Matter of ACT Human Rights Award (€ 5.000,-) went to Saliha Ben Ali from the documentary The Empty Room. Her son left Belgium to fight in Syria, where he found his death. Now Saliha steps up to prevent more boys from doing the same.

The Camera Justitia jury awarded the Camera Justitia Award (€ 5,000) to directors Jenny Hellmann en Regina Mennig for their documentary on victims of the Argentinian militarian junta. According to the jury their film Algo Mio - Argentina's Stolen Children depicts the different perspectives of the story very well, and lets the audience wonder what is justice. This programme is co-funded by vfonds.

The festival audience chose Bram Fischer by Jean van de Velde this year as their festival favorite. The film is about Nelson Mandela’s lawyer and was release by Septemberfilm on the 13th of April in Dutch cinemas. The VARA Audience Award is worth € 5.000,-.

Students of the Hague University of Applied Sciences gave the Students’ Choice Award (€ 1.500,-) to The Citizen by Roland Vranik. This moving film tells the story of Wilson, an African refugee who lives in Hungary and would like to become a citizen there.

The film Stranger in Paradise by Guido Hendrickx was rewarded with the MovieZone MtM Award. This prize is presented by the youth jury of EYE Film Institute Netherlands and the Movies that Matter Festival. The jury report stated:  "The movie invokes discussion about a serious issue, and leaves you puzzled about the inhumane refugee policy. We think it is time to set fear aside and have conversations".