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March 10th 2006 · Prague Watchdog / Tomáš Vršovský · PRINTER FRIENDLY FORMAT · E-MAIL THIS · ALSO AVAILABLE IN: RUSSIAN 

Two Chechnya documentaries awarded at human rights festival in Prague

By Tomáš Vršovský

PRAGUE – A full-length documentary, Coca: The Dove from Chechnya, by Swiss director Eric Bergkraut received the Rudolf Vrba Award at the 8th International Human Rights Documentary film festival One World, in Prague on Thursday. In the Short Form category, the Mayor of Prague Award went to Dear Muslim by German director Kerstin Nickig.

Coca: The Dove from Chechnya (Coca: Die Taube aus Tschetschenien, 2005),  which won in the category Right to Know, depicts the efforts of Chechen women of the NGO "Echo of War" led by Zainap Gashayeva to document human rights abuses in Chechnya. Subtitled Europe in Denial of a War, it also shows the international community’s weak response to the atrocities of the Chechen war.

There were 16 full-length documentaries competing in the category Right to Know that is designed for films which in an original way and via high-quality film-making draw attention to unknown or silenced issues concerning human rights. The winning film was selected by a jury that was intentionally comprised not of filmmakers, but of charismatic and brave individuals who are engaged in defending human rights.

The winner of the Short Form category, a 35 minute documentary Dear Muslim (Lieber Muslim, 2005), shows the fate of a Chechen family that escaped the war and arrived in Poland. This film was one of 16 short documentaries in the competition.

The festival's main award went to the documentary Here We Are (My zdes, 2005) by Slovak director Jaro Vojtek about a Slovak family who, after WWII, moved to Sub-Carpathian Russia. Under the Khrushchev decrees it was forcibly transferred to a village in the middle of the Kazakhstan steppes, and after the collapse of the Soviet Union they returned to Slovakia.

The awards were handed out on Thursday evening during the final ceremony in Prague's movie theater Lucerna.

One World is one of the leading human rights film festivals in Europe.

(T/E)

  RELATED ARTICLES:
 · Website of the festival One World
 · Website of film "Coca: The Dove from Chechnya"



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