Award winners Movies that Matter Festival 2024

Grand Jury Documentary Award: The Mother of All Lies by Asmae El Moudir

Asmae El Moudir’s much-acclaimed The Mother of All Lies received the Grand Jury Documentary Award (€ 5.000). In a miniature Casablanca, El Moudir dives into her family’s past as her family and friends help her to unravel the disturbing lies from her childhood. The jury, which consisted of Lukasz Konopa, Anadil Hossain and Don Edkins, called the film “innovative, angry, funny and compassionate”.

Director Johan Grimonprez receives a Special Mention from the jury for the documentary Soundtrack to a Coup d’Etat. A film about the continuing legacy of colonialism and oppression by the West.

Grand Jury Fiction Award: Radical by Christopher Zella

The Mexican comedy-drama Radical by Christopher Zalla and starring Eugenio Derbez nabbed the Grand Jury Fiction Award, worth € 5.000. Set in a Mexican border town plagued by neglect, corruption, and violence, a frustrated teacher tries a radical new method to break through his students’ apathy and unlock their curiosity, their potential and maybe even their genius.

Jury members Marnie Blok, Fatih Abay and Elaheh Nobakht stated they were “unanimous” in their choice, celebrating the performances of the young cast and “addressed issues such as social class, gender, authority, inclusion and empowerment in a superior mix of humor and emotions”.

Directors Ali Asgari and Alireza Khatami receive a Special Mention from the jury for the film Terrestrial Verses. A portrait of a complex society, abuse of power and narrow-mindedness, where the resilience of individuals is central.

Activist Documentary Award: Mediha by Hasan Oswald, with co-director Mediha Ibrahim Alhamad

Hasan Oswald and Mediha Ibrahim Alhamad received the Activist Documentary Award for their documentary Mediha, which follows a young Êzidî woman after she survived kidnapping and enslavement by ISIS. She embarks on a brave quest for justice, internal healing, and for her missing parents and brother. The jury praised the “most poignant and beautifully captured cinematic moments” and said the film “left the jury speechless and profoundly touched”.

Directors Meena Nanji and Zippy Kimundu receive a Special Mention from the jury for the documentary Our Land, Our Freedom. A film about Wanjugu Kimathi’s search for the body of her father who was hanged by colonial rulers.

Camera Justitia Award: KIX by Bálint Révész en Dávid Mikulán

KIX by Bálint Révész & Dávid Mikulán received the Camera Justitia Award. In this intimate coming-of-age story, Révész and Mikulán followed troubled Budapest street kid Sanyi as he grows from 8 to 18 years old. Over the course of this decade he turns from a mischievous youth into a public enemy. The jury stated the film “spotlights issues that often fail to capture headlines, leading to entrenched societal weaknesses resulting in individual, ubiquitous tragedies that are often ignored. Yet it also captures humor, love, and the hope of redemption for its young protagonist.”

Director Tal Barda receives a Special Mention from the jury for the film I Shall Not Hate, which tests the tolerance and forgiveness of Palestinian doctor Izzeldin Abuelaish when he loses his three daughters.

Dutch Movies Matter Award: Eddy’s Oorlog by Joost van der Valk

The Dutch Movies Matter Award went to Eddyʼs Oorlog by Joost van der Valk, which follows award-winning war photographer Eddy van Wessel over four seasons in Ukraine. At the front line, Eddy documents the war, searching for that one image that encapsulates the entire conflict. The jury said the film did “not only an important human issue”, but also “used a very strong narrative form, confronting two types of images, photos and films. Rather than a confrontation, these two forms reinforced each other, projecting us into the subject with an incredible feeling of empathy!”

Shorts Award: Mast-del by Maryam Tafakory

Mast-del by Maryam Tafakory about forbidden bodies and desires inside and outside post-revolution Iranian cinema received the Shorts Award, endowed with € 1.500. The jury celebrated the film for “approaching a sensitive subject through tactile sensuality”.

Director Julio Matos receives a Special Mention from the jury for the film Mute Utopia: a film about Radio Muda, Brazil’s longest-running free radio station.

Students’ Choice Award: Photophobia by Ivan Ostrochovský, Pavol Pekarčík

The festival’s opening film Photophobia by Pavol Pekarčík and Ivan Ostrochovský received the Students’ Choice Award, presented by a student jury from Leiden University.

From the jury report: “With unanimous agreement since rather the beginning of a genuinely long deliberation of around 3 hours. We believe the unanimity to speak for itself in regards to the beauty, realness, and intentionality in storytelling of this documentary.”

Samuel and the Light by director Vinícius Girnys receives a Special Mention from the jury.

Education Award: The Mind Game by Sajid Khan Nasiri, Eefje Blankevoort, Els van Driel

The very first Education Award, decided on by a jury consisting of an MBO student, a high school student, a high school teacher and a nominee for Film Teacher of the Year, went to The Mind Game by Sajid Khan Nasiri, Eefje Blankevoort and Els van Driel.

From the jury report: “The winning film is an incredibly impressive documentary. A must-see for every young person and adult. It teaches you to consider people who have fled. There are many people, including many children, on the run.”

Kleinkinderen van de Oost received a Special Mention by the jury.

Read the jury reports

Audience Award: I Shall Not Hate by Tal Barda

The winner of the Audience Award, supported by ASN Bank, is I Shall Not Hate.