We know the winners of the 21st edition of WATCH DOCS!

We know the winners of the 21st edition of WATCH DOCS. Human Rights in Film. Check who won the main competition and the new WATCH DOCS Green Competition.

Dieudo Hamadi, the Congolese director received the grand prize for his latest film "Downstream to Kinshasa." Hamadi tirelessly introduces European viewers to the realities of life in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This time, he accompanies a group of people with disabilities - victims of the forgotten Six-Day War fought by Rwanda and Uganda in the DRC twenty years ago. Fed up with years of politicians' empty electoral promises, the protagonists set off to the capital to demand justice.

The jury's justification: “The main prize is awarded to a film which, in an engaging way, full of the unexpected celebration that accompanies the journey by the victims of the Six-Day War, shows their beauty, courage, joy and will to live. We appreciated this film for its ability to convey the difficulties faced by the characters, full of pride and dignity. For showing maimed bodies in a balanced way. And also, for the theatrical performance of the trauma suffered by the people of Kisangani."

The honorable mention in the main competition was awarded to Andrei Kutsila for the film "When Flowers Are Not Silent." This, in turn, is a story about what life is like in Belarus today, over a year since the start of protests against the rigged elections.

The jury's reasoning: “We award a special distinction to a film that speaks, through its sensitive observation, about the daily lives of people living in a brutal regime. The black and white portrait of the women taking part in the protest makes a great impression and shows the emotional costs of those who fight for freedom."

This year's main competition jury consisted of:

  • Volodymyr Jaworski - Ukrainian activist for civil society and human rights. Lawyer, member of the Ukrainian Helsinki Committee
  • Petrula Veljanovska - programmer of the Macedonian MakeDox festival
  • Katarzyna Batko-Tołoć - Vice President and Program Director of the Watchdog Polska Civic Network
  • Adriana Prodeus - film critic
  • Alex Shiriaieff - one of the founders of B2B Doc - Baltic to Black Sea Documentary Network

Starting this year, the Green Dog Award is awarded during the WATCH DOCS. Human Rights in Film festival. It is a distinction for documentaries devoted to ecology and climate change in the context of human rights.

This year's statuette was given to the filmmakers of "Aya" - a tasteful film portrait of the inhabitants of a paradise island off the coast of Africa, doomed to extinction as a result of global warming.

Jury's reasoning: "For being where the effects of the climate catastrophe are already being felt and for using the language of film, not activism, politics or science."

The jury of the green competitions consisted of:

  • Ewelina Głowacka - doctoral student in literary studies, activist, activist of the Wild Carpathians Initiative
  • Jadwiga Klata - a climate activist associated with Extinction Rebellion
  • Ryhor Terentev - founder and chairman of the organization "Vremya Ziemli" - Time of the Earth