As part of the International Film Festival on Human Rights (FIFDH, Geneva, Switzerland), we present the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) Award. This 5,000 CHF prize goes every year to a filmmaker who has highlighted a particularly difficult situation that demonstrates the vital importance of the fight for human rights.
- The 2021 prize was awarded to Coded Bias by Shalini Kantayya. The film powerfully depicts the threats that artificial intelligence poses to our liberties, including by hardwiring into algorithms racist and sexist biases. Yet Kantayya also leaves us with hope by showing that determined action can ensure that our future is better than our dystopian present.
- The 2020 OMCT prize was awarded to Délit de solidarité, a Temps Présent (RTS, Switzerland) documentary featuring ordinary citizens who don't hesitate to brave the law by helping migrants and refugees at risk. The authors, Pietro Boschetti and Frank Preiswerk managed, in a sober but profoundly moving way, to drive us to the essence of what human rights is about by asking a simple question: what do we do, as human beings, when the law prevents us from showing basic humanity to those most in need, just because they don’t have a legal status?
- 2019: Congo Lucha by Marlène Rabaud. A strong film that takes us into the daily life of a group of young people who promote democracy and human rights in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. An unusual spotlight that gives hope for the future of a country that has been torn by multiple conflicts for more than 25 years.
- 2018: Anatomy of a crime by Cécile Allegra. This film, set in Libya, dissects the doubly unjust paradox of torture. In addition to being tortured, the victims are locked in silence, because they cannot understand what they went through, for fear of reprisals and because of the shame that overwhelms them, especially in Libya when the torture is sexual. This film shows how vital the work of investigators is to bring relief to these victims, deliver justice, and prevent further crimes.
- 2017: Silent War by Manon Loizeau. Chronicle of rape used as a weapon of repression and mass destruction in the Syria of Bashar al-Assad.
- 2016: Voyage en Barbarie by Delphine Deloget. This film is a poignant description of the smuggling and torture of Eritrean migrants in the Sinai Desert, Egypt, one of the greatest humanitarian dramas unfolding in the midst of migratory flows.
- 2015: Chechnya, a war without traces by Manon Loizeau. For its strength and relevance as a testimony on human rights violations, its tribute to the victims of torture and kidnappings by the regime of Ramzan Kadyrov, who reigns as an absolute autocrat. This film reminds us of a dramatic situation that increasingly goes ignored by the wider world.
- 2014: Global Gay by Frédéric Martel and Rémi Lainé, a film that embodies the courage and commitment of those defenders who fight for the respect of the rights of LGBTI people.
- 2013: Outlawed in Pakistan, by Habiba Nosheen and Hilke Schellmann. This documentary recounts the devastation brought by archaic customs, compounded by a lack of State protection and a dysfunctional justice system: a victim of gang rape finds herself doubly criminalized as her own society is in denial. There is however a touch of hope as the survivor resists, with help from her family and from Pakistani civil society. The film's undeniable cinematographic quality reinforces the story.
- 2012: Belarusian Dream, highlighting the struggle of human rights defenders in a European country.
- The 2011 prize was awarded to Mylène Sauloy for Who Killed Natasha? (France), a documentary that examines the murder of Natacha Estemirova, a journalist and human rights defender working with the Russian NGO "Memorial". The fight for truth and against impunity is more necessary than ever in Russia and elsewhere. This film shows both the courage of those who fight for this ideal, the difficulties they face, and the terrible repression they may affect them.
- 2011 Special Mention: Juan Jose Lozano and Holmann Morris for Impunity (Switzerland, France, Colombia). In this documentary, the filmmakers have risked everything to expose the application of the "Justice and Peace" Colombian law that was a machine to pardon the worst murderers.
- The 2010 prize was awarded to Aude Léa Rapin and Adrien Selbert for Nino’s Place (France) on the 1995 mass killings of men and boys in Srebenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
- The 2009 prize was awarded to Christian Zerbid for En terre étrangère (France) on the situation of undocumented aliens. Serge Gordey, Robby Elmaliah and Khali al Muzayyen received a Special Mention for Gaza-Sderot, chroniques d’avant-guerre (France) on the daily lives of the women, children and men of the two cities in November and December 2008.
- The 2008 prize was awarded to Carmen Castillo for Calle Sante Fe (Chile/France/Belgium) on the filmmaker’s life as a committed activist and the dramatic story of how Chile was victimised by the Pinochet coup.
- The 2007 prize was awarded to Andreas Hoessli for Swiss sans papiers (Switzerland) on some of the most restrictive laws on foreigners in Europe.
Christine Schuller-Deschryver received a Special Mention for Congo, un combat pour la vie by Patrick Forestier (France).
- The 2006 prize was awarded to Liu Wei for Year by Year (China), on the daily lives of petitioners in China.
- Shira Pinson received a Special Mention for Flowers don’t grow here (Great Britain) on the more than 1 million street children in Ukraine.
- The 2005 prize was awarded to Vinayan Kodoth for Journeys (India) on the violations of economic, social and cultural rights in India.
- The 2004 prize was awarded to Yury Khashchavatski for Prisoners of the Caucasus (Belarus/Poland/Germany) on the tragedy of Chechnya.
- The 2003 prize was awarded to Ayfer Ergün for Against My Will (Netherlands/Pakistan) on honour crimes in Pakistan.