At the 54th International Film Festival Karlovy Vary June 28 - July 6, 2019, the Ecumenical Jury awarded its Prize to the film Lara directed by Jan-Ole Gerster, Germany (2019).
Motivation: A well-acted and intelligently directed film about a depressed mother’s psychological humiliation of her composer-musician son. The interactions of mother and son dramatically and dynamically capture their alienation, and reveal movement toward positive resolution.
In addition, the jury awarded a Commendation to the film Nech je svetlo (Let There Be Light) directed by Marko Škop, Slovak Republic, Czech Republic (2019).
Motivation: This film is structured around a mesh of wrong-doings that implicate a family, a traditional village community, and its cultural and religious practices. In a stimulating and arresting way, it compels the viewer to re-examine moral responsibilities in a context of complex entanglements of violence.
The members of the 2019 jury were: Peter Sheehan, Australia (President of the Jury); Alyda Faber, Canada; Martin Horálek, Czech Republic.
At the 72nd Film Festival held 7-17 August 2019 the Ecumenical Jury of SIGNIS and INTERFILM awarded its Prize of 20.000 CHF, donated by the Reformed churches and the Catholic Church in Switzerland, to the film Maternal directed by Maura Delpero (Italy/Argentina).
Paola, a young nun, comes to Argentina to a nunnery home for single teenage mothers. Lu, one of them, leaves home and child. Through the experience of pregnancy, Maura Delpero tells us an intense story of women connected to conditions of sexuality, love, care and raising children. The film is rich with multi layered aspects of truth, through several voices. Delpero’s film resonates socially, politically and spiritually, raising urgent universal moral questions.
The jury awarded a Commendation to the film Vitalina Varela directed by Pedro Costa (Portugal). Beyond its high aesthetic quality, Pedro Costa’s feature film has the ability to stimulate thorough theological discussions on the dialectic character of faith by innovative use of darkness and light. Through the spiritual journey of an abandoned woman and a priest with an empty church, the film raises the audience’s consciousness of the transcendent dimensions of life. It also expresses respect for human dignity, the need of reconciliation and solidarity with minorities at a more universal level.
The Members of the 2019 Jury were: Tomas Axelson, Sweden; Thomas Kroll, Germany (President of the Jury); Mariola Marczak, Poland; Gabriella Rácsok, Hungary.