Apr 11, 2014
The film ”‘Life Sentences”, from the Israeli filmmakers Nurit Kedar and Yaron Shani, was awarded the“Objectif d’Or”, the Grand Award of the 6th edition of the Millenium Film Festival, which successfully concluded in Brussels on 11 April 2014.
This powerful documentary on the Palestinian conflict shows the enduring enmity between the Arab and Jewish people through a family history that began in love and happiness. The story starts when an Arab man marries a Jewish woman. They live in quiet harmony within the Arab-Jewish community with their son and daughter. Later, the woman discovers that her husband was behind dozens of mysterious terrorist attacks that took place in the late 1960s. She then flees the country with her children to the other side of the world and settles in Montreal's Jewish-Orthodox community. When her children grow up, they will go back to their motherland. The jury emphasised that "the film introduces the viewers to the complex and anguishing quest for personal identity in multi-cultural, multi-religious and multi-ethnic contexts".
The film “A river changes course” received the “Objectif d’Argent”, the prize for the best development message awarded by UNDP. This documentary, from the American director Kalyanee Mam, shows how rapid globalization has affected Khmer cultural tradition. The backdrop for the story is the Tonle Sap River, which changes course twice a year, while life for the Cambodian people continues to flow in a perpetual cycle of death and rebirth. In the film, the director follows three young Cambodians struggling to overcome the change. According to the jury, the film "revealed the complex picture of the development challenge faced by some many people in the planet".
Speaking at the ceremony, the UN/UNDP Director Mr. Antonio Vigilante praised the organizers for the successful organization of this 6th edition of a Festival that, through the screening of documentaries, contributes "to create empathy and raise awareness on the MDGs".
The closing ceremony of the Millenium Festival was held on 11 April 2014 at Espace Senghor in Brussels and concluded the 9-day festival in style. During the ceremony, a total of 8 prizes were awarded, and the winner film of the Festival was screened.
The festival brought together a programme of films from around the world. Over 800 films were submitted for this year’s edition of the Festival, and around 50 of them were screened during the event.
The Jury of the Festival, composed of 5 members, was presided by Estonian documentary film director, producer and professor Marc Soosar.