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Film about mute Kurdish boy wins Geneva Grand Prix

This year's Geneva Grand Prix of the International Film Festival and Forum for Human Rights (FIFDH) goes to the British production "Name Me Lawand". The film is about a mute Iraqi-Kurdish boy who flees to the UK with his parents and discovers new ways of expressing himself.

In Derby, Great Britain, Lawand is admitted to the Royal Scholl for the Deaf with the help of volunteers and develops into a charismatic, curious boy. Director Edward Lovelace accompanied Lawand for four years and learned British Sign Language himself.

From the perspective of disability policy, this film is "progressive and poignant", wrote the jury in its statement published on Saturday. It sees the work as "a tribute to all children who are confronted with the unimaginable". The Geneva Grand Prix is endowed with 10,000 francs.

The Gilda Viera de Mello Prize of 5,000 Swiss francs was awarded to the Palestinian film "Life is Beautiful" by Mohamed Jabaly. It shows "the violence of borders, but also the solidarity and determination of an individual to lead a dignified life".

The World Organization Against Torture prize, also worth CHF 5,000, goes to director Jialing Zhang for his film "Total Trust". In the film, he depicts the persecution of Chinese human rights defenders and shows how the lives of millions of people are strictly controlled through the use of state-of-the-art technological surveillance instruments.

The 22nd edition of FIFDH comes to an end on Sunday evening. Over ten days, more than 30,000 festival visitors and over 250 guests took part.


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