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'Death Opportunity' Wins First-Ranking Of Euro-Med Monitor's Human Rights Short Films Festival

Geneva - The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor announced on Monday the final results of the "Human Rights Short Films Festival,” online through a broadcast on its official Facebook page.

The festival’s coordinator, Ahmed Laila, the festival’s general supervisor and member of the jury Hossam Abu Dan, Lebanese director Nicole Kamato and Palestinian director Ashraf Mashharawi, both members of the jury participated in the announcement of the results.

"Our team received more than 120 films discussing various human rights issues in the Middle East and North Africa. The majority of them focused on highlighting the suffering of civilians in conflict areas," Ahmed Laila said.

"A specialized jury including filmmakers, producers, activists, and journalists evaluated the submitted works comprehensively. The assessment was concluded with the nomination of 13 films for the final stage, three of which won prizes."

The general supervisor of the festival Hossam Abu Dan said that arts are the easiest means to communicate messages to the public. "Films focusing on human rights always deliver messages and human rights concepts to the society in a smooth and dramatic way," he said.

"The festival saw the participation of a group of distinguished professional films of various types, such as documentaries, drama and animation films, stressing that all films carried important messages."

He emphasized that the jury took into account all important criteria when evaluating the participating films and selecting the winners, and focused on the dramatic presentation of the idea and the messages that the film.

Lebanese director and member of the jury Nichole Kamato praised the professional level of the participating films, noting they "reflected a real effort through innovation and creativity in the content."

Death Opportunity, directed by Rabah Al-Bazm from the Palestinian Territories won the first place, while Mr. Violet by director Osama Abu Zaid from Egypt, won the second ranking, and Soda by director Amal Saadboh from Sudan came in the third ranking.

Death Opportunity presents an internal conflict of humans and the struggle to stay inside their homeland or leaving due to pressures surrounding them, as pushed by the wife of the main character who aspires to live a decent life and a better future for her family outside the homeland, while the husband rejects the idea, citing deadly experiences of people.

Mr. Violet is an animation film that presents the power of love, tolerance, and peace represented by a purple rose in ending war, chaos and darkness, and working to give color to life instead of the dark black and white life. The film shows how the forces of evil prevent people from living a decent life filled with peace.

While Black presents the right to freedom and decent human rights through a girl who works as a maid for a family living in the desert. The family calls the maid “black”, who rejects this description and considers it a degradation of her dignity. The girl embodies an example of millions of persecuted people around the world who fall prey to racism based on race and color.

The results of the festival were supposed to be announced in a ceremony in the Lebanese capital Beirut, which wasn't possible due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Euro-Med Monitor aims through the festival to honor the efforts of filmmakers, journalists, artists, and activists who express their artistic works on human rights issues in the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe and addresses them in a dramatic way that makes it easy for the public to understand the true picture of violations taking place in conflict-torn countries.

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