The ecological festival in which 1000 films were submitted from 100 countries, organized in cooperation with Bozcaada Municipality and Kadıköy Municipality Sinematek/Sinema House awarded “Arica” with the Fethi Kayaalp Grand Prize out of 15 films in the International Competition Category. While the Madame Melpo Second Prize goes to “Nothing but the Sun” co-production of Sweden / Paraguay, the Third Prize went to “To Calm the Pig Inside” from Philippines. And “Human VS Elephant” from Indonesia awarded with the Gaia Student Award.
While awarding the first prize which is Fethi Kayaalp Grand Prize to the documentary about thousands of people falling ill and many dying of cancer after a Swedish mining company exported 20,000 tons of toxic waste to the Chilean desert town of Arica, the jury said “The well done documentary ‘Arica’ by Lars Edman and William Johansson sheds light on a shameful case of modern colonialism. The film shot over the course of 15 years gives a powerful voice to the people of Arica in the North of Chile, who are affected by toxic waste from a Swedish mining company.
Arica is an important film that fights for justice for the unheard and ignored victims. Since the 1980s, exposure to the waste has resulted in numerous cancers, birth defects, and serious illnesses. To this day, the victims are waiting for justice and compensation. But now, thanks to Lars Edman and William Johansson, they are at least heard. And the world can no longer look the other way.”
Nazmi Ulutak from Turkey and Andrijana Stojkovic from Serbia announced the second prize, Second prize presented on behalf of Madam Melpo for the first time this year, on behalf of the Jury. The jury announced the documentary “Nothing But The Sun” by Arami Ullon, which won the second prize in the International Competition category, with the statement “This documentary is about Mateo Sobode Chiqueno who lives in Paraguayan Chaco region. He and his people were forced to leave the Ayoreo lands. Some of his people are still living in this wild forest. Mateo has been recording his cultural heritage like oral history to audio cassettes since the 1970’s. This documentary shows us effectively the past, present and future of these people who are affected by the white civilization. Director Arami Ullón successfully chooses to tell the story of the Ayoreo people with the help of Mateo Sobode Chiqueno.”
The third prize at the festival was given to Filipino director Joanna Vazquez Arong’s documentary “To Calm the Pig Inside”. Mücella Yapıcı from Turkey and Márcia Gomes de Oliveira from Brazil announced the award on behalf of the jury. The jury decided to give the award to this film and they explain how they decided: “Last year ‘To Calm the Pig Inside’ received at its premier the important Grand Jury Prize of the famous Slamdance Film Festival. Now the BIFED Jury honors Joanna Vasquez Arong’s short documentary with its ‘Third Award.’ To Calm The Pig Inside is a moving portrait of a coastal city in the Philippines that was torn apart by typhoon Yolanda. A wonderful short film shot in black and white that finds poetry in desolation. Heartbreaking and beautiful. The film is weaving – history, politics and personal narrative. With great poetry and sensitivity Joanna tells about the natural disaster by sharing her roots and the pain caused by the destruction. Her film addresses not only an extreme weather event and climate change but also another important global issue: political corruption and its often horrible social and environmental consequences.
Joana´s masterpiece documents the strength of human will. Given voice by one that cannot be denied, it is a generous portrait of a people determined to survive. Its a powerful short film and an excellent work in photography.”
The Gaia award was presented by Elif Demoğlu from Turkey and Benjamin Huguet from England. Human vs Elephant was the winner of the Gaia Student Award, decided by a 3-person jury. The juries explained the reason why they gave the award to this film, explained: “Human vs Elephant, by director Afif Fahmi, is a well crafted story, with both a cinematic and an individual scale and a problematic that an international audience can easily elate to.
We appreciated the fact that the film introduced us to a little know yet dramatic situation while staying subtle and balanced, presenting to the audience with both side of the argument.
Afif Fahmi doesn’t lecture but invites the audience to make its own point of view while also offering a solution to the pressing question on how an ever-growing population of human can coexist with the wild.”