Prize of the Ecumenical Jury
Since 1992, the international film organisations of the Protestant and Catholic Churches – INTERFILM and SIGNIS – have been represented by the Ecumenical Jury. It consists of six members and awards several prizes at the festival, one of them to a film in the Forum. The prizes go to directors who have succeeded in portraying actions or human experiences that are in keeping with the Gospels, or in sensitising viewers to spiritual, human or social values.
The 2023 Ecumenical Prize goes to JAII KEH KHODA NIST (Where God Is Not). Paul De Silva, Arielle Domon, Kerstin Heinemann, Miriam Hollstein, Anne Le Cor and Alberto Ramos Ruiz were the members of this year's jury, which provided the following statement on the award-winning film:
“How can the horror of political imprisonment and torture be told? The Iranian filmmaker and architect Mehran Tamadon, who has lived in France since his youth and returns to his homeland time and again for projects, has found an impressive way. He places his characters Homa Kalhori, Taghi Rahmani and Mazyar Ebrahimi in a space which recreates their former prisons - “where god is not“, as one of the jailors said. And as such, becomes a rogue scenario that triggers in them memories of past suffering, humiliation and torture. An original cinematic device allowing for a performative reenactment to sharing their harrowing experiences, which becomes a denunciation of a reality that is still Iran’s nowadays.”