Dublin, 3 March 2019
Danish film Heartbound: A Different Kind of Love Story has won the Irish Council for Civil Liberties’ 2019 Human Rights in Film Award. The jury also gave Special Commendation to Mannix Flynn’s Land Without God. The award was presented by activist Eileen Flynn at an intimate ceremony in Dublin’s Merrion Hotel today.
Directors Janus Metz and Sine Plambach said:
“Heartbound” is the result of a 10 year collaboration with the participants in the film. So we share this award with them and bring you the best wishes from Sommai, Mong, Kae, Niels and all the others too. With great generosity and courage they have shared some of the most intimate moments of their lives with us, hoping that we can all learn from their stories and reflect on the world we share.
Watch a trailer for the film by clicking here.
Eileen Flynn, who is a prominent advocate of Traveller and women’s rights, said:
Film is a powerful way to inspire people to action on contemporary human rights issues. The nominees for this award raised issues from institutional abuse in Ireland, terrorism, female genital mutilation, homelessness, suicide and LGBTI rights. Heartbound, shot over ten years in Denmark, allowed the audience to connect with the human stories behind economic migration, sex work and arranged marriages.
Ms Flynn continued:
I am also delighted to see Mannix Flynn’s Land Without God receive special commendation. The jury felt it was an important film for Ireland and our continuing struggle to come to terms with institutional abuse.
ICCL director Liam Herrick said:
Film is an extremely important vehicle for raising issues that we face as a society today. This award celebrates films which not only raise these issues but which allow audiences to engage with them and to think about how they can make a difference in real life. Heartbound is a film which challenges how we think about sex work and economic migration.
At ICCL we are also happy to see Land Without God receive a special mention as we continue to fight for justice for survivors of institutional abuse. So often termed historic, as long as the truth continues to be hidden, these abuses are anything but.
The adjudication panel, which deliberated for two hours on 2 March, also attended the ceremony. They included: actor, poet and playwright Emmet Kirwan; award-winning journalist Sorcha Pollak; direct provision activist Bulelani Mfaco; film director Aoife Kelleher; and disability rights advocate and ICCL board member Suzy Byrne.
This is the first year the ICCL human rights film award has been presented since 2016. For years ICCL has celebrated the importance of the arts and especially film in raising consciousness of human rights.
Notes for editors:
The nominees for this award were:
* A Girl From Mogadishu by Mary McGuckian: Based on the testimony of Ifrah Ahmed the film details Ifrah’s astonishing and powerful journey, from her time in a refugee camp to becoming a leading campaigner.
* Another Day of Life by Raúl de la Fuente and Damian Nenow: A film which centres on an idealistic journalist tasked with covering civil conflict in Angola in the 1970s.
* Gaza by Garry Keane and Andrew McConnell: A documentary portrait of the resilience of people in the most challenging of circumstances, set among the communities who live in Gaza.
* Heartbound: A Different Kind of Love Story by Janus Metz and Dr Sine Plambech: A documentary about a small village in northern Denmark where over 900 Thai women have married and settled.
* Land Without God by Gerard Mannix Flynn: His deeply personal documentary feature about himself and members of his own family as they recall the effects of decades of institutional abuse.
* Of Fathers and Sons by Talal Derki: A documentary which centres on a radical Islamist family and their harsh existence as war rages around them in Syria.
* Rafiki by Wanuri Kahiu: A Kenyan film that revolves around two female friends who fall in love. In doing so, they must face the challenges of family expectations and the conservative society in which they live.
* The Public by Emilio Estevez: A film about a committed librarian, frustrated at a lack of social justice, allows some of his most vulnerable visitors turn his work space into an impromptu homeless shelter.
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