9th INTERFILM Award for Promoting Interreligious Dialogue, Venice, 2019

There where many excellent films in this year’s festival. But the INTERFILM jury has specific criteria related to interreligious dialogue.

Religion is mostly present only as social context, inspiring laws which people have to struggle against in order to free themselves. And spiritual experience can not be linked to one single religion explicitly but stands up for human rights against social pressure.

A main issue in this festival was the family. Everywhere the traditional model is trembling, and the traumas injuring little children explain lots of actual problems. The society is clearly searching for new parameters. Hope is a fragile blossom.

The jury also noticed that much more movies tell their stories from a male point of view than seeing through the eyes of women.

For all these reasons the jury has chosen four films for its shortlist: A Perfect Candidate by Haifa Al Mansour; Balloon by Pema Tseden; Hava, Maryam, Ayesha by Sarah Karimi; and Bik eneich - Un fils by Mehdi M. Barsaoui.

All of them tell stories about the tension between personal freedom, social expectation and cultural-religious traditions.

The INTERFILM Jury awards its prize, the INTERFILM Award for Promoting Interreligious Dialogue in Venice 2019, to

Bik eneich - Un fils, directed by Mehdi M. Barsaoui

for its outstanding artistic and human qualities. A deadly injured child can only be saved by a transplantation. How far can parents go to get this when ethic issues are at stake. The couple will have to choose what they will have to sacrifice and this won’t be an obvious decision.