71st International Film Festival Venice

Mostra Internazionale d'Arte Cinematografica
27.08.2014 to 06.09.2014
INTERFILM Jury Venice 2014

© Karsten Visarius

The INTERFILM Jury, from left: Ralf Meister, Tomas Axelson, Anita Nipah

The 71st Mostra del Cinema under the direction of Alberto Barbera offered an artistically ambitious programme in both competition sections, Venezia 71 and Orizzonti. The INTERFILM Jury considers both of them and chose as winner of the INTERFILM Award for Promoting Interreligious Dialogue the French entry "Loin des hommes" (Far From Men), directed by David Oelhoffen. In addition, the Jury highlighted the Out of Competition entry "Words With Gods" which combines nine short films by renowned directors. The Golden Lion for the best film was awarded to a Swedish film for the first time,  "En duva satt på en gren och funderade på tillvaron" (A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence), directed by Roy Andersson. Andrej Koncalovskij won the Silver Lion for best direction for his film "Belye noči počtalona Alekseja Trjapicyna" (The Postman's White Nights). "Loin des hommes" also won the SIGNIS award. Joshua Oppenheimer's "The Look of Silence" took the Grand Jury Prize.

At the award ceremony, the INTERFILM Jury said about "Words With Gods": "We wish to highlight the Out of Competition entry Words With Gods which shows the complex diversity of religious beliefs in different cultures and social environments. The power and the strength, the ambivalence and the danger, the consolation and hope of religion are put in 9 different short stories directed by significant directors. This film is even more as a personal statement or a religious information about living faith, it is also a project for working on religious dialogue and tolerance."

Link: Festival website

Gianna Urizio, member of the INTERFILM Steering Committee and president of INTERFILM's Italian membership organisation Roberto Sbaffi, shot three interviews with the jury members. You can watch them in the video below.

INTERFILM Award for Promoting Interreligious Dialogue

Far From Men
Directed by:

With the film Loin des hommes (2014), based on an Albert Camus story, director David Oelhoffen tells a parable of human relationship overcoming hostility. Two men share a common faith in mutual dignity even though coming from different religious and cultural background and a unique friendship develops across cultural barriers. The director has managed to accomplish a film of clarity and ethical accuracy set in a striking Algerian landscape. The film displays the existential choice in every time to question corrupted cultural norms, prejudices and hatred. David Oelhoffens story provides a call to approve equality and life, acknowledging the other as your neighbour.

“Each generation doubtless feels called upon to reform the world. Mine knows that it will not reform it, but its task is perhaps even greater. It consists in preventing the world from destroying itself”. (Albert Camus in his Nobel Prize Speech, Stockholm 1957).

Regulations of the Award as PDF

More about the festival

On the background of a rewarding experience jury member Tomas Axelson highlights three outstanding films of the Venice festival programme 2014
Anita Nipah, member of the INTERFILM jury Venice 2014, writes on Joshua Oppenheimer's documentary about the victims of a political crime on the Philippines in the sixties of the past century.