“The Wasteland” wins Norwegian Peace Film Award
Art and Experience:
Iranian drama “The Wasteland” won the Norwegian Peace Film Award at the 32nd Tromso International Film Festival, the organizers announced on Saturday night.
Directed by Ahmad Bahrami, the film follows a remote brick manufacturing factory producing bricks using an ancient method. Many families with different ethnicities work in the factory and the boss seems to hold the key to solving their problems. Forty-year-old Lotfollah, who was born on-site, is the factory supervisor and acts as a go-between for the workers and the boss. The boss has Lotfollah gather all the workers in front of his office. He wants to talk to them about the shutdown of the factory. All that matters now to Lotfollah is to keep Sarvar unharmed, the woman he has been in love with for a long time.
The Norwegian Peace Film Award is given to a film spotlighting direct, structural or cultural violence, and which in a creative way contributes to a deeper understanding of conflicts and violence.
The award is presented by TIFF in collaboration with the Centre for Peace Studies at the University of Tromso and the Student Network for Peace.
This year’s jury composed of Hermann Josef Greuel, Racha Helen Larsen and Anuradha Gayanath Abeykoon wrote in a statement, “We gave this year’s Norwegian Peace Film Award to a complete work of cinematic art with a universal perspective on day laborers in conflict with capital and power.”
“Through its formal and visual narrative structure, the film focuses on the essentials, the powerlessness and abandonment of workers in a changing economic situation. Through repetition, the narrative mercilessly penetrates to the core of the problem and thereby becomes a humanistic message,” the jury added.
The Aurora Prize, the festival’s main award for best film, was given to “Medusa” by Brazilian director Anita Rocha da Silveira.
The film also won the Faith in Film Award, which is given by the Center for Art, Culture and Church and Norwegian Church Academies and Tromso Church Academy.
“Mr. Bachman and His Class” by German director Maria Speth was honored with the FIPRESCI Award by the Federation Internationale de la Presse Cinematographique.
The Don Quixote Prize, which is awarded by the Federation Internationale des Cine-Clubs, went to “Miracle”, a Romania-Czech co-production directed by Bogdan George Apetri.
“Radji”, a co-production from Belgium, Sweden and Norway directed by Georg Gotmark and John Erling Utsi, received the Tromso Palm, which is awarded to the best film in the sidebar films from the North.