(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Argentinian film Final Image triumphed over 52 others to win the prestigious Al Jazeera Golden Award in the long films category at the conclusion of the 6th Al Jazeera International Documentary Film Festival
Directed by Andres Habegger, the 94-minute film tells about Leonardo Henrichsen, an Argentine journalist who was able to capture on camera his own death when he was shot as he filmed an attempted military coup against Chilean President Salvador Allende in 1973. Henrichsen?s famous images later became a symbol of freedom of the press and the struggle against dictators in Latin America.
Habegger and the producer of the film shared the QR50,000 cash award and received trophies which bear the Al Jazeera logo.
Abbas Arnaout, the festival director, honoured the 14 jury members from various countries, and underlined the importance of the festival as an opportunity for directors and producers from various cultural backgrounds to share knowledge.
The other winners of the Al Jazeera Golden Award included Baghdad Angel (Qatar) in the medium films category and Mona (Jordan) in the short films category.
The Al Jazeera Jury Award winners were Searching for Hassan, Naxi People in Nanjing and The Solitary Life of Cranes in the long, medium and short films categories, respectively.
Three special awards were also given to the three best films in each category.
The Al Jazeera Award for Freedom and Human Rights was given to Aliya Battalion, The Curse of the Sands and Between the Truth and Fire. It was sponsored by Al Jazeera Network?s Public Liberties & Human Rights.
?The only thing in life which is static is change and we are people who create change because of freedom. Freedom is something we own: freedom of belief, freedom of expression, freedom of resistance against repression,? said Rafic Nasrallah, one of the festival jurors, who is a media expert awarded the Lebanese Order of Merit. He was speaking on the theme of this year?s festival, freedom.
This year?s annual festival added prizes for Children and Family films, sponsored by Al Jazeera Children?s Channel. The awards were won by Flower Bridge, Alone Together and David in the long, medium and short film categories, respectively.
Two films out of 22 documentaries created by beginners in documentary film-making were awarded the New Horizon Award, and they included Irrevocable Ruling (first prize) from Lebanon and Nice Life (second prize) by Jordanian director Lilas Dalgamoni.
Nearly a thousand films were received this year out of which 197 were chosen for screening for the competition.
?The big number of submissions confirms the festival?s global frame and its credibility,? said Nasrallah, who noted the growing interest of viewers in documentary films.
?A recent study said 42 percent of viewers in the world watch documentaries at least two hours a day and the festival comes in keeping with this idea,? he said.
BY RAYNALD C RIVERA