• Marek Nowicki Prize

    Since 2003, the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights has been awarding filmmakers with the festival prize for excellent achievement in showing human rights in film.
    In 2006 the Board of the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights decided to name this prize with the name of Marek Nowicki (1947 – 2003), cofounder and for many years the President of the Foundation, cofunder of the Helsinki Committee in Poland.

    In 2017, the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights awards the Marek Nowicki Prize to Thierry Michel

    Thierry Michel is a legend in the world of Belgian documentary filmmaking. Born in Charleroi, in 1952, his first films dealt with his immediate surroundings in the industrial and mining region known as the“black country. He quickly became one of the key figures in New Walloon Cinema, and alt-hough he would always remain loyal to socio-political subjects, he started making hybrid films in the 1970s that combined documentary and feature storytelling. Over the next decade, he became interest-ed in other continents, making several films in Brazil, Iran, Morocco, Somalia and, above all, Congo, the subject of his most acclaimed documentaries. His protagonists have included both individuals from the highest echelons of power (dictator Mobutu Sese Seko, the subject of Mobutu: King of Zaire, and Moise Katumbi, governor of the country's richest province), as well as people who, for various rea-sons, had antagonistic relations with the authorities, such as human rights activist Floribert Chebeya, who was murdered in 2010, and Dr. Denis Mukwege, winner of the Sakharov Prize in 2014. In film after film, Thierry consistently exposed the neo-colonial ambitions of large corporations and the nepo-tism and corruption of the Congolese authorities, who, in the end, recognized him as persona non grata. His forced return to his homeland brought his career full circle. His newest documentary, Chil-dren of Chance, portrays a new generation of inhabitants of the mining basin in the heart of Belgium, but this time with non-European roots.

    Selected Filmography

    1973  Portrait d'un auto-portrait
    1975  Pays Noir, Pays Rouge
    1982  Hiver 60
    1985  Hôtel particulier
    1990  Gosses de Rio
    1992  Zaïre, le cycle du serpent
    1994  Somalie, l'humanitaire s'en va-t'en-guerre
    1995  Les Derniers Colons
    1996  Donka, radioscopie d'un hôpital africain
    1999  Mobutu. King of Zair.
    2003  Iran - Veiled Appearances
    2005  Congo River, Beyond Darkness
    2009  Katanga Business
    2010  Métamorphose d'une gare
    2012  The Chebeya Affair. A State Crime?
    2013  The Irressistible Rise of Moise Katumbi
    2015 Man Who Mends Women - the Wrath of Hippocrates
    2017 Children of Chance


  • WATCH DOCS Award for the best feature-length documentary
  • Audience Award  



Laureates of the Marek Nowicki Prize:

2016 - Nima Sarvestani

2015 - Nick Broomfield 

2014 - Joe Berlinger

2013 - Maria Ramos

2012 - Jafar Panahi

2011 - Zhao Liang

2010 - Frederick Wiseman

2009 - Wiktor Daszuk

2008 - Errol Morris

2007 - Rithy Panh

2006 - Marcel Łoziński

2005 - Maciej Drygas

2004 - Fabrizio Lazzaretti

2003 - Kim Longinotto

WATCH DOCS Award for the best feature-length documentary winners:

2016 - A 157, dir. Behrouz Nooranipour

2015 - A Syrian Love Story dir. Sean McAllister and Behemoth dir. Zhao Liang

2014 - Rich Hill dir. Andrew Droz Palermo i Tracy Droz Trago

2013 - No burqas behind bars dir. Nima Sarvestani

2012 - Anton's Right Here dir. Ljubow Arkus

2011 - Special Flight dir. Fernand Melgar

2010 - Winds of Sand. Women of Rock dir. Nathalie Borgers

2009 - Les Arrivants dir. Claudine Bories, Patrice Chagnard

2008 - Juízo dir. Maria Augusta Ramos

2007 - Losers and Winners dir. Ulrika Franke, Michael Loeken

2006 - Avenge But One Of My Two Eyes dir. Avi Mograbi and On a tightrope dir. Peter Lom

Audience Award winners:

2016 - Who's Gonna Love Me Now, dir. Barak Heymann, Tomer Heymann

2015 - Call me Marianna dir. Karolina Bielawska

2014 - Siblings are forever dir.  Frode Fimland

2013 - No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka, dir. Callum Macrae

2012 - Call Me Kuchu dir. Katherine Fairfax Wright, Malika Zouhali-Worrall

2011 - Belarussian Dream dir. Ekatarina Kibalchich

2010 - Presumed guilty dir. Roberto Hernandez, Geoffrey Smith

2009 - Tibet in Song dir. Ngawang Choephel

2008 - Kites dir. Beata Dzianowicz

2007 - Bridge Over the Wadi dir. Barak Heyman, Tomer Heymann

2006 - Street Fight dir. Marshall Curry

2005 - The children of Leningradsky dir. Hanna Polak, Andrzej Celiński



Co-financed by: