WASHINGTON (CNS) - "The Snows of Kilimanjaro," a French film, won the Signis Award at this year's Filmfest D.C.
The jury gave a special commendation to another French-language film, the Canadian entry "Monsieur Lazhar."
"'The Snows of Kilimanjaro' tells the story of a union ship welder put out of work by the effects of globalization. He has dedicated his life to equality and fairness, only to have his family relationships turned upside down as a consequence of a violent crime. The impact crosses generational barriers and social classes," the Signis jury wrote in awarding the prize.
Of "Monsieur Lazhar," the jury said, "In a multi-layered story an Algerian emigre to Quebec steps in to teach a middle-school class that has been traumatized by the suicide of their teacher. In helping the students he is also able to come to terms with his own loss of his wife and children. Thanks to exceptional acting by both adults and children, this gentle, well-told story of grief and guilt is suffused with human dignity and hope."
Robert Guediguian directed, produced and co-wrote "The Snows of Kilimanjaro." It was his sixth film since 1997 to be shown at Filmfest D.C. Philippe Farlardeau wrote and directed "Monsieur Lazhar."
There were many other films also worthy of recognition, according to Signis jury chair Frank Frost, "The fact that the decision of the jury was so difficult this year is a tribute to Filmfest D.C. for again screening a large number of high-quality films that explore the many dimensions of our common humanity," he said in an April 23 statement.
Signis, the World Catholic Association for Communication, participates in jury selections at film festivals in more than 30 countries. Signis' U.S. arm is the Catholic Academy for Communication Arts Professionals.
Other Signis jurors at Filmfest D.C. were Jesuit Father Gregory Schenden, Michael Ritter and Mary Link Frost.