PriMed 2015 : The reactions of the winning directors

8 movies on 24 in competition were awarded at the end of this 19th edition of PriMed, the festival of the Mediterranean Sea in images. Here the reactions of the directors.


DSC_1369Cécile ALLEGRA, co-director of “Voyage en barbarie”
(Documentary Grand Prix for Mediterranean Issues)
“I want to thank the jury. This is a very important award for us, because it comes from what is for us the far side of the Mediterranean. I’m 40, and I never dreamt I would ever see what we saw, neither did Delphine Deloget for that matter. We never imagined we would come across concentration camps. Except that today’s ideology is money, people are tortured for their money. This practice, used on Eritreans in the film, is spreading across the Horn of Africa. You find it in Libya, Yemen, the Sudan, we saw the first examples in Tunisia. It is a scourge. When we started working on this 2 years ago nobody wanted to know, everyone thought it was surreal.”





Agnès SKLAVOS and Stelios TATAKIS, directors of “Evénements de Phocée 1914

(Mediterranean Memory Award)

“The story related in the film was forgotten about for decades. Even in Greece, people don’t know about it. We know about the 1922 Smyrna disaster, but not this. The archives only came to light in 2005. A photographic historian came across them and tried to find out who they belonged to, and in doing so he uncovered these events.”
“We tried to give life to the texts. In the archives, there were a few photos, but we tried to breathe life into them. Thank you, thank you to PriMed, the CMCA and the jury.”



hadja lahbibHadja LAHBIB, director of “Patience, patience, t’iras au paradis !

(Best First Film Award, ASBU Special Mention)

“From my heart I want to thank the jury, the PriMed audience and the festival organizers for offering new insights into “Patience, patience, t’iras au paradis!” By making this film I wanted to fill a silence, to give voice to our mothers, to those who sacrificed everything for their husbands, for their children. To see them come to life on the big screen of a festival like PriMed was a source of immense joy for me, and then to be crowned with two awards, what can one say? Thanks to you, our mothers have a face, the public knows they have dreams, desires and a fantastic sense of humour! I hope Aunty Milouda, Warda, Mina and others will be followed by other women, other mothers, veiled or not, and that soon we’ll see them seated comfortably at the opera, the theatre or the cinema – their laughter irresistibly filling cinemas. Long live culture and our mothers! Thank you so much.”


PhotoPriMed 2015 -- ©CMCA -192Anush HAMZEHIAN, director of “L’Accademia della Follia
(Mediterranean Art, Heritage and Cultures Award)
“My thanks to the jury. Receiving this award makes me so happy. This is the second time I’ve come to Marseille for the festival and the second time I’ve won – not bad, eh​? And in the same category, but that’s part of my madness. I could thank people for hours, but I must absolutely thank France 3 Corse for supporting me for years. They take on projects which are not always easy. They believe in projects which are not part of a traditional documentary category, like this one. I must also thank my loonies, as they call themselves. This Award is obviously for the Accademia della Follia. They are exceptional people, this prize is for them.”



Amber FaresAmber FARES, director of “Speed Sisters
(Averroès Junior Award, 2M Broadcasting Award, RAI3 Broadcasting Award)
“Thank you so much for including Speed Sisters in PriMed this year. It was really an honour for us to be able to premier the film for a French audience and very moving to be awarded the Prix Averroes Junior and two broadcasting awards. We believe now more than ever it’s important that films like Speed Sisters are made and widely seen. Films which bring people together and inspire us all to live our lives to the fullest. It means so much to us that audiences in France – including high school students – think so too. Thank you.”




DSC_1317Lyana SALEH, co-director of “Rebelle de Raqqa
(Mediterranean Short Film Award (Prix du Public))
“Thank you PriMed, thank you all. It’s an honour for us to have received this award. I would like to dedicate it to Hayya, the brave girl you see in the film, and to all Mediterranean women who struggle daily. We met Hayya in Paris. She filmed in Raqqa twice. She sent the images to France24, we looked at them and thought they’re good, we had to do something with them. After her first report was broadcast, Hayya received threats from ISIS. She left and came to France, so we decided to make a film portrait about her, to understand how and why she did this.”






DSC_1326Caroline DONATI, co-director of “Syrie, Journaux Intimes de la Révolution
(Mediterranean Multimedia Award)
“Firstly a big thank you to the Menton jury, on behalf of Osama Chourbaji, with whom I initiated the project, Majid Abdel-Nour, Joudi Chourbaji, Amer Abdel-Haq, with whom we started filming and who are in Syria. Joudi spent seven months in one of Assad’s prisons. Since November 2012 Amer has been in a besieged suburb. Majid is in Aleppo and has witnessed many massacres by the regime, with the backing of the Russian army, and by ISIS.
“What is happening now, national political reactions to it and foreign policy decisions encourage us to continue. I also pay tribute to that society’s courage – on Saturday, November 14th, the day after the Paris attacks, Hassan, one of our new members, sent us a video from a suburb of Damascus under siege, a video of solidarity from the Syrian people to Paris. I’m speechless. Thank you to them.”




PhotoPriMed 2015 -- ©CMCA -209Dimitris KOUTSIABASAKOS, director of “The Grocer”
(France 3 Corse ViaStella Broadcasting Award)
“The best award is the one you don’t expect. That’s why I was so happy during PriMed’s closing night! Among so many excellent “Mediterranean” documentaries I didn’t think I had a chance – the reality bowled me over. I would like to thank PriMed for one more reason. It gave me the opportunity not only to present my film to an exceptional audience, but also to discover a city I fell in love with at first sight!”


Special issue for PriMed 2015

Les réactions des membres du jury : à venir…

Permanent link to this article: