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10 December, 2018
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Aäläm-Wärqe Davidian.-The winner of the 2018 Audentia Award for Best Female Director

05 October, 2018 | 01:13

The Council of Europe’s Eurimages Fund and Toronto International Film Festival® are pleased to reveal the name of the winner of the third edition of the Audentia Award for Best Female Director.

The 2018 winner is Aäläm-Wärqe Davidian/Alamork Davidian / for her debut feature Fig Tree (a German, French, Israeli and Ethiopian co-production).

Her directorial debut, Fig Tree, was an Ophir Award nominee for Best Picture in 2018.[2]

Fig Tree was based in part on her own childhood in Addis Ababa prior to emigrating to Israel.[3] She is married to film director and producer Kobi Davidian.[1]

At the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival, she won the Eurimages Audentia Award for Best Female Director for Fig Tree.[4]

STRASBOURG, 17/09/2018 – The Council of Europe’s Eurimages Fund and Toronto International Film Festival® are pleased to reveal the name of the winner of the third edition of the Audentia Award for Best Female Director.

The 2018 winner is Aäläm-Wärqe Davidian for her debut feature Fig Tree (a German, French, Israeli and Ethiopian co-production).

The announcement was made during the 43rd edition of the Festival, at a prestigious ceremony held at TIFF Bell Lightbox on Sunday 16 September 2018 at 12:30 pm.

The Canadian actress Sarah Gadon made a powerful introductory speech as she announced that Aäläm-Wärqe Davidian would receive the 30 000 euros cash prize. In particular Gadon stressed how vital financial resources were for women directors in order for them to keep making movies.

In her acceptance message Davidian said that the prize represented a repeat frequency that encouraged her feelings and her filmmaking and as a woman her responsibility to take part in the thought of how humanity shapes itself.

The jury, which included: Kerri Craddock, Director of Programming for the Toronto International Film Festival, Reinaldo Marcus Green, writer, director and producer, and Anne Frank, the Canadian representative for the 2018 Eurimages Award, noted that Fig Tree “is a stunning and illuminating film about a family torn apart during the civil war in Ethiopia.

Based on Davidian’s own experiences, the director takes us on an unsentimental journey and shows us the tragic effects of civil war on ordinary people. This is a confident director, who tells a solid story with grit and compassion; a story about a multi-layered African character trying to be her own woman. The film is about empowerment and it is beautifully rendered by a perfect young cast.”

An Honourable Mention was given to the film Phoenix (Føniks) by Camilla Strøm Henriksen. The jury considered the film to represent a mature and courageous debut for its director. A visually arresting and emotionally complex film, Phoenix focuses on a young teen who assumes an enormous burden of responsibility in the face of her mother’s mental illness and her father’s absence. With powerful truth and emotion, the film slowly and methodically unravels a story about mental illness and abandonment. The festival with which Eurimages will collaborate in 2019 for the Audentia Award will be announced shortly.


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