Documentary on the death penalty wins Amnesty International DOEN Award

December 2003 -

The English documentary 'Aileen: Life and death of a serial killer' won the second Amnesty International DOEN Award during the International Documentary Film festival Amsterdam (IDFA) on 30 November.

This prize was specifically established in 2002 for films addressing human rights and human dignity. During both the IDFA and the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR), an international jury selects the winner from the ten nominated human rights films.

With their prize, Amnesty International and the DOEN foundation are striving to draw attention to films on human rights and to enable these films to reach a broader audience. With the award of € 5,000.00 and distribution of the film in the Netherlands, the two organisations hope to stimulate and support the film's maker.

Still from 'Aileen: Life and death of a serial killer'

The winning film 'Aileen: Life and death of a serial killer' was made by Nick Broomfield and Joan Churchill. This English documentary is an indictment against the death penalty based on the story of an American street prostitute, Aileen Wuornos, who killed seven people. She was executed in October 2002. The jury report states that the film exposes in a subtle and multi-layered way the systematic violation of the human rights of a person in a state that presents itself as the defender of democracy, freedom and human rights.

The Kidnapping of Ingrid Betancourt, a documentary about the kidnapping of the Columbian presidential candidate of that name, received special mention.

A selection of the twenty films from the two festivals can be seen at Amnesty International's coming Human Rights Film Festival in Amsterdam. A special Amnesty film day will also be held during the International Film Festival in Rotterdam on 28 January.