Jaha’s Promise Wins IFI Documentary Festival 2017 Audience Award

After a wonderful weekend of films and discussion, the IFI Documentary Festival 2017 has drawn to a close.

With 16 feature films over five days, 2017 was a jam-packed programme, further enhanced by a number of guests from around the world, providing extra insight into their films.

Audiences who attended got the chance to vote for their favourite films, and we’re delighted to announce that the winner of the Audience Award for 2017 is Jaha’s Promise.

Jaha is a young woman who returns home from the US to the Gambia to lead a campaign against female genital mutilation (FGM), the brutal procedure that she suffered as a baby and which almost destroyed her life. Jaha doesn’t seek sympathy: she demands respect for the rights of girls and women no matter what society they live in.

The film is the story of her relentless struggle and the stunning victory that brought radical change to her society. This screening was attended by Jaha Dukureh herself, alongside co-director Patrick Farrelly, hosted by Susan McKay.

We want to take this opportunity to congratulate the team behind the film, and wish them all the best on future travels around festivals and beyond.

The Shorts Programme also featured its own Audience Awards, with No Plan coming out on top after some competitive voting. The film from director Kristin Vollset tells the story of a young Norwegian street musician who find herself immersed in the world of horse-riding youths in the Liberties.

Thank you to all who attended the IFI Documentary Festival 2017, and took the time to cast their votes.

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