The 2018 Audentia Award, presented by the Council of Europe’s Eurimages Fund and the Toronto International Film Festival, honoured top female directors at the Festival. The Audentia Award is a cash prize of 30,000 Euros that promotes gender equality in the industry by celebrating female directors–who certainly have plenty of “courage and bravery”, which is the literal meaning behind the award’s Latin name.

Aäläm-Wärqe Davidian was crowned the winner of the Audentia Award for her debut feature Fig Tree (German, French, Israeli and Ethiopian coproduction).

Fig Tree is a stunning and illuminating debut. Based on her own experiences, Ethiopian-Israeli writer-director Aäläm-Wärqe Davidian takes us on an unsentimental journey and shows us the tragic effects of civil war on ordinary people. Confidently directed with grit and compassion, Fig Tree is a beautifully rendered, big-hearted story about a Jewish teenage girl’s attempt to save those she loves, but it’s also an intimate coming-of-age story of self-discovery and female empowerment,” noted the jury comprised of Anne Frank (the Canadian representative for the 2018 Eurimages Award), Reinaldo Marcus Green (writer, director and producer), and Kerri Craddock (Director of Programming for the Toronto International Film Festival).

Want more? Read Eurimages’ press release here.

BONUS – Canadian actress Sarah Gadon (The Death and Life of John F. Donovan, Alias Grace) presented Aäläm-Wärqe Davidian with the prize.

Canada is Eurimages’ 38th member country and three outstanding Canadians were amongst the 13 Audentia Award nominees.