Hisham Zaman wins the Telenor Culture Prize 2013

Press release
6 minute read
Film director Hisham Zaman has been awarded the Telenor Culture Prize 2013 for his unique ability to combine the art of film-making with an exceptional talent for communication.
The seven-member jury praised the prize-winner’s humanistic values, which they say are communicated with both humour and a strong underlying seriousness in his portrayal of people crossing personal, cultural and geographical borders. No one is untouched after watching his award-winning films: “Bawke”, “Winterland” and “Before Snowfall”, the jury say.

The Telenor Culture Prize, called “Boundless Communications”, is a key component of Telenor’s extensive cultural program. The winner receives NOK 250,000.

Controversial and socially conscious

“We congratulate this year’s winner of Telenor’s Culture Prize - Hisham Zaman - a young talent that places Norwegian film-making on the international stage. This award is well deserved and we hope it will further encourage Hisham to continue communicating in such a passionate and unique way,” says Jon Fredrik Baksaas, President and CEO, Telenor Group.

"Zaman has a unique ability to combine the art of film-making with an extraordinary talent for communication. His humanistic values are communicated with both humour and a strong underlying seriousness in his portrayal of people crossing personal, cultural and geographical borders," says the head of the jury, Kjersti Alveberg.

"I feel honoured to be awarded Telenor’s Culture Prize. I look at the prize as a stepping stone for my future work in film-making and as an important support to the work I have begun. It's great that Telenor has given me and my work such attention, " says Hisham Zaman.

Hisham Zaman, who graduated from The Norwegian Film School at Lillehammer in 2004, won the Norwegian Playwright's Association's Award for Best Screenplay at the Norwegian Short Film Festival 2003 for his short film The Bridge. His film The Roof (2004) has been screened at several international film festivals, while Bawke (2005) has received more than 40 national and international awards including an Amanda. Zaman has also directed the comedic drama Winterland (2007).

This year, Zaman released his debut feature film Before Snowfall - a road movie that turns into an odyssey from East to West for a boy from Iraqi Kurdistan. Before Snowfall is the official opening film at the Tromsø International Film Festival and has been nominated in several categories at this year's Amanda Awards. The film has already received awards at the Tribeca (Best Cinematography) and Gotenburgh film festivals (Dragon Award).

Since 1995

The Telenor Culture Prize – Boundless Communication – is awarded for the 18th time.

Previous award winners:

2012 – Timbuktu

2011 – The Norwegian Broadcasting Orchestra (KORK)

2010 – Olafur Eliasson, artist

2009 – Liv Ullmann, actress and film director

2008 – Jonas Bendiksen, photographer

2007 – Marilyn Mazur, percussionist, ensemble leader and composer

2006 – The International Museum of Children’s Art

2005 – Anne Marit Jacobsen, actress

2004 – Ingrid Lorentzen, dancer

2003* – the independent theatre company Verdensteatret

2001 – Ingvar Ambjørnsen, author

2000 – Juni Dahr, actress

1999 – Torun Lian, author and film director

1998 – Kari Bremnes, singer, musician and songwriter

1997 – Kjersti Alveberg, choreographer

1996 – Wenche Øyen, painter

1995 – Svein Tindberg, actor

* Between 2002 and 2003 Telenor changed the practice for dating. For press releases after 2002 the prize has been dated the same year as it was awarded. Earlier prizes were dated to the year prior to when the award took place. Therefore there are no prizes dating from 2002.

The jury of 2013: Kjersti Alveberg, Choreographer, Leader of the Jury, Lars Saabye Christensen

Author, Asta Busingye Lydersen, Actress and musician in Queendom, Ingrid Kindem

Musician and Composer, Cecilie Broch Knudsen, Principal of Oslo National Academy of the Arts, Thorbjørn Harr, Actor,  Kai Rosenberg, Senior Communications Manager, Telenor


Picture of the prize winner

Learn more about the art and culture initiatives of Telenor


Meera Bhatia, Communications Manager, Telenor Group

Tel: +47 4684 4959, Email: meera.bhatia@telenor.com