Download the 2003 Prize list (in French)

Download the 2003 programme (in French)

Organization: Roman Museum
Director: Christophe Goumand

The prize list


“Sagalassos, la cite oubliée” (Sagalossos, the forgotten city), Belgium, 52’, director: Philippe Axell

This film gives a magnificent overall picture of archaeology, accessible to the general public, and representative of all the disciplines involved. It showcases the multidisciplinary nature of archaeology, specifying its objectives, ranging from discovery to reconstitution, and including interpretation, while dwelling on the different aspects of man’s past. It brings out the importance of long-term research; of particular merit is the fact that in making this film the work of the archaeologists was filmed during each campaign over 12 years. The images are magnificent and the montage excellent. The computer-generated imagery is spectacular and perfectly integrated into the film. In addition, it gives a very clear impression of the atmosphere during an excavation in terms of the human relations and the mutual respect among all members of the team, especially between the local workers and the foreign archaeologists. This is archaeology concerned with people today and in the future. It is oriented towards the long-term and the encouragement of sustainable development in an entire region.


“Le Rêve de Scipion, mort et pouvoir dans la Rome antique” (The death of Scipio, power and death in Ancient Rome), Italy, 50’, director: Adolfo Conti alias John Michael.

The power and poetry of the narrative makes this an authentic art film. Its construction is extremely cinematic and in the quality and style of its imagery its educational and historical interest is undeniable. Without prior knowledge it is impossible to imagine that it is a low-budget film. We should like to thank the author for showing us that the amount invested in a film does not reflect in any direct sense on its quality.


“Les derniers jours d’Herculanum” (The last days of Herculaneum), France, Italy, 52’, directors: Maurice Ribière and Marco Visalberghi.

Very thoughtful use is made of fiction in this film since scientific evidence and fiction intersect, while the fictional aspect is governed by the scientific evidence. It is an excellent piece of popularisation that makes accurate use of the data. It is equally a gripping reconstitution of the drama that unfolded in Herculaneum and Pompeii in the eventful days of August 79 AD.


“Les derniers jour d’Herculanum”, France, Italy, 52’, directors: Maurice Ribière and Marco Visalberghi.


“Les hommes oubliés de la vallée des rois” (The forgotten people of the Valley of the Kings), France, 52’, director: Jérôme Prieur.

A special mention was awarded to this film for its poetry and for its emphasis on individuals. It recompenses the director’s work on script-writing and his cinema technique; by means of regular and well-timed camera movement and a judicious use of sober but meaningful lighting, the spectator is transported into the anecdotal existence of the craftsmen who created some of the great masterpieces of the wider history of art and archaeology. This brilliant and uncomplicated film pays a touching poetic tribute to Egyptian civilisation.

“Bilâd Chinquit, le pays de Chinguetti” (Bilâd Chinquit, the country of Chinguetti), Italy, 59’, directors: Lucio and Anna Rosa.

The mention was awarded for the revelation of a piece of undiscovered heritage. The film provides an opportunity to visit venues that are virtually unknown. The montage is simple, with no spectacular action and without the use of computer-generated imagery, major technical resources or Range Rovers, but with unforgettable images of the desert, of camels, of valuable old books, of men who live in the desert and ancient towns which until now were not classed as objects of archaeological research. Although the desert is steadily swallowing up the houses, their images are preserved in the film.

The jury


  • Eric Huysecom, Senior Lecturer, Department of Anthropology and Ecology, University of Geneva.


  • Thierry Luginbühl, Professor of Roman Provincial Archaeology, University of Lausanne.
  • Marc Azéma, film-director, prehistorian, Montpellier.
  • Kurt Denzer, film-director, director of the Festival of Archaeological Films, Kiel, Christian Albrecht University, Kiel.
  • Jean-Daniel Farine, researcher, Télévision suisse romande, Geneva.