Saodat Ismailova wins Eye Art & Film Prize for her "urgent" and "refreshing" work

The winner of this year's EYE Art & Film Prize has been announced to be Saodat Ismailova.

The Uzbekistan native, who spends her time between Paris and Tashkent, will be receiving her award on the night of Friday the 10th of June in Amsterdam.


Eye's international jury, made up of Sandra den Hamer, Nalini Malani, Chris Dercon, Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese, Hila Peleg and Nanouk Leopold, have decided to award Saodat and her film the £25,000 prize promised to the best work of the competition. 


They were seduced by the way she was able to present her country's culture: "We viewed her work with tremendous excitement and fascination. Saodat succeeds in creating an almost spiritual space beyond images and soundtracks. She seduces us into ‘hearing’ image and ‘seeing’ sound. Her work is intriguing, mysterious and committed, while form and aesthetics are balanced rather than overwhelming. [...] Her powerful work feels both refreshing and urgent." The jury chair Sandra den Hamer said in the jury report.


Eye Art & Film Prize 2022 I Winner Saodat Ismailova 2 Eye Filmmusuem – photo Maarten Nauw


Previous winners of this competition have been Hito Steyerl (2015), Ben Rivers (2016), Wang Bing (2017), Francis Alÿs (2018), Meriem Bennani (2019), Kahlil Joseph (2020) and the Karrabing Film Collective (2021).


In 2022 alone, Saodat Ismailova's work was displayed at the main exhibition at the Venice Biennale and is set to be shown at the Documenta Fifteen in Kessel, Germany from mid-June until the last week of September.


Saodat Ismailova, Zukhra, 2013, video installation - Tromsokunstforening, Norway, 2017. Photo: Den Hjemsøkte