2020 Fritt Ord Foundation Prize to Deeyah Khan

November 9 2020

PRESS RELEASE 9 November 2020

The 2020 Fritt Ord Foundation Prize is awarded to Deeyah Khan for her intrepid, methodical and innovative documentary films on extremism.

Norwegian-Pakistani Deeyah Khan (43) is one of today’s most influential directors of socially relevant and timely documentary films. She works at the international level and enjoys a large following the world over, not least in Norway.

“Her films are sensitive and bold in their attempts to understand and to enlighten, addressing several of the most controversial topics of our time. This results in documentary films that are both artistically powerful and journalistically original”, comments Grete Brochmann, chair of the Fritt Ord Board.

“Deeyah Khan is an extremely important practitioner of artistic freedom of expression. Her documentaries manage to deal with extremists constructively rather than by bringing them to silence. Her confrontations with militant activists, such as Islamists and Neo-Nazis, trigger changes in the extremists as well as in those of us who see her films. Khan occupies a rare position because she meets extremist forces and engages them in challenging, but calm talks”, Brochmann adds.

Deeyah Khan is making news with two new documentaries this autumn, both from Trump’s USA. The one is entitled America’s War on Abortion, the other, Muslim in Trump’s America. Both have recently premiered internationally and on Norway’s public broadcaster NRK.

Khan debuted in 2012 with a documentary about honour killing entitled Banaz. A Love Story. 2018 marked the début of the documentary on US right-wing extremism, White Right. Meeting the Enemy. Both these films won Emmy awards. 2015 marked the release of the documentary Jihad. A Story of the Others, while Islam’s Non-Believers was released the following year.

The prize laureate

Deeyah Khan (born on 7 August 1977 in Oslo, Norway) is of Norwegian-Pakistani descent. She grew up as Deepika Thathaal, making a name for herself as a musician and singer at an early age. In 1997, she left Norway and moved to London in the wake of smears and harassment against her from conservative Norwegian Muslims. In addition to her work on the documentary films, she has championed persecuted female artists, young Muslim women’s artistic endeavours and opportunities for freedom of expression, founding several organisations that work towards these goals.

The Fritt Ord Foundation Prize

The Fritt Ord Foundation Prize is the Foundation’s highest honour. The prize consists of NOK 500 000 and a statuette signed Nils Aas. The award ceremony will take place at 5 p.m. on Sunday, 13 December at the Oslo Opera House.

The Fritt Ord Foundation

The Fritt Ord Foundation is a private non-profit foundation that aspires to promote freedom of expression, public debate, art and culture. The Fritt Ord Foundation Board consists of Grete Brochmann (Chair), Bård Vegar Solhjell (Deputy Chair), Christian Bjelland, Guri Hjeltnes, Anine Kierulf, Frank Rossavik and Sigrun Slapgard. Knut Olav Åmås is executive director of the Fritt Ord Foundation.


Deeyah Khan, email deeyah@fuuse.net.

Chair of the Fritt Ord Board, Grete Brochmann, mobile +47 992 78730.

Project Director, Bente Roalsvig, mobile +47 916 13340.


The award ceremony is postponed untill 2021 as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. New date to be announced.


23 juli 2011

Survey of media coverage from 2011 to 2022 of the terrorist acts committed on 22 July 2011

October 26 2022

For the first time, a systematic analysis has been made of 11 years of media coverage on the acts of terror committed on 22 July 2011.
Nearly 500 000 newspaper articles have been published about the right-wing extremist acts of terror from the time they were committed until the summer of 2022.

Andriy dubchak

Ukrainian journalists, photographers and media to receive five Free Media Awards for 2022 from the Fritt Ord Foundation and the ZEIT-Stiftung

August 19 2022

Photographers, videographers, journalists, war correspondents and media in Ukraine are risking their lives to cover Russia’s brutal war of aggression in their country. This year, all five of the Free Media Awards’ Press Prizes are destined for Ukrainian photographers, journalists and media in recognition of their efforts to document the suffering and the challenges that Ukrainian people are facing due to hostile destruction and war crimes committed by Russian troops. The journalism being produced under extremely trying circumstances is of exceptional quality.

Kopi av mmp02510

"Hoping to bring a little of the Sundance experience to Oslo"

October 13 2022

“We are hoping to bring a little of Sundance, the Venice Biennale and the International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam to Oslo.” These are the words of Racha Helen Larsen, film producer and director of the Mirage Film Festival. Mirage will be held at SALT in Oslo from 12 to 16 October. 2022 marks the second time the festival will be arranged.


The Fritt Ord Journalism Fellowship

August 23 2022

We are pleased to announce the call for applications for the Fritt Ord Journalism Fellowship for journalists funded by the Fritt Ord Foundation. This gives an unique opportunity for Norwegian journalists to benefit from a funded fellowship at the University of Oxford, commencing in January 2021. Application deadline: Wednesday 165 September 2020, at noon.