Docudays Kiev 2017 Awards

A press release came out last night: The 14th International documentary films about human rights festival has ended in Kyiv. The awards ceremony was held in the Cinema House. The closing ceremony began with a gesture of solidarity with Ukrainian film director Oleg Sentsov, imprisoned in Russia.

Films were competing for prizes in categories: DOCU/LIFE, DOCU/RIGHT, DOCU/SHORT, DOCU/UKRAINE and for the special prize from Students’ Jury. The festivals’ Orzanizing Committee favorite is awarded with the Andriy Matrosov Award. The ceremony was followed by the Ukrainian premiere of “Liberation Day” by Ugis Olte and Morten Traavik.

The results of the final stages of three long-term workshops were announced during the closing ceremony – DocWorks: UA/UK, Warscape, and Youth about Ukraine. During the closing ceremony the results of WARSCAPE international competition were announced. The award of 5.000 USD was given to the “Double trap” (director Valeria Treshchova and producer Viktoria Gusenok). Also the international programm DocWorks: UA/UK announced the results. The winning project “UNDERWATER” (dir. Oksana Kazmina and producer Ljosha Chashchyn) received 3.000 GBP. “(N)OSTALGIA” (director Vicki Thornton Written and producer Marion Guthdirector) received a prize (50 000 hryvnia) for the best pitching from KWA SOUND PRODUCTION company.

Winners were also announced for Instagram competition #ECOOKO: show the country’s environment. A prize from the WWF in Ukraine was given to Oleksandr Stepanenko. Prizes from the Green School educational project were received by: Oksana Vashchuk, Serhiy Handusenko, Oleg and Dariya Promahovy. Oleg and Dariya Promahovy received prizes from the Docudays UA team.

Docudays UA 2017 Winners:

DOCU/LIFE – Main Prize

All This Panic dir. Jenny Gage/ USA

Deliberate well thought through camerawork serves the subject matter and the desired atmosphere. Daring use of colors together with sensual use of depth of field made this film particularly efficient. The filmmakers are thinking outside of the box at the same time as the directorial approach creates unparalleled intimacy. It is transparent that creators are coming from contemporary art. The film unveils the secret life of teenage girls who usually go out of their way to keep their inner life closed to adults. It is the opinion of the jury that by giving these girls a voice the filmmakers are creating a bold platform for young women. Girls all over the world deserve to be heard – it is a crucial human rights issue that also resonates here in Ukraine.

Honourable mention

Gogita’s New Life dir. Levan Koguashvili/ Georgia, Croatia, Ukraine

The director’s decision to get close enough to share Gogita’s and his wife’s experience while respecting their quiet intimacy. This in combination with a remarkably beautiful frame and a consistent rhythm in the editing, bounds the story together in a completely engaging way.

DOCU/RIGHT- Main Prize

When Paul Came Over the Sea – Journal of an Encounter dir. Jakob Preuss/ Germany

The film is i an honest, meticulous, serious and responsible way dealing with one of the most critical issues we face today in Europe – the question of mass scale migration and how we as Europeans should and will respond on migration, what will be the consequence of our decision on other people’s lives and what will be the consequence for our comfort and security.

Honourable mention The Return dir. Zahavi Sanjavi Sweden

DOCU/SHORT- Main Prize

I’m Not From Here dir. Maite Alberdi, Giedrė ickyte Lithuania, Chile

In just 26 minutes, two talented directors create a multi-layered and emotionally complex world, skilfully and artistically captured through their lens. Facing the end of her life, the protagonist and her fellow residents live with humor, sadness and often prideful moments, despite the march of time taking them closer to inevitable death.

Special Mention

Rakijada dir. Nikola Ilić Switzerland

For a charming view into a brutal society.


Refuge dir. Anastasia Maksymchuk Ukraine

An unusual portrait of volunteer activists, working without stats support, the struggle against cruelty and the strength of ordinary citizens takes the forefront. The small-scale story shows a broader picture of the battle between good and evil.

Special Mention

The Fall of Lenin dir. Svitlana Shymko Ukraine

A witty and formally ambitious study on the changing ideologies of a society.


5 October dir. Martin Kollar Slovakia, Czech Republic


Amazona dir. Clare Weiskopf Columbia

For an extremely high degree of sensitivity and bravery in researching the eternal dilemma of humanity – the balance between personal freedom and responsibility before one’s children.


Born To Be Free dir. Gayane Petrosyan UK, Russia

Also the LETTER TO FEST festival distributor has chosen the best Ukrainian documentary of the Docudays UA-2017 program. It is film See You Later by Yulia Kochetova-Nabozhniak. The prize from the distributor is a certificate for a free submission to 50 international film festivals. 

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Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

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