DocuDays UA 2019 Awards

Look at the photo, the awards which were distributed in Kiev on March 28 – the two last days of the festival, that stops today, are called Audience Days, where films from the festival will go to locations i.e. ”cinemas in different Kiev neighbourhoods”.

Tomorrow is also an Audience Day – Presidential election, first round, in Ukraine!

Here follows a copy/paste of the list of winners from a festival that I visited for the seventh time this year and which stays close to my heart because of the program, the atmosphere, the dedication of the staff and their ability to surprise its audience:


Main Prize

Voices of the Sea by Kim Hopkins, UK

The main prize goes to “The Voices of the Sea”, for the powerful and touchy and warm characters, for the love that wins above everything, for the sensitive camera that brings harmony of characters within the environment.

Special Mention

White Mama by Zosya Rodkevich, Evgeniya Ostanina, Russia

For the protagonist that gives us hope and believe that we have enough strength to deal with the hard issues in life.


The Winter Garden’s Tale by Simon Mozgovyi, Ukraine

A woman’s life work flowers into a portrait of the cycle of nature and inevitable change.


Main Prize

A Friendship in Tow/Toe by Atsushi Kuwayama, Portugal

Mounting the stairs becomes a story of love, friendship and a promising dinner executed with charm, style, heart and humor.

Special Mention

Above the Styx by Maria Stoianova, Yulia Danylchuk, Maria Terebus (story editor), Liudmyla Paraskiva, Kateryna Rybachuk, Anastasiya Feshchuk, Ivan Bershadskyi, Alla Onopchenko, Ukraine

For a fine example of how a collective of emerging filmmakers come together and manage to create one whole story from multiple viewpoints of society.


Main Prize

The Cleaners by Hans Block, Moritz Riesewieck, Brazil, Germany

For encouraging discussion about privacy, freedom of choice and human rights protection in the world where the internet and social media take up ever more of our private space, and we ourselves become a part of the global network. Where is the balance between the desire to protect the society from cruel content which incited hate and the freedom of choice and self-expression? Will the internet of the future be an instrument in the hands of dictators and global corporations, or a territory of boundless democracy and individual freedoms? Who has the right to define what should be “ignored” and what should be “deleted”? The film raises many questions to which the humanity has yet to find the answers.

Special Mention

Still Recording by Ghiath Ayoub, Saeed Al Batal, Syria, Lebanon, Qatar, France, Germany

For the human stories hidden behind military news reports. For the courage of the people who did not flee from armed conflict, but picked up a camera instead of weapons and showed the real events happening in Syria to the entire world. Despite all the horrors of the war, they still have strength, not just to live and maintain their dignity, but also to give others the feeling of peacetime life. It’s a reminder to every one of us: nobody can be sure that they are safe from war – we have to take the responsibility for preserving peace.

When Lambs Become Lions by Jon Kasbe, USA

The director has succeeded in combining the personal dramas of ordinary people and the global environmental disasters which concern everyone. Corruption, the violation of socio-economic rights, the damaging effects on the planet’s environment are all intertwined in the storyline and paint a whole picture – not just of Kenya, but also of the whole modern world, where states sometimes leave people no choice and force them to face difficult moral dilemmas.


I Grew Up As You Slept by Marcin Sauter, Poland

For boundless love and tenderness between worlds and generations!


Reserve Askania by Andriy Lytvynenko, Ukraine

Fresh reminder about our nature. The rhythmical and sensual narrative of the film can fascinate and move the audiences with any background, and the protagonists win you over with their sincerity and dedication to their work.


White Mama by Zosya Rodkevich, Evgeniya Ostanina, Russia

And go to the website and see trailers, interviews, statements, etc.

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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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