DokuFest 2017 Awards

Back from Sarajevo, now here comes important info that waited some days to be brought. Namely the information about who were the winners at the DokuFest in Prizren. I bring some of the categories with the jury motivations – always appreciate when festivals publish them. This is not that often I am afraid. But the great people down there in Kosovo do:


EL MAR LA MAR by Joshua Bonnetta, J.P. Sniadecki.

Jury: Carmen Gray, Cíntia Gli, Melody Gilbert, Rodolfo Castillo-Morales, Wood LIN.

Statement: With 16mm film, the filmmakers gaze into time and the desert landscape at the border between U.S. and Mexico. Signs of human life are barely visible, but the empty desert along with the soundscape serves as a vivid metaphor of everything invisible, yet influential, to our daily lives. The geographical, ideological and political aspects are also illuminated through the narrative structure as the journey unfolds. El Mar La Mar is a beautiful poem and a highly political statement in the contemporary context with sincerity.

The same jury gave the “Special Mention” to 69 MINUTES OF 86 DAYS by Egil Håskjold Larsen.

Statement: A sensitive film that depicts the journey of a family through innocent eyes, in difficult and uncertain times of both political and social unrest, where many approaches towards the core of this film, proper or problematic could be interpreted.


THE WAR SHOW by Andreas Dalsgaard, Obaidah Zytoon

Jury: Laura Limani, Mante Valiunaite, Miranda Pennel

Statement: The jury was impressed by the film’s well-crafted form, intimacy of its camera and reflective quality of its narration.
The film manages to provide a close view of the resistance in Syria; it is a beautiful homage to political activism and ultimately, an intimate story of friendships lost too soon. What begins as a personal story transforms into a tale of journalistic courage and a commitment to document the brutal impacts of war on human lives from up-close.

The same jury gave the “Special Mention” for the HUMAN RIGHTS AWARD to A FEELING GREATER THAN LOVE by Mary Jirmanus Saba.

Statement: An important and timely investigation of labor histories and working class solidarity in Lebanon in the period shortly before the civil wars.



Jury: Karen Cirillo, Mimi Brody, Ognjen Glavonić,

Statement: We award BUFFET ELJEZARA (Steel Mill Café) as an expertly crafted portrait of a community grappling with the economic realities of a dwindling population. It deftly captures the café’s owners and visitors with subtle humor and an intimacy that conveys how difficult it is to say goodbye to one’s home.

The same jury gave the “Special Mention” to ONI SAMO DOLAZE I ODLAZE by Boris Poljak.

Statement: ONI SAMO DOLAZE I ODLAZE /THEY JUST COME AND GO is a visually playful and jaw-dropping allegory, dedicated to subtly painting a world in which, from dawn to dusk, human life in different stages of desire and uncertainty is captured in all its directionless interweaving.

The same jury gave the BEST BALKAN NEWCOMER AWARD to MY LIFE WITHOUT AIR by Bojana Burnać.

Statement: We award MY LIFE WITHOUT AIR for its fresh and original visual approach and striking cinematography. With an assurance not often seen in a debut film, Bojana Burnac trusts her subject and audience and lets the story slowly unfold to reveal the personality and reality of a very private world-record holder.

The same jury gave the “Special Mention” to Gora by Stefan Malešević.

Statement: A special mention goes to Stefan Malešević’s visually striking and effortlessly rich meditation on a community of mountains and nature, animals and men. The time, tradition, rhythm and rules of life at GORA are, with the author’s curiosity and observation, brought closer and more familiar to those who might never have a chance to visit this part of the world.

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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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