DokuFest Winners Announced

Prizren, Kosovo. The 18th edition of a documentary festival (it ended four days ago) that filmkommentaren has covered since 2010. Always with words of praise and in persona  in 2016, where I was invited to be a juror in the Human Rights Section, where the extraordinary 5 hour long “Homeland, Iraq Year Zero” got the award; director is Abbas Fahdel, who I had the pleasure to meet on that occasion and who is one of those (too few) who constantly brings photos and texts from film history to the FB pages. But that’s another story!

This year the Human Rights Dox winning film was Dina Nasser’s “Tiny Souls”,

that was also at DocsBarcelona, happy to say so as programmer of that festival. The jury’s motivation is as follows: “… (it) is a film which brings us the story of children displaced because of conflict. The film invests agency in its protagonists, reimagining life in dire conditions. It avoids victimization and allows the authentic voice of childhood to emerge. The director genuinely engages her protagonists as co-creators in telling their own story. This brave film upends stereotypes to bring us a story of great joy as well as deep pain…” I agree.

The Fest in Prizren included “106 films, representing 40 countries, ran for awards in 7 competitive categories, as well as the audience award. The 9-day festival activities included the screening of 282 films, workshops, panels, debates, masterclasses, exhibitions and a series of live acts under the DokuNights with world stars such as Caterina Barbieri, ByeTone, LegoWelt, and many others performing…” Big festival in a small city. High quality, a lot of local activities and focus on children, outdoor screenings. A proud festival that has the right to be proud!

You can read about all the awards by clicking below, here is a couple more with motivations:

In the Green Film category the winning film was “Earth” by Nikolaus Geyerhalter, because:

… (it is) a strong philosophical statement about human nature. With his astounding visual language combined with carefully chosen interviews, the director leaves us with our inherent paradox: while we cherish and respect the environment we depend on, we are still violent towards it, driven by an inevitable materialistic urge.

The same jury gave the ‘Special Mention’ to “Acid Forest” directed by Rugilė Barzdiukaitė, because “…Barzdiukaitė makes a subtle comparison between our resentment towards an unwanted bird species and our reluctance to accept people of other cultures. What first appears a humorous nature film becomes a sombre portrait of our times. »

Both of these films have been reviewed via this site:

http://www.magnificent7festival.org/en/zemlja.php

http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/4379/

https://dokufest.com/2019/

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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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