IDFA Audience Award 2019

Of course it is something special to win an audience award. At IDFA, that is indeed (also) an audience festival apart from being the place, where documentary professionals meet every year. Here is how the award is decided, from the press release of the festival:

The winner of the VPRO IDFA Audience Award is determined by festival visitors who, after an IDFA film screening, rank their appreciation for the film by way of a voting card. Now in its fourth year, the VPRO IDFA Audience Award is made possible by VPRO…

This year 166 films were in the race for the Audience Award. In total 27.812 people voted. And the winner was:

“For Sama” (Waad al-Kateab, Edward Watts, United Kingdom, 2019. 95 min., Best of Fests) has won the VPRO IDFA Audience Award (€ 5.000), the grand public prize of the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam. The news was announced on Friday evening before screening the winning film in Pathé Tuschinski.

“For Sama” is the first documentary by 26-year-old citizen journalist Waad al-Kateab. In the film, she dedicates the film to her newborn daughter: “I need you to understand why your father and I made the choices we did, what we were fighting for.”

With a simple digital camera, al-Kateab documents the Syrian uprising against Assad in the rebel stronghold of Aleppo, from the first moments of the uprising through to the forced evacuation at the end of 2016.

This year 166 films were in the race for the Audience Award. In total 27.812 people voted…

The film was reviewed on this site: http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/4626/

Among the five first on the audience favourite list were also another masterpiece shot in Syria, “The Cave” by Feras Fayyad – the film will be reviewed when it has its Danish premiere. And Alexander Nanau’s “Collective” – http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/4662/ – and again again “Honeyland” by Tamara Kotevska and Ljubomir Stefanov – http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/4449/ 

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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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