IDFA Awards 2015

The festival in Amsterdam is still going on – until November 29. The awards, however, were presented yesterday, For the first time ever, two prizes were awarded per competition: a prize for the best film and a special jury prize.

For the Feature-Length Documentary Competition it was a Polish/Ukrainian triumph. Jerzy Sladkowski got the main award for his ”Don Juan” – a quote from the jury report: “This tender, bittersweet tragicomedy about role-playing within both therapeutic theatre games and family dramas, and the interplay between them, is both subtle and aggressive, speaking volumes about the definitions of normality, abnormality and the dynamics of power and love”. A fine choice by the jury to give a prize to the Polish veteran, who has been living in Sweden since 1982, and who for this film had engaged the master of camera, Wojciech Staron. The Special Jury Award went to Roman Bondarchuk and Darya Averchenko for their first feature length documentary, ”Ukrainian Sheriffs”, produced by Latvian Uldis Cekulis – and many times written about on this site. So well deserved!

From my point of view the jury for IDFA Award for Best Mid-Length Documentary made a beautiful choice giving the main award to Danish Andreas Koefoed for his ”At Home in the World” (photo), a quote from the jury report: ”a film that manages to humanize the issues we are so concerned about today. With great sensitivity and compassion for its characters the director gives a face to the most vulnerable of refugees, children bravely coping with a new world. We were deeply moved by a film that provides people everywhere a slight ray of hope.” The Special Jury Award was given to ”The Fog of Srebrenica” by Samir Mehanovic.

The IDFA Award for First Appearance went to Georgian ”When the Earth Seems to be Light” by Salome Machaidze, Tamuna Karumidze and David Meskhi, a quote from the jury report: ”A particular city, a flickering moment in life, and a specific time in history are viewed through the eyes of youth who drift, almost invisibly, through a landscape of crumbling architecture and political protest. Cinema contains many portraits of young masculinity, but our experimential, expertly-crafted… film sees its outsider subjects differently. It finds within their apathy the visions of a different and better life.” The Special Jury Award in memory of Peter Wintonick went to Hassen Ferhani’s Roundabout in My Head (Algeria/France/Lebanon/Qatar).

There were more prizes given, read the titles and motivations by clicking below.

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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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