idfa Winners 2014

Here is the full press release from idfa – it came in late last night:

The winners have just been announced in IDFA’s various competition programs in the Compagnietheater in Amsterdam at the awards ceremony of the 27th IDFA. Of Men and War by Laurent Bécue-Renard won the VPRO IDFA Award for Best Feature-Length Documentary. Naziha’s Spring by Gülsah Dogan won the BankGiro Loterij IDFA Audience Award.

The film Giovanni and the Water Ballet by Astrid Bussink was chosen by a jury of children as the best Dutch youth documentary of the past year.

Laurent Bécue-Renard won the VPRO IDFA Award for Best Feature-Length Documentary (€ 12,500) for Of Men and War (France / Switzerland). The film is about a group of American Iraq veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder. Director Bécue-Renard follows the group for many years during therapy sessions in a clinic for veterans.

From the jury report: The Jury recognizes a film that confronts us with our fragility as human beings, revealing that we must treat each other with gentleness and love. In a way that is never intrusive, the camera participates in therapy sessions for traumatized veterans. (…) A more powerful anti-war film is hard to imagine.

In addition, the jury presented the Special Jury Award to Something Better to Come (Denmark / Poland) by Hanna Polak, who for fourteen years followed

young girl Yula and those who share her fate, living in the biggest waste tip in Europe, just outside Moscow.

Both Of Men and War and Something Better to Come were pitched as projects at previous editions of the IDFA Forum.

Jury report for VPRO IDFA Award for Best Feature-Length Documentary

Julia Mironova won the NTR IDFA Award for Best Mid-Length Documentary (€ 10,000) for Kamchatka – The Cure for Hatred (Russia), a (self-)portrait of the former television reporter Vijatsjeslav Nemishev who in 2001 covered the war in Chechnya and now lives a withdrawn life on an island.

Jury report NTR IDFA Award for Best Mid-Length Documentary

The IDFA Award for First Appearance (€ 5,000) was presented to Gábor Hörcher for Drifter (Hungary / Germany), an up-close-and-personal portrait of a rebellious Hungarian racing talent who dramatically often veers of the socially accepted course.

In addition, the jury presented the Peter Wintonick Special Jury Award for First Appearance worth € 4,000, an incentive award in memory of Canadian filmmaker Peter Wintonick who passed away last year. The award went to Nadine Salib for Mother of the Unborn (Egypt / United Arab Emirates), about an Egyptian woman’s desire to become pregnant and thereby gain acceptance as a woman.

Mother of the Unborn received financial support from the IDFA Bertha Fund and was also one of the projects at the IDFAcademy Summerschool 2014.

Jury report IDFA Award for First Appearance 

The Beeld en Geluid IDFA Award for Dutch Documentary, worth € 5,000, went to The New Rijksmuseum – The Film by Oeke Hoogendijk. The film is a fascinating behind-the-scenes report on the large-scale renovation of the Netherlands’ most well-known museum, which took a total of ten years.

Jury report Beeld en Geluid IDFA Award for Dutch Documentary

The BankGiro Loterij IDFA Audience Award (€ 5,000) went to Naziha’s Spring (the Netherlands) by Gülsah Dogan, a candid portrait of single mother Naziha, a number of whose children were the focus of negative media attention in 2007.

The IDFA DocLab Award for Digital Storytelling (€ 2,500) went to Serial (USA) by Sarah Koenig and Julie Snyder. Serial is an audio-visual whodunit who keeps the followers of the podcast on permanent tenterhooks: who killed American schoolgirl Hae Min Lee?

Jury report IDFA DocLab Award for Digital Storytelling

The IDFA Award for Student Competition (€ 2,500) went to No Lullaby (Germany) by Helen Simon. The film is a reconstruction of a horrific family history across three generations.

Jury report IDFA Award for Student Competition

Alan Hicks received the IDFA Melkweg Music Documentary Audience Award (€ 2,500) for Keep on Keepin’ on (USA), about jazz legend Clark Terry (1920) and his young protégé Justin Kauflin, a blind jazz pianist.

The IDFA DOC U Award (€ 2,500), presented by a youth jury, went to Sophie Robinson and Lotje Sodderland  for My Beautiful Broken Brain (UK). Following a serious stroke, resilient, intelligent Lotje Sodderland tries to recapture her previously glorious life.

Jury report IDFA DOC U Award

Finally, the Mediafondsprijs Kids & Docs 2014 was presented to Giovanni and the Water Ballet by Astrid Bussink. A special children’s jury chose Giovanni and the Water Ballet as the best Dutch youth documentary of the past year. Astrid Bussink received € 15,000 with which to make a new youth documentary.

Facts and figures

Although the festival runs until the end of Sunday, we can already say that the festival has once again attracted more visitors than last year.

If the trend continues over the next three days, the number of visits will have risen from 234.503 in 2013 to 250,000 this year. Net box-office takings increased from € 1.277.283  in 2013 to € 1.335.000 this year.

The number of festival guests from the Netherlands and abroad increased in relation to 2013 (2.691): 2.986 documentary professionals from the Netherlands and the rest of the world visited the festival during the past week.

The festival website was visited some 1,300,000 times since January 2014 from 226 different countries. The IDFA app was downloaded 12,000 times (7,000 in 2013).

In 2014, films were viewed on IDFA TV, IDFA’s online documentary channel, more than 65,000 times.

Approx. 12,500 school pupils from primary and secondary schools visited the schools’ screenings last week.

The next IDFA will take place from 18 through 29 November 2015.  

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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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