IDFA Winners 2017

Happy to congratulate Mila and Srbijanka Turajlic, filmmaking daughter and main character of “The Other Side of Everything” with the IDFA Award for Best Feature-Length Documentary. As well as the many others around the film – the producer Carine Chichkowsky and the executive producers Iva Plemic Divjak for Dribbling Pictures and Hanka Kastelicovà for HBO Europe. The jury had the following motivation:

“An apartment becomes a metaphor for both the former Yugoslavia and the current political climate in the region. In a space where past and present are in constant dialogue, we discover an inspiring character. Through the filmmaker’s lens we are introduced to her mother – an enlightened woman who has dedicated her life to political activism. Poetically structured, the beauty of this character resonates. For its textured cinematic language that artfully blends the historical with the personal, the jury awards the IDFA Award for Best Feature-Length Documentary to The Other Side of Everything by Mila Turajlic.”

The Special Jury Prize went to “The Deminer” by Hogir Hirori and Shinwar Kamal with the motivation “Around the world there are many unsung heroes. This enthralling film about a man who puts the lives and safety of others before his own portrays one of these – while at the same time forces us to question our idea of “hero”. An experiential, universal and global film, it portrays and reflects a part of the world that we rarely encounter in the cinema while capturing the tenacity of a single man confronting impossible odds. For it’s melding of cinematic genre and thematic urgency, the jury awards the IDFA Special Jury Award for Feature-Length Documentary to The Deminer by Hogir Hirori and Shinwar Kamal.

And of course there had to be a prize for Leonard Helmrich and his “The Long Season” – awarded as the best Dutch film:

“The Beeld en Geluid IDFA Award for Dutch Documentary goes to a documentary with a pressing theme that is reported on in every news medium. Yet this work manages to provide new and much needed insights, not in the least by choosing the perspective of women. Even though the jury had some reservations about certain formal aspects of the film, it has chosen to honour: The Long Season by Leonard Retel Helmrich. (I wonder what the reservations are, I have none to this masterpiece!)

The IDFA Special Jury Award for Dutch Documentary goes to a film in which again we witness a person caught in a situation involuntarily. Like her, we never really get to understand exactly why. And like her, we desperately want to find a solution – to get her out. The jury was moved and affected by this very well-made film, and hopes it will help bring about awareness and change. The jury has chosen to honour: Alicia by Maasja Ooms.

Let me also include the awards in the First Appearance category where the jury chose a Latvian and a Danish film as winners with these motivation words:

“Two prizes were not enough to appreciate the original ideas, storylines, and craftsmanship in this year’s selection. All films in the program had incredible access, demonstrating strong intimacy with the main characters. But what we were really impressed by, were the choices of the side characters! Especially the Grandmothers! There were many wonderful grandmothers in this year’s program. The films took us to magical environments, with incredible sounds and visuals, as well as remote geographical locations that were introduced in their political, natural and social complexities. The films in the program showed admirable investment in unpredictable moments, offering layered scenes unfolding in surprising directions. 

IDFA Special Jury Award for First Appearance We could not shake this film off. It kept coming back into our thoughts, persisting throughout the festival. The unique, intimate world of the film resisted explanation and took directions that were impressive, unpredictable and troubling, as well as humorous. The exceptional characters kept the camera under their spell. 

Our special jury award goes to Solving My Mother by Ieva Ozolina.  

IDFA Award for Best First Appearance Vulnerable lives of mesmerizing characters in the fringes of a warzone. We were at a place most of us would never go, unless the filmmaker invited us there. Natural scenes communicate a heartwarming bond between grandmother and her grandsons. Moments that the characters take us to were trusted and unfolded. The craftsmanship came together in this film, it is not an easy task. 

The award goes to The Distant Barking of Dogs by Simon Wilmont.

Many other awards, please check

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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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