The Blunder of Love & Bless You Awarded

The winners of the Doc Alliance Awards have been announced on 13 July at Cannes Docs, the documentary-focused industry programme of the Cannes Film Festival. Doc Alliance is a network consisting of seven of the most influential European documentary film festivals, each of which nominated two films for the awards.

This year’s Doc Alliance Award — Best Feature Film went for the first time to the category nomination by DOK Leipzig: “The Blunder of Love” by Rocco Di Mento, which competed for the Audience Award at the festival in 2020. In his search through family archives, Rocco Di Mento unearths old 8mm home movies, an unpublished novel, various love letters and a whole host of long-suppressed feelings – a mixture that begins to develop a dynamic of its own. The issue becomes not just about the search for the love of one’s life, but also the question of what holds people together beyond their relationship status and degree of kinship.

“‘The Blunder of Love’ is simply gripping and ingeniously constructed,” says DOK Leipzig programme coordinator Lina Dinkla about the festival’s selection. “Rocco Di Mento tells his personal family story, but it is also a universal contribution to subjects such as shaky family truths in which almost everyone can find themselves.”

The awards jury also praised the filmmaker’s “charming curiosity that evolves into a genuine deconstruction of myth and a discrete revelation of family secrets and trauma and how it is passed on from generation to generation.”

The Doc Alliance Award – Best Short Film went to Tatiana Chistova for “Bless You!”, which was nominated by Millennium Docs Against Gravity. Against the backdrop of Saint Petersburg’s back courtyards during the Corona lockdown, Chistova fuses recordings of the almost empty city with calls to a municipal hotline, highlighting that in a system that neglects its weakest members, the virus is not the only threat. DOK Leipzig con- gratulates the filmmaker, who also competed for the Short Film Audience Award at DOK Leipzig with the film in 2020.

The Doc Alliance Award was presented for the first time in 2008. Members of the Doc Alliance network include: CPH:DOX, Doclisboa, Millennium Docs Against Gravity FF, DOK Leipzig, FIDMarseille, Ji.hlava IDFF and Visions du Réel. Each of the festivals have traditionally chosen one feature-length film and, for the first time this year, one short (up to 30 minutes) by an emerging filmmaker from their most recent lineup. The Doc Alliance Award – Best Feature Film and Doc Alliance Award – Best Short Film prizes are endowed with 8,000 EUR for the directors to spend on their next project. Additionally, each of the Doc Alliance festivals has committed to screen at least 3 films among the selections at their upcoming editions.

Simultaneously with the award ceremony on 13 July, the new joint website docalliance.org was launched to highlight the network and its festival members.

“The Blunder of Love” and “Bless You!” will be available on the DAFilms. com platform until 18 July, 2021along with a selection of the other nom- inated films.

PRESS RELEASE DOK Leipzig 13 July 2021

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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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