The International Documentary and Short Film Festival in Prizren, Kosovo ended two days ago with an award ceremony – The Balkan Documentary Competition Award went to Romanian film The World According to Ion B. (photo) by Alexander Nanau. The jury composed of Emel Celebi (Turkey) Mike Palmieri (USA) and Sissi Korhonen (Finland) noted the following about the competition and awarded films:
“The Balkan Documentary competition films were all connected by their shared examinations of traditional values of family and place vs personal values that break with those traditions. Sometimes the characters in the films illustrated the break, other times by the unique craft of the filmmaking itself. The jury felt strongly about three films that managed to explore these themes in unique and special ways. The jury awards its main prize to a director whose filmmaking skill merges seamlessly with the character he portrays, leaving no opportunity wasted in the telling of his story. It is a deeply intimate portrait told with a grace and humor that won us over unanimously.”
Same jury also gave the Best Newcomer Award to two films from Balkan Documentary Competition. The winning films were 1717 Kilometers of Summer 2009 by Slovenian filmmaker Jurij Meden and Tobacco Girl by Macedonian Biljana Garvanlieva. Balkan Documentary Centre from Sofia, Bulgaria sponsored the award.
“The emerging Balkan filmmaker prize is shared between two filmmakers whose approach to their subjects could not be more different from one another, but whose films conveyed a powerful sense of character and place that left a lasting impression on us” the jury noted.