ZagrebDox Winners 2016

ZagrebDox ended sunday and awards were given. I mention some of them with ”smartlinks” for you to see what we have written about them on this site. But go to the festival website to get the whole picture.

Festival director Nenad Puhovski has set up ”his own award” called ”My Generation”, I like that – also ”my” generation – and I like the choice he made, ”Don Juan” by Jerzy Sladkowski, here is the motivation:

”My Generation Award goes to the film Don Juan by Jerzy Sladkowski, for its skill to identify and document an everyday story about a person whom we are quick to judge for his lack of social skills in communication with so-called regular people, and for it turning an archetypal story of a narrow-minded system of fixed habits and mutual expectations. First of all, because of the humanity and open approach he uses force us to take a look inside, whether we take the side of the autistic young man, or of those who wish to cure him, we sincerely wish Oleg to win his own way. That is why Jerzy Sladkowski is a great master of (documentary) cinema.”

And I have a lot of respect for the ZagrebDox audience that picked

Twilight of a Life” by Sylvain Biegeleisen as their favourite. The film, several times praised on this site, is in black & white, nevertheless the festival has chosen a colour PHOTO for the announcement. So we do the same.  

And the winner of the Big Stamp (main award) was Chinese Ju Anqi with ”Poet on a Business Trip. The jury’s motivation makes you curious:

”This poetic, provocative, and beautiful film is awarded for its power and for its skill in connecting the unexpected social truths with exciting presentation of art and of personal issues. Poet on a business trip reminds us how very hard it is to maintain the focused, monographical approach to documentarism, and at the same time to venture very convincingly into the areas of social mores and rules of the areas usually hidden from the international (and probably even Chinese) cinema audiences. Brave in its complex form, visually original and fascinating, Ju Anqi’s film offers a very original artistic vision, still capable, after all the experiments taking place in cinema in recent decades, of expanding the way we think of documentary cinema.”

In the regional competition the winner was ”4.7” by Croatian Duro Gavran while two films that have been reviewed on this site received special mentions: ”Flotel Europa” (Vladimir Tomic) and ”Train to Adulthood” (Klára Trencsényi)

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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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