The winners of the 18th edition of DokuFest were announced at the award ceremony held today at the Lumbardhi Cinema in Prizren, following the jury deliberation. 106 films, representing 40 countries ran for awards in 7 competitive categories, as well as the audience award.
The 9-day festival activities included the screening of 282 films, workshops, panels, debates, masterclasses, exhibitions and a series of live acts under the DokuNights with world stars such as Caterina Barbieri, ByeTone, LegoWelt, and many others performing. Prizren once again became a city fully immersed in the celebration of cinema, culture, and hope for the future.
Below is the full list of winners:
Jury: Krzystof Gierat, Mania Akbari, Luke Brawley
WINNING FILM: TIMEBOX by Nora Agapi
STATEMENT: Combining present-day footage with extensive archive, this film reveals an intimate family portrait along with a personal collection of images documenting change within a political structure. This film is a beautiful time capsule of a changing country and a person’s value within it. We are awarding the Best Balkan Documentary to Timebox directed by Nora Agapi.
The same jury gave the ‘Special Mention’ for BALKAN DOX COMPETITION to ON THE WATER by GORAN DEVIC
STATEMENT: Special Mention goes to the movie On the Water directed by Goran Devic for the visually beautiful description of the double (real and mental) life of protagonists, immersed in traumatic memories of the war that cast a shadow on their present life. The film is a moving and bitter longing for a lost world.
The same jury gave the ‘BEST BALKAN NEWCOMER’ to CENTAR directed by Ivan Marković.
STATEMENT: The film shows us some of the hidden sides of the Capitalist system through the lens of its constructions. Framed in a beautiful and innovative aesthetic language, this documentary shows us the ways in which people are suffering to protect the objects and architectures built by this system. The best Balkan Newcomer is going to “Centar” by Ivan Marković.
INTERNATIONAL – FEATURE DOX
Jury: Adam Szymczyk, Stephanie Fuchs, James Lattimer
WINNING FILM: PRESENT. PERFECT by Shengze Zhu
STATEMENT: A film in which you constantly forget who is actually doing the filming and that everything is unfolding live. An incredible editing achievement that fuses a whole collective of “filmers” into a perfectly coherent whole. A film that taps into the technology of today to create a portrait of China whose cast and casting principles are immaculate: those normally marginalized and denied both a voice and a camera are put and put themselves centrestage. The jury gives the International Dox Award Feature unanimously to Present Perfect.
INTERNATIONAL DOX – SHORT
Jury: Neil Young, Adele Kohout, Leonardo Bigazzi
WINNING FILM: WILD BERRIES by Marianna Vas & Hedda Bednarszky
STATEMENT: The 17 diverse films we had the pleasure and privilege of watching in this year’s International Short Documentary competition encompassed multiple genres across the non-fiction spectrum—and included outstanding examples of each.
Our winning film was the one which most gracefully and exhilaratingly transcended the boundaries of its chosen genre, emerging as a complete work of art within the restricted durational limits of the short-film format.
The directors and their young protagonist invite us into a private universe, one where the “rules” of a cinematic game emerge as a genuine collaboration between the filmers and the filmed—and this is that rare collaboration in which the viewer is also invited to participate.
What results is mysterious, delicate and surprising, an aesthetically striking sensory immersion into a particular environment, seemingly beyond place and time. Responsibility and freedom here exist in harmonious balance: a reminder that the world, ultimately, is what we make it.
The International Short Documentary prize at the 18th Dokufest of Prizren, Kosovo is awarded to… Wild Berries, by Hedda Bednarszky and Marianna Vas.
Jury: Daniel Vadocky, Lendita Zeqiraj, Sudeep Sharma
WINNING FILM: BROTHERHOOD by Meryam Joobeur
STATEMENT: “We have decided to award a tightly structured and deeply moving modern day Greek tragedy about how religions and national ideologies can destroy a family. It is a beautifully shot film that utilizes powerful performances from professional and non-professional actors under the meticulous vision of an emerging director.
The same jury gave the ‘Special Mention’ to ALL INCLUSIVE by Teemu Nikki
STATEMENT: “Hilarious, inventive and sharp satire with a thoughtful depiction of what happens when a man gets power.”
Jury: Deniz Buga, Kati Juurus, Hanna Atallah
WINNING FILM: EARTH by Nikolaus Geyrhalter
STATEMENT: We’d like to honour Nikolaus Geyrhalter’s film “Earth”, a strong philosophical statement about human nature. With his astounding visual language combined with carefully chosen interviews, the director leaves us with our inherent paradox: while we cherish and respect the environment we depend on, we are still violent towards it, driven by an inevitable materialistic urge.
The same jury gave the ‘Special Mention’ to THE HOTTEST AUGUST by Brett Story
STATEMENT: While crafting a delicate portrait of a city in a given moment, Brett Story in the Hottest August offers a shared feeling of uncertainty and threat arising from the climate crisis. With a unique visual rhythm and constellation of characters, the film makes visible the affective aspects of this defining crisis.
The same jury gave the ‘Special Mention’ to ACID FOREST directed by Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė
STATEMENT: In Acid Forest, Barzdžiukaitė makes a subtle comparison between our resentment towards an unwanted bird species and our reluctance to accept people of other cultures. What first appears a humorous nature film becomes a sombre portrait of our times.
HUMAN RIGHTS DOX
Jury: Erëmirë Krasniqi, Simon Kilmurry, Sara Ruster
WINNING FILM: TINY SOULS by Dina Naser
STATEMENT: The quality of the films of the Human Rights competition was exceptionally high, reflecting both the excellent curation of the program by the DokuFest team and the urgency and cinematic quality of the films themselves.
The films in this category addressed a range of issues – from rape to displacement from war, from the lives of refugees and resilience and the injustice in so-called justice systems to the cycles of urban violence and poverty. Their varied artistic approaches were vibrant, bold, and inspiring.
The winner of the Human Rights Award at DokuFest 2019 is a film which brings us the story of children displaced because of conflict. The film invests agency in its protagonists, reimagining life in dire conditions. It avoids victimization and allows the authentic voice of childhood to emerge.
The director genuinely engages her protagonists as co-creators in telling their own story. This brave film upends stereotypes to bring us a story of great joy as well as deep pain. The award goes to “TINY SOULS” by Dina Naser.
Jury: Ilir Hasanaj ,Lala-Meredith Vula, Enrico Vannuci
WINNING FILM: PICK A NAME by Dritëro Mehmetaj
STATEMENT: Due to the strong storytelling, addressing contemporary issues of Kosovar migrants abroad, good acting, and scenes that consciously use the power of cinematography, we the jury of the national category chooses as this year’s winner ‘Zgjedhe nje emer’ by Dritero Mehmetaj.
THE DISTRIBUTION AWARD
THE DISTRIBUTION AWARD goes to EVIDENCE by Lum Radoniqi.
AUDIENCE AWARD goes to THE REFORMIST - A FEMALE IMAM by Marie Skovgaard.