Last week the inaugural IDFA Talent Award was presented to emerging filmmaker Vanessa Del Campo Gatell at Visions du Réel (VdR) in Nyon, Switzerland. Selected for the VdR program section Opening Scenes, Del Campo Gatell’s documentary Mars, Oman follows three parallel stories about nomadism, exploration, colonization, and the desire for freedom, in a remarkable cinematic journey that spans both inner and outer space.
Del Campo Gatell’s win marks the first instance of the newly-minted IDFA Talent Award at VdR. Awarded by IDFA Artistic Director Orwa Nyrabia and IDFA Industry & Docs for Sale Manager Laurien ten Houten, the prize consists of an all-expenses-paid trip to IDFA, with a tailor-made program that aims to add value to the filmmaker’s trajectory and upcoming projects. As part of the award package, Del Campo Gatell’s film will also be included in IDFA’s market Docs for Sale.
“We are happy to collaborate with Visions du Réel for the first time this year,” said Nyrabia. “What brings us together is the will and the commitment to being of service to filmmakers, and even more to those upcoming talented documentary artists that refresh our worldview, surprise us, and fill us with confidence that the future is not as bad it seems to be without them.”
“The IDFA Talent Award at Vision du Réel’s Opening Scenes section is a joint statement from both our festivals,” Nyrabia continued. “It is a commitment to remaining open and ready to be surprised; another attempt at supporting a new generation of filmmakers as they challenge and change us.”
Ten Houten noted that selecting the winner was no easy task. “We were impressed by the overall quality of the films. Our short list was not so short,” she said. “In this very broad range of styles and subjects, we focused on originality and vision. Even then, a decision was not easy, so we would first like to congratulate all the participating filmmakers and to wish them all the best,” ten Houten said, adding that IDFA is looking forward to the filmmakers’ next works.
Nevertheless, Del Campo Gatell’s Mars, Oman proved outstanding to Nyrabia and ten Houten, who both represented IDFA at VdR. “In this film, both the personal and the universal come together, creating a multi-layered, playful, and intriguing experience,” ten Houten said.
IDFA was not the only one to notice this talent. “Even Werner Herzog, during his masterclass yesterday, used the word ‘promising’ when [Del Campo Gatell] told him [she] already hears the voice over script during shooting,” remarked ten Houten.
Read more about Mars, Oman here.