IDFA Project Awards at Docs by the Sea went to Some Women from Singapore and Breaking the Cycle from Thailand, while the prize at Durban FilmMart went to The Ship from the Sea, a co-production between Mozambique, Brazil, Portugal, and Spain. Read more about the projects below.
The Jakarta-based Docs by the Sea, an international documentary forum for creative documentary projects with the focus on Southeast Asia, took place online this year from August 15 to 28. Isabel Arrate Fernandez, IDFA Bertha Fund Managing Director & Deputy Director of IDFA, and Mélanie de Vocht, IDFA Bertha Fund Project Manager, gave out the IDFA Project Awards to two projects.
Singaporean project Some Women is about the film's closeted director Queneey Wong who reconciles with her trans status while making a documentary about Singapore's most famous transwomen communities. In their statement, Arrate Fernandez and de Vocht called it "An atmospheric personal film with Quen Wong as a great charismatic character that opens up a narrative on acceptance and how to stop living with shame.”
The film is produced by Zi Qi Low and Glen Goei for the Singapore-based Tiger Tiger Pictures.
The other awarded project, Breaking the Cycle by Aekaphong Saransate and Thanakrit Duangmaneeporn, follows the journey of a new-blood politician who attempts to free Thailand from the cycle of military coups when the internet becomes a new territory in Thai political games. It is being produced by Noorahaya Lahtee.
"From the POV of an up-and-coming politician interweaved with the gaze of the young Thai generation, the filmmakers are impressively portraying a very interesting and important moment in Thai politics," said Arrate Fernandez and de Vocht.
Arrate Fernandez also attended the 11th edition of the co-production and finance market Durban FilmMart, which took place online September 4-13.
The IDFA Project Award went to The Ship from the Sea by Lara Sousa from Mozambique and Everlane Moraes from Brazil. The film questions what it means to be black in Africa and the African diaspora through a cinematic essay by the co-directors, who travel to each other's country in order to shed light on the issue of black identity from inside and outside of Africa.
"A daring film proposal where the directors, through a cinematic exchange, set out to discover what identity means for them and address pertinent issues relevant and important in today's world," said Arrate Fernandez about the project.
The Ship and the Sea is a co-production of Kulunga Filmes (Mozambique), Laranjeiras Filmes (Brazil), Portátil (Brazil), Kintop (Portugal), and La Selva (Spain).
The teams of the three projects will have access to all online industry activities including IDFAcademy and observing the Forum at IDFA 2020 in addition to group consultancy sessions prior to the festival.
Project still: Breaking the Cycle by Aekaphong Saransate and Thanakrit Duangmaneeporn.