The wonderful thing about being on the jury for the Envision category was that, going into each screening, we truly had no idea what to expect. Each film was like entering a unique universe, and each film brought a particular perspective on the world and on new forms of documentary filmmaking. You know when a film doesn’t work, but how do you describe what does work when the films are so diverse and all reaching for different things? Through it all, three films in particular stayed with us.
The jury recognizes this film as giving voice to working people’s expression. The Special Mention goes to Skin by Marcos Pimentel.
The jury recognizes the film’s ability to speak to both concrete and spiritual realms through cinematic means. We appreciated the shared authorship between Grace’s story and how it was depicted by the filmmakers. It felt like a true collaboration. The film operates on an emotional plane that leaves us with a lot of hope. The IDFA Award for Outstanding Artistic Contribution goes to One Take Grace by Lindiwe Matshikiza.
In this structurally surprising and well-crafted film, the fragility of eggshells becomes the metaphor for the vulnerability of the human spirit as it collides with the heaviness of war. It recognizes the passion of collectors going through harsh and tragic times, and research as an important element of documentary film. The IDFA Award for Best Directing goes to Pim Zwier for O, Collecting Eggs Despite the Times.
This film develops its own imagistic language: a language of mystery and loss in the aftermath of a tragedy. It was made with great respect toward the subject matter and felt like a story told from the inside. There are no answers presented, just the questions of life in the face of a disaster. The IDFA Award for Best Film in the Envision Competition goes to Octopus by Karim Kassem.