Jury report: 2021 IDFA Competition for Short Documentary

    Jury statement

    The jury of this year’s IDFA Competition for Short Documentary would like to thank the festival for this wonderful experience. By now, we know that there is a mastery and diversity of form in the field of documentary filmmaking. We deeply appreciate the fact that this selection reflected that. Many of the films we saw were able to turn seemingly insurmountable obstacles into glorious cinematic solutions. The films exceeded our expectations, surprised us, and expanded our perspectives.

    Special Mention

    Because of this, we felt compelled to give a Special Mention to a film that moved us deeply. Through the beautiful and layered language of this film, the filmmaker leads us into the mythical world that exists beyond our own limited ability to grasp the ineffable. With this piece, the filmmaker matches the love and beauty that she sees in her brother by gifting him with an equally beautiful and magical portrait. The jury gives a Special Mention to Chloé Belloc’s Wolf Whispers.

    IDFA Award for Best Short Documentary

    We give the award to a film we found to be an urgent work that illuminates an ongoing tragedy, one that has received negligible attention. The filmmaker uses the limitations of a pandemic lockdown to create a piece so flawlessly executed that each moment offers the spectator a fresh and unexpected experience. By mirroring the language and methods of the oppressor, this filmmaker hands the power back to the oppressed, making this piece itself a powerful instrument of protest. The author’s impressive displays of ingenuity serve as a brilliant masterclass in filmmaking. The jury unanimously bestows this year’s Award for Best Short Documentary to Pavel Mozhar’s Handbook.

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