Overall, we appreciated the films in this jury and felt privileged to see films from the country so graciously hosting us. Nevertheless, in the discussion we somewhat shared the experience of not having been truly shaken or surprised by the filmmakers’ perspectives or cinematic choices. There were some that felt a bit predictable and others that felt like the perspective or the filmmakers’ take on the theme was almost too safe. With many films from the selection, we did not experience that they transformed us as viewers by taking us to unexpected places or helping us to further understand an issue or, in particular, changing how the documentary form can be seen. That said, many films were technically competent and generally had good-quality production values. The sincerity and the transformative power of filmmaking were eventually the qualities we ended up particularly looking for.
In a slow and meditative pace, history is unearthed, and memory is captured in carefully composed frames. We are introduced to three generations of political prisoners in this cinematic and sensorial reminder of the healing powers of the earth. The jury awards a Special Mention to Guapo’y by Sofia Paoli Thorne.
We live in a world in conflict. At a time in history where the level of destruction and struggle is so overwhelming that it is more than impossible to comprehend.
Over nearly three months, we bear witness to a series of very tough decisions that are taken urgently and come with big consequences. What results is a deeply resonating film that documents a specific period of time, historical documentation, and the importance of free press.
Through an immersive, observational style, we see colleagues become family, but a family that is torn apart. We are very proud to announce that the jury awards the Best First Feature to The Etilaat Roz by Abbas Rezaie.