Jury report: IDFA Competition for Feature-Length Documentary 2019

    Jury statement

    The jury for the Feature-Length documentary competition—comprising Claire Simon, Mia Turajlić, Rima Mismar, Mohsen Makhmalbaf, and Gaston Kaboré—wishes to thank the festival for giving us the opportunity to experience a rich selection of 12 films from around the world. We were amazed by the diversity of styles and topics; the plurality of points of view on humanity; the abundance of personal stories; and the expansion of the definition of documentary through a wide range of approaches that borrow from fiction and fantasy to accentuate the essence of documentary.

    The selection was marked by personal stories and character studies through which social and political issues were examined. What elegantly transpires from those realms we experienced in the dark over the past five days, is the need to look beyond our territories and to get out of our comfort zones in order to learn and understand.

    Through their visions, dreams, hopes, fears, doubts, and love, the filmmakers in the selection were able to paint a rather extensive and comprehensive picture of our modern world, hence deservedly giving the current IDFA edition its punchy spot-on slogan: reflect on reality.

    IDFA Award for Best Editing

    For the intelligent and sensitive editing that sets the tone for the dramatic structure of the film, in addition to powerfully balancing between a slow-paced, almost actionless daily struggle, and a jittery inner world of held emotions and wounded selves... the IDFA Award for Best Editing goes to Sander Vos for Punks.

    IDFA Award for Best Cinematography

    For the rigorous camera work that captures the inner transformations of the characters and elegantly stands at the right position and distance from extremely intimate situations and dramatic revelations...the IDFA Award for Best Cinematography goes to Punks directed by Maasja Ooms.

    IDFA Award for Best Director

    The jury was very impressed by the director’s approach to a pressing subject which he skillfully turns into a metaphor for a whole country. In a truthful commitment to documentary realism, the director portrays the complexity and tragedy of the characters’ condition and their haunting stories, while challenging notions such as freedom, safety, and love.

    The IDFA award for Best Director goes to Mehrdad Oskouei for Sunless Shadows.

    IDFA Award for Best Feature-Length Documentary

    A refreshing expression of womanhood; an ode to loss; a celebration of friendship, will, and vulnerability; a reclaiming of hope and passion; and a piercingly honest cinematic dialogue are all embodied in this magical, original, and risk-taking cinematic endeavor.

    The IDFA Award for Best Feature-Length Documentary goes to In a Whisper directed by Heidi Hassan and Patricia Pérez Fernández.