The jury made a diverse journey in the IDFA Competition for Kids & Docs, and we enjoyed looking at our world through the eyes of children. We are happy to see the films are also bringing up issues that are not always easy to explain in words. We would like to encourage the filmmakers to let themselves be inspired even more by the fantasies of kids, and if possible, let go of strict formats to open up to unexpected views that the journey of making films can bring.
We found the films so important and interesting that we decided to give a special jury mention in addition to the IDFA Award for Best Children’s Documentary.
This film gives us a unique and valuable chance to see the reality of young people discovering essential aspects of adulthood, to witness children facing uncomfortable questions that many adults do not know or do not want to know the answers to.
We value the powerful structure of the film, its visual strengths, and how the story gains more meaning with every single sentence. But first and foremost, we applaud the director who has achieved this so respectfully by listening to the youth, and by encouraging them to speak for themselves.
The Special Jury Mention goes to Foreplay by Anne van Campenhout.
In the winning film, there is a special space for children’s fantasies, dreams, and desires. The director responds to the child, while closely observing the real life around him.
But there is a big gap between daydreams and reality, so the film becomes a testimony of how the young boy's imaginary world is starting to fall apart. To save his hopes, he is questioning the traditions and the rules created by the grownups.
The jury acknowledges the engagement and honesty in the film, and values the way it challenges children to reconcile dreams with a difficult reality.
The winner of the IDFA Award for Best Children’s Documentary is Asho by Jafar Najafi.