Jury report: IDFA Competition for Student Documentary 2019

    Jury statement

    We would like to express our deepest gratitude to each and every filmmaker who allowed us to see and experience their work. We are honored to have such an incredible selection of documentary films by aspiring filmmakers; films that are simple and sophisticated at once, powerful and disarming, shocking and beautiful both in content and execution; films that touched us, moved us, mesmerized us; and above all, films that made us think.

    Each one is aesthetically astounding, and each one is unique in their tradition of storytelling. By watching these films, we realized how engaged and intertwined the filmmakers are in the social and political fabric of their communities. With such artistic curiosity and fearlessness, they study the human emotions that allow the audience, regardless of race, religion, social and financial background, to feel deeply the nostalgia, the loss, the resilience, and the uncertainties of being stuck in between places. They tell stories of hope and courage about ordinary people who are lost in the crowd as we go about our daily lives.

    We have an award and a special jury mention. First, I will begin with the special mention.

    Special Jury Mention

    We were impressed by the director’s self-critical approach, and the intricate treatment of respect and tenderness in relation to the characters in the film. With subtle yet beautiful photography, the director captures the contradicting thoughts and feelings of young people who find themselves in the terrifying gray area of life and reality. Besides the warmth of friendship and family dynamics, the director reminds us that nothing is ever black and white.

    The special jury mention goes to Summerwar by Moritz Schulz.

    IDFA Award for Best Student Documentary

    Now, the Award for Best Student Documentary.

    To an intelligent and sensitive author that manages to achieve the near-impossible: translating human emotions into cinema. With artistic precision and through personal experiences, she creates a universal narrative of love and loss. It is deeply touching. The narrative, to borrow the filmmaker’s own words, “makes us understand what it means to have deep longing for someone you love”. Sometimes words are not enough and sometimes we just don’t have them in our vocabulary.

    The IDFA Award for Best Student Documentary goes to Saudade by Denize Galiao.