Jury Report: IDFA Competition for Feature-Length Documentary 2016

As a jury we were honored to have the opportunity to watch films from many countries but the ones which stood out and moved us the most were the films from the parts of the world we hear from the least. We want to encourage the inclusion of more films like these in future competitions. We are so pleased that filmmakers in those countries are being given resources and support to create films that reflect their own countries' concerns. But we are concerned about the increased globalization of documentary filmmaking. We would hope that the next step is to be open to other styles of documentary filmmaking that are different from the Western, European format. We also feel that this year's selection is not just a set of 15 individual films but as a whole reflects the times we are living in. We fear the political trends which threaten to silence dissent and difference. We need more illumination, not less. If there is a common thread in the films, it is the need for and and the power of empathy is that needed in these disturbing times.

IDFA Special Jury Award for Feature-Length Documentary
From the start, this film explores the complexity of the human experience in a poetic, intimate and powerful way. The strength of the protagonist is matched by the craft of the filmmaking. It is not easy to make a film about poetry without resorting to cliches. But this film does in a sensitive and revealing portrait of an extraordinary woman.
The IDFA Special Jury Award for Feature-Length Documentary goes to Still Tomorrow by Jian Fan.

IDFA Award for Best Feature-Length Documentary
There are those films which are wonderful to see and there are films that the world needs to see. The film we choose is both of these things. The experience was immersive and left us deeply touched. The Director respected the unique perspective that the only the subject could have and in doing so gave us an unprecedented window into the real life lasting consequences of war.
The IDFA Award for Best Feature-Length Documentary goes to Nowhere to Hide by Zaradasht Ahmed.

Jury Biographies

Yuri Ancarani is an Italian video artist and filmmaker. His works come from a continuous mingling of documentary cinema and contemporary art. They are the result of research aimed at exploring regions that are not very visible in daily life, realities in which the artist delves in first person. His works have been shown at museums and exhibitions in Italy and abroad, including the Venice Biennial, the R. Solomon Guggenheim Museum New York and MoMA. Film festivals such as the Venice Film Festival, Locarno Film Festival, International Film Festival Rotterdam, IDFA, Hot Docs, Cinéma du Réel and South by Southwest have screened his films. Among the many awards he received are the Talent Prize 2012 (Guido Talarico Editore), the Grand Prix for Il Capo in Lab Competition at the Clermont-Ferrand Film Festival 2012 and the Grand Prize for Da Vinci in the Short Film Competition at IndieLisboa 2013.

Jordana Berg has worked as a film editor since 1988, and has edited more than 70 documentaries. In the 1990s, she worked as an editor at UNESCO in Paris. For 20 years she worked alongside Eduardo Coutinho, one of the most important documentary filmmakers in Brazil. She edited his last 12 documentaries, including the one finished after his death. She has worked with many Brazilian directors, including Carlos Nader, Walter Carvalho, Silvio Tendler, José Joffily, Eduardo Escorel and Flavia Castro, and the Oscar-winning American director Megan Mylan. She has given master classes on editing and Coutinho’s work in Canada, the United States, France, Argentina, Uruguay and in Brazil. Berg is currently editing the new documentary by Petra Costa, about the impeachment of President Dilma Roussef. 

Tom Paul is a two-time Emmy Award-winning sound designer and rerecording mixer, as well as a composer. The last few years have been filled with working on wonderful films including Weiner (Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg), winner of the 2016 Sundance Grand Jury Prize, Cartel Land (Matthew Heineman), The Wolfpack (Crystal Mossel), winner of the 2015 Sundance Grand Jury Prize, and The Square (Jehane Noujaim). Paul got his professional start as a boom operator in 1988, moving on to production mixing in 1991. Some notable titles of his early years in production sound include Trust by Hal Hartley, and Ang Lee’s The Wedding Banquet and Eat Drink Man Woman. In 1994, his passion for sound led him to the creative environment of post-production. Some highlights of his sound design and rerecording credits include the Academy Award-winning films The Fog of War (Errol Morris) and Born Into Brothels (Zana Briski and Ross Kaufman). Paul is a partner at Gigantic Post in New York.

Ingrid van Tol is head of the documentary department at the Dutch Cultural Media Fund (Mediafonds). Between 2001 and 2009, she was also head of the new media department at this Fund, which provides subsidies for more than 40 documentaries each year. Previously, Van Tol worked as a policy maker and programmer for film, visual arts and new media at the Rotterdam Arts Council, and as a programmer at De Balie, the Amsterdam-based center for culture and politics. Since 2011, she has been an external examiner for the Netherlands Film Academy’s Master in Film, and since 2012 an advisor at the Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF). As an expert on interactive documentary, she was a member of the jury at Hot Docs in Toronto (2008) and the Cross Video Days in Paris (2015). She regularly gives guest lectures on documentary and interactive documentary at the University of Amsterdam, Utrecht University, Willem the Kooning Arts Academy and Saint Joost Arts Academy.

Debra Zimmerman has been the Executive Director of Women Make Movies, a non-profit New York-based film organization that supports women filmmakers, since 1983. During her tenure, it has grown into the largest distributor of films by and about women in the world, and the internationally recognized Production Assistance Program has helped hundreds of women get their films made. Films from WMM programs win prizes regularly at the Sundance Film Festivals and been nominated or won Academy Awards for 10 of the past 11 years. Zimmerman is a keynote speaker on conferences, lectures regularly at universities around the United States and has moderated panels and given master classes at festivals all over the world. She was a tutor at IDFA’s Summer Film Academy and co-host of the Talk of the Day. In 2013, she received the Doc Mogul Award from the Hot Docs International Film Festival in Toronto.
Call for Entry: IDFA Bertha Fund December 22, 2016 | The IDFA Bertha Fund is looking for new creative documentary projects from developing countries for both its classic program and the IBF Europe distribution scheme.
Ally Derks receives Pioneer Award December 12, 2016 | Last Saturday, Ally Derks received a prestigious Pioneer Award from the International Documentary Association.
Open Call: Short Web Documentaries November 26, 2016 | IDFA and Jos de Putter from Deep Focus Web Documentaries invite entries for project proposals from talented (young) filmmakers.
And the winners are... November 23, 2016 | At the Awards Ceremony in the Stadsschouwburg, the 14 winners of IDFA 2016 have just been announced.


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