Jury Report: IDFA Competition for Student Documentary 2016

The jury was faced with a huge diversity of films which made selecting the final awards very difficult. The lengths, styles, geographical situations and subject matters of the films were so varied that no two films even vaguely resembled each other. The list included animation, multimedia, shorts and feature films. Some stories employed insightful observations about the human condition whilst others were deeply moving and emotional tearjerkers. Indeed the majority of the films displayed an exceptionally high level of filmmaking, considering this is the student category. The lengthy debate around the winning films was a reflection of the passionate opinions that the films provoked and the diversity of the judges themselves. The jury members unanimously agreed to award the prizes for best student documentaries not only to the best film, but also to include the talent, skills and potential of these student filmmakers.

IDFA Special Jury Award for Student Documentary
The filmmaker displayed a level of storytelling craftsmanship that stood out from all other films. The jury values the filmmakers' focus and anticipation capturing both nuance and turning points of this story of love, hate, regret and the journey to forgiveness. Despite of its short length, this film manages to provoke both laughter and tears. Thanks to its perfectly timed editing and well captured moments, the story becomes so efficient that it blurs the lines between fiction and documentary.
The IDFA Special Jury Award for Student Documentary goes to Close Ties by Zofia Kowalewska.

ARRI IDFA Award for Best Student Documentary
The filmmaker exhibited courage and highly developed filmmaking skills through a strong visual language and a sensitive approach to the main characters. The story was told with determination, while leaving room for the film to breathe and to poetically create its own story. Despite the complex political context, the filmmaker succeeded in telling an intimate universal human story; a story of displacement, loss and trauma which affects three generations, all in their own respective ways.
The IDFA Award for Best Student Documentary goes to When Will This Wind Stop by Aniela Astrid Gabryel.

Jury Biographies

Judy Kibinge began her career in advertising as a copywriter at McCann Erickson, working her way up to Creative Director. She left to pursue a second career as a film director. Her first feature film Dangerous Affair (2002) is believed to have ignited the wave of contemporary filmmaking that followed in Kenya, and her third feature Something Necessary screened at Toronto International Film Festival. Her documentaries have been nominated three times for Best Documentary at the African Academy Awards, with Coming of Age winning best short. In 2013, Kibinge established DOCUBOX, an East African Documentary Film Fund that is playing a transformative role in the region’s film industry through grants, training and screenings, and will host Good Pitch² Kenya in October 2016. DOCUBOX is also raising funds to set up a co-working space for East African filmmakers.

Salome Machaidze is a Georgian artist and filmmaker based in Berlin. She graduated from the Tbilisi State Academy of Fine Arts in 1995 with a specialization in Stage Design. In Georgia, she had solo exhibitions and was part of the artist's group GOSLAB. She worked as a set designer for the Film Actors Theater and was part of the controversial arts movement in Georgia during the 1990s. She graduated from the Berlin University of Arts in 2000 with a degree in visual communication. In 2002, she studied experimental media at the same university, receiving her masters in 2005. Her thesis, the feature-length experimental movie Trigger Tiger, screened at the Volksbühne in Berlin. Maichadze’s works have been exhibited and screened in Georgia, Germany, France, the UK, Switzerland, Poland, Greece, and Austria. In 2015, her documentary When the Earth Seems to Be Light, co-directed with Tamuna Karumidze and David Meshki, won the IDFA Award for Best First Appearance.

Daan Veldhuizen is a Dutch director, cinematographer and editor. In 2007, he graduated from the Willem de Kooning Academy of Arts in Rotterdam and made his documentary debut at IDFA in 2011 with Stories from Lakka Beach, which he directed, produced, filmed and edited. The film was nominated for Best Dutch Documentary and subsequently received several awards, including Best Cinematography from the magazine American Cinematographer. In 2014, PBS aired the film in the United States. His second feature documentary Banana Pancakes and the Children of Sticky Rice premiered at International Film Festival Rotterdam in 2015 and was nominated for a Dutch Golden Calf Award and the FIPRESCI Award. The film was released theatrically in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. As an editor, Daan recently worked on this year’s IDFA Panorama premiere The Passing Years, about the renowned Dutch poet Remco Campert. 
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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