South Korean doc Planet of Snail (pictured), from director Seung-Jun Yi, has picked up the IDFA Award for Best Feature-Length Documentary in Amsterdam; while Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi’s 5 Broken Cameras won both the Special Jury Award and the IDFA Audience Award.
Planet of Snail, which depicts the everyday life of a deaf and blind Asian man and his partner, beat Mads Brügger’s The Ambassador and Giovanni Giommi’s Bad Weather to take IDFA’s top award, and with it a €12,500 (US$16,600) prize.
The project was pitched at the IDFA Forum in 2010, and raised its first funding at Sheffield Doc/Fest’s financing forum, the MeetMarket.
The jury also awarded a Special Jury Award to directors Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi’s 5 Broken Cameras, which offers a personal portrait of a Palestinian village resisting encroaching Jewish settlements, as recorded by an inhabitant of the village over a number of years. In addition, the doc picked up the most popular votes to take the IDFA audience award (with a €5,000 prize).
Elsewhere, Jorge Gaggero received the IDFA Award for Best Mid-Length Documentary (€10,000) for Montenegro, a doc about an old man living with his dogs on a quiet island in a river delta; while the IDFA Award for First Appearance (€5,000) was presented to Xun Yu for The Vanishing Spring Light, which documents the life of the residents of West Street in Dujiangyan City.
The IDFA Award for Dutch Documentary (€5,000) went to Jessica Gorter for 900 Days, in which survivors of the siege of Leningrad recount their personal memories; while Karen Winther received the IDFA Award for Student Documentary (€ 2,500) for The Betrayal.
Also picking up a prize was Micha X. Peled’s Bitter Seeds, which took the IDFA Award for Best Green Screen Documentary (€ 2,500). Meanwhile, the IDFA DOC U Award – a €1,500 prize awarded by an independent youth jury – went to Mehrdad Oskouei’s The Last Days of Winter. The film is a portrait of seven Iranian boys in a youth detention center, who talk candidly about their lives.
Finally, this year also saw the presentation for the second time of the IDFA DocLab Award for Digital Storytelling (€2,500). The prize went to Insitu, by Antoine Viviani, which looks at creative and artistic ways to intervene in the public space.
As previously reported, Don Argott and Demian Fenton’s Last Days Here won the inaugural IDFA Play Award for Best Music Documentary.