The 27th edition of IDFA came to a close with Laurent Bécue-Renard’s Of Men and War taking the best feature-length doc prize, while Gülsah Dogan’s Naziha’s Spring won the audience award.
The honors were handed out at a ceremony at Amsterdam’s Compagnietheater on Friday (November 28), topping off the 12-day festival, which officially ended on Sunday (November 30).
Bécue-Renard’s film on a group of U.S. war veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder won the VPRO IDFA Award for Best Feature-Length Documentary, besting other nominated docs including Morgan Knibbe’s Those Who Feel the Fire Burning and Camilla Nielsson’s Democrats. Hanna Polak’s Something Better to Come, which was also a feature-length nominee, received the Special Jury Award.
Commenting on Of Men and War, the jury statement read: “The Jury recognizes a film that confronts us with our fragility as human beings, revealing that we must treat each other with gentleness and love. In a way that is never intrusive, the camera participates in therapy sessions for traumatized veterans… A more powerful anti-war film is hard to imagine.”
Both Bécue-Renard and Polak’s films were pitched at the IDFA Forum in recent years.
Elsewhere, the NTR IDFA Award for Best Mid-Length Documentary went to Julia Mironova’s Kamchatka – The Cure for Hatred - a profile of former TV reporter Vijatsjeslav Nemishev, who covered the Chechnyan war in 2001 – while the IDFA Award for First Appearance was given to Gábor Hörcher’s portrait of a Hungarian racer, Drifter.
The Peter Wintonick Special Jury Award for First Appearance – which honors the memory of the Canadian director who passed away last year and was a mainstay at IDFA – was given to Nadine Salib’s Mother of the Unborn, about an Egyptian woman’s desire to become pregnant.
Meanwhile, the Beeld en Geluid IDFA Award for Dutch Documentary went to Oeke Hoogendijk’s The New Rijksmuseum – The Film, while Dogan’s Naziha’s Spring took the BankGiro Loterij IDFA Audience Award. Picking up the IDFA Melkweg Music Documentary Audience Award was Alan Hicks’ Keep On Keepin’ On.
In addition, the IDFA DocLab Award for Digital Storytelling went to the podcast Serial by Sarah Koenig and Julie Snyder, while the IDFA Award for Student Competition was given to No Lullaby by Helen Simon.
Finally, the IDFA DOC U Award – which is presented by a youth jury between the ages of 15 and 18 – was given to Sophie Robinson and Lotje Sodderland’s My Beautiful Broken Brain, while the Mediafondsprijs Kids & Docs award, selected by a children’s jury, went to Astrid Bussink’s Giovanni and the Water Ballet.
The next edition of the festival is set to take place from November 18 to 29, 2015.