Heidi Hassan and Patricia Pérez Fernández’s In a Whisper took home the award for Best Feature-length Documentary at the International Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) 2019 Awards last night (Nov. 27), among other doc award winners.
In a Whisper (pictured) centers on two emigrated Cuban filmmakers whose passion for film, friendship and freedom reunites them after years apart. The doc, a copro between Spain, France, Switzerland and Cuba, earned Hassan and Pérez Fernández a cash prize of €20,000 (US$22,013) along with the title.
“A refreshing expression of womanhood; an ode to loss; a celebration of friendship, will, and vulnerability; a reclaiming of hope and passion; and a piercingly honest cinematic dialogue are all embodied in this magical, original, and risk-taking cinematic endeavor,” said the festival jury in a statement.
The jury was comprised of Claire Simon, Mila Turajlić, Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Gaston Kaboré, and Rima Mismar.
Meanwhile, three other awards went out to feature-length docs for the first time at IDFA. The IDFA Award for Best Directing, worth €5,000 (US$5,503), went to Mehrdad Oskouei for his film Sunless Shadows (Iran), while the IDFA Award for Best Editing, worth €2,500 (US$2,752), went to Sander Vos for Punks (the Netherlands), directed by Maasja Ooms, and the IDFA Award for Best Cinematography, worth €2,500), went to Ooms for Punks.
Other awards handed out at the ceremony are listed below:
IDFA Competition for First Appearance
Director: Lucy Parker
IDFA Competition for Mid-Length Documentary
Director: Jalal Vafaei
IDFA DocLab Competition for Digital Storytelling
Winner: The Waiting Room VR
Director: Victoria Mapplebeck
IDFA DocLab Competition for Immersive Non-Fiction
Winner: Vast Body 22
Director: Vincent Morisset
IDFA Competition for Dutch Documentary
Winner: Sidik and the Panther
Director: Reber Dosky
Country: The Netherlands
IDFA Competition for Short Documentary
Winner: Up at Night
Director: Nelson Makengo
Country: Congo, Belgium
IDFA Competition for Student Documentary
Director: Denize Galiao
IDFA Competition for Kids & Docs
Director: Jafar Najafi
IDFA Competition for Creative Use of Archive
Winner: Letter to the Editor
Director: Alan Berliner
Finally, Danish documentary filmmaker Jørgen Leth was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award, while ﬁlmmaker Marina Meijer won the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds Documentary Stipend, valued at €50,000
IDFA kicked off on Nov. 20 and runs until Dec. 1. The winner of the VPRO IDFA Audience Award will be announced on Nov. 29.