Docs

“In a Whisper” takes top prize at IDFA

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), ...
November 28, 2019

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
Winner: Solidarity
Director: Lucy Parker
Country: UK
Prize: €10,000

IDFA Competition for Mid-Length Documentary
Winner: Anticlockwise
Director: Jalal Vafaei
Country: Iran
Prize: €7,500

IDFA DocLab Competition for Digital Storytelling
Winner: The Waiting Room VR
Director: Victoria Mapplebeck
Country: UK
Prize: €5,000

IDFA DocLab Competition for Immersive Non-Fiction
Winner: Vast Body 22
Director: Vincent Morisset
Country: Canada
Prize: €5,000

IDFA Competition for Dutch Documentary
Winner: Sidik and the Panther
Director: Reber Dosky
Country: The Netherlands
Prize: €7,500

IDFA Competition for Short Documentary
Winner: Up at Night
Director: Nelson Makengo
Country: Congo, Belgium
Prize: €5,000

IDFA Competition for Student Documentary
Winner: Saudade
Director: Denize Galiao
Country: Germany
Prize: €2,500

IDFA Competition for Kids & Docs
Winner: Asho
Director: Jafar Najafi
Country: Iran
Prize: €5,000

IDFA Competition for Creative Use of Archive
Winner: Letter to the Editor
Director: Alan Berliner
Country: U.S.
Prize: €5,000

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.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.

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