Landfill Harmonic wins over Thessaloniki Documentary Festival audiences
by Joseph Proimakis
- The Norwegian co-production picked up the Peter Wintonick Audience Award, while Argo Navis won the equivalent prize in the Greek section
Given the outgoing status of director Dimitri Eipides, the closing ceremony of the 18th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival was a remarkably sombre affair: “I’ll always be here for the Documentary Festival, as it is truly my child,” noted Eipides, referring to the gathering he helped build and establish 18 years ago, before handing the podium over to the awards presenters.
Landfill Harmonic – A Symphony of the Human Spirit (USA/Paraguay/Norway/Brazil) by Brad Allgood and Graham Townsley, a documentary about the Recycled Orchestra of Cateura, picked up the international section’s top honour: the film, which was also screened at the festival’s opening ceremony, won the Peter Wintonick Audience Award for Best Feature, while Adam Benzine’s documentary Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah (UK/Canada) won the Best Short Documentary Audience Award.
On the local front, Susanne Bausinger and Stelios Efstathopoulos’ Argo Navis (Greece/Germany), documenting the sailing of a replica of an ancient Greek penteconter across the Mediterranean Sea, was tapped as the Best Greek Feature, while the Audience Award for Best Greek Short went to Ioannis Grigoropoulos and Michalis Aristidou’s Viktor Ullmann: Biography of a Recording.
Maro Anastopoulou’s Whispers of the Sky (Greece), a documentary detailing the loss of a facet of Greek island Amorgos’ history – namely, the technique of noting weather patterns via celestial phenomena – was tapped as the Greek Section’s best of show by the FIPRESCI Jury, which also handed out its International Section award to Jonas Poher Rasmussen’s documentary What He Did (Denmark).
Moreover, the festival’s Doc Market handed its Docs in Progress Award to Mohamed Siam’s Amal (see the news), while the European Documentary Network presented the 12th EDN Award to Marianne Levy Leblond for her work as head of Web and Transmedia Productions at ARTE France.
Local state broadcaster ERT inaugurated its €3,000 Doc on Air Award, which will from now on be bestowed upon the best project in Thessaloniki’s Pitching Forum, and was this year picked up by director Anastasiya Miroshnichenko and producer Volia Chajkouskaya for their project entitled Debut (Belarus).
Here is the complete list of award winners:
Peter Wintonick Audience Award for Best Feature
Landfill Harmonic – A Symphony of the Human Spirit – Brad Allgood and Graham Townsley
Audience Award for Best Short Documentary
Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah – Adam Benzine
Audience Award for Best Greek Feature
Argo Navis – Susanne Bausinger and Stelios Efstathopoulos
Audience Award for Best Greek Short
Viktor Ullmann: Biography of a Recording – Ioannis Grigoropoulos and Michalis Aristidou
FIPRESCI Award for a Greek Film
Whispers of the Sky – Maro Anastopoulou
FIPRESCI Award for an International Film
What He Did – Jonas Poher Rasmussen
Amnesty International Award
This Is Exile: Diaries of Child Refugees – Mani Y Benchelah
Racing Extinction – Louie Psihoyos
Human Values Award
Ludlow, Greek Americans in the Colorado Coal War – Leonidas Vardaros
Docs in Progress Award
Amal – Mohamed Siam
ERT-EDN Doc on Air Award
Debut – Anastasiya Miroshnichenko
Marianne Levy Leblond, ARTE France