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FESTIVALS Netherlands

IDFA opener wins major prizes

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Position Among the Stars by Dutch/Indonesian filmmaker Leonard Retel Helmrich was the big winner at the awards ceremony of IDFA International Documentary Film Festival. The film won both the VPRO IDFA Award for Best Feature-Length Documentary (the Festival’s top honor and winner of a cash prize of €12,500) and the Dioraphte IDFA Award for Best Dutch Documentary. The director won the same top prize at the 2004 IDFA for the second film in his trilogy.

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Winning a Special Jury Prize in the Feature Length Competition was the bracing You Don’t Like the Truth: 4 Days Inside Guantanamo by Canadian director Luc Coté and Patricio Henriquez. The film tells the story of Omar Khadr, who was incarcerated in Guantánamo Bay at the age of sixteen.

Other winners included Dutch director Boris Gerrets for his perceptive profile People I Could Have Been and Maybe Am, which won the top prize in the Best Mid-Length Documentary competition (and a cash prize of €10,000).

A film from the Phillipines became the first from that nation to ever win an award at IDFA. Kano: An American and His Harem by Monster Jiminez won the IDFA First Appearance Award for a debut feature (along with a cash prize of €5,000). The film tells the shocking story of an American man who has assembled a harem of underage girls for himself in the Philippines.

Lucy Walker’s Waste Land [+see also:
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film profile
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, a UK/Brazilian co-production that looks at the work of Brazilian art photographer Vik Muniz, won the Publieke Omroep IDFA Audience Award (which includes a cash prize of €5,000).

Other award winners included Into Eternity (Into Eternity) [+see also:
trailer
film profile
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, Danish director Michael Madsen’s poetic look at nuclear waste, which won the Festival’s top prize in the inaugural Green Screen Documentary section; Autumn Gold, an audience-pleasing look at five senior athletes as they prepare for an athletic competition in Finland, which won the Youth Jury Prize; and What’s In a Name, Belgian director Eva Küpper’s compassionate portrait of New York transsexual body art performer Jon Cory and his explicit performances of “gender terrorism.”

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