Anny emerges victorious at DOK.fest Munich
by Teresa Vena
- Czech director Helena Třeštíková has won big in the main international competition at this year's German gathering, which continues unspooling until 23 May
At this year's DOK.fest Munich (5-23 May), a three-member international jury, made up of journalist and critic Dominik Kamalzadeh, vice-president of HBO Europe Hanka Kastlicová and co-founder of the Catapult Film Fund Lisa Kleiner Chanoff, bestowed the prize in the VIKTOR DOK.international Main Competition upon Anny [+see also:
film profile] by Helena Třeštíková. The documentary by the Czech director paints the portrait of a sex worker on the streets of Prague. It follows the protagonist over 16 years, starting when she was 46 years old and first decided to supplement her income as a restroom attendant by means of prostitution.
The jury mostly appreciated the film for its “beautifully intimate” atmosphere. In its statement, it said: “Helena Třeštíková masterfully combines this longitudinal approach with a modest film length. Without any gratuitous or superficial moments, Třeštíková treats her seemingly ordinary yet multifaceted protagonist with great respect and care. A poignant celebration of the human spirit, the movie also reveals economic struggles and touches on life in the Czech Republic during and after communism.” Endowed with €10,000, the prize is sponsored by Bayerischer Rundfunk and Story House Productions, a Bavaria Film Group company.
The winner of the VIKTOR DOK.deutsch Award, given to a film that deals with people and topics in the German-speaking world, was Zuhur's Daughters by Laurentia Henske and Robin Humboldt. The prize, worth €5,000, was awarded by another jury of three including Vesna Cudic (head of MetFilm Sales), Christian Bräuer (managing director, Yorck Cinemas, and chairman of AG Kino) and Joana de Sousa (filmmaker and curator). The jury justified its decision by stating that the filmmakers had a great deal of empathy for their protagonists, adding: “Their movie follows and documents in the best sense the transwomen's path to the life they hoped for – with all its hurdles and difficulties. And at the same time, it reveals to the audience what it means to be a foreigner, a refugee and a woman.” The film tells the story of a Syrian family living in Berlin. In order to protect their two transgender daughters from discrimination and persecution, the family had to flee to Germany.
The third major award went to a film in the DOK.horizonte section. The nominees were movies that turn their attention to countries with unstable structures in transition. Things We Dare Not Do by Bruno Santamaría won the VIKTOR DOK.horizonte Award. The jury, composed of Hedva Goldschmidt (CEO of Go2Films), Ulla Hocker (head of programme and communication at ARTE) and Selin Murat (head of the Montreal International Documentary Film Festival), said it was “mesmerised by the filmmaker’s delicate and caring way of looking at his main characters”. The director tells the story of a transgender woman living in a small Mexican village; his protagonist is torn between her wish to live a self-determined life and the discrimination she has to face from her family and from society.
Here is the complete list of award winners at DOK.fest Munich 2021:
VIKTOR DOK.deutsch Award
Zuhur's Daughters – Laurentia Henske and Robin Humboldt (Germany)
VIKTOR DOK.horizonte Award
Things We Dare Not Do - Bruno Santamaría (Mexico)
FFF Talent Award Documentary Film
Väter Unser – Sophie Linnenbaum (Germany)
German Documentary Film Music Award
Soldiers – Christoph Schauer (Germany)
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