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POPOLI 2021 Awards

From the Planet of the Humans is crowned Best Feature at the 62nd Festival dei Popoli

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- Co-produced by Italy, Belgium and France, Giovanni Cioni’s film walks away with the €8,000-prize, while Enrico Maisto’s L’età dell’innocenza triumphs in the Italian Competition

From the Planet of the Humans is crowned Best Feature at the 62nd Festival dei Popoli
Director Giovanni Cioni during the presentation of his From the Planet of the Humans at the festival (© Lorenzo Risani/Festival dei Popoli)

The Italian/Belgian/French co-production From the Planet of the Humans [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Giovanni Cioni
film profile
]
by Tuscan director Giovanni Cioni has been named Best Feature Film in the International Competition of the 62nd Festival dei Popoli - Florence’s documentary film festival which this year unspooled 20-28 November. Interweaving stories from a border town – that of Ventimiglia which sits between Italy and France and was home to the forgotten doctor Voronoff, a surgeon who claimed to have discovered the elixir of long life in the 1920s, and which now sees migrants seeking refuge risking their lives trying to cross the divide – the film was crowned the champion by an international jury composed of Kieron Corless (UK), Anita Piotrowska (Poland) and Luciano Barisone (Italy), scooping a prize worth €8,000. “This film”, the jury’s reasoning explains, “explores one of the most important themes of our time - the idea of the frontier - with great urgency and intense, poetic sensitivity. It begins in a real place which slowly acquires symbolic connotations, and whose unique story reveals a universal state of affairs by way of a surprising narrative structure”. From the Planet of the Humans also won the “Tënk” Distribution Prize (€1,500), awarded by the SVOD platform for independent documentary film in Europe.

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The prize for Best Italian Documentary (€3,000), awarded by a jury comprising Irene Dionisio, Jérémie Jorrand and Giovanni Marchini Camia, went to Enrico Maisto’s L’età dell’innocenza “for bravely inviting us into his private world, for celebrating the complexity of love, and for the awareness with which he has elevated the home-movie approach and transformed it into universal matter”. The Italian competition jury also bestowed a Special Mention upon Il momento di passaggio by Chiara Marotta “for using the camera as a direct device for spiritual liberation, and for facing up to her family’s past with brutal honesty but also with boundless secular grace”. Other prizes included the Gian Paolo Paoli Plaque for Best Anthropological Film, which went to Aya [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Simon Coulibaly Gillard
film profile
]
by Simon Coulibaly Gillard, and the MyMovies.it Prize which is an audience award decided upon by viewers in cinemas, scooped by Samaher Alqadi’s As I Want [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
.

“Seeing cinemas full, at last meeting authors, producers and distributors, and exchanging ideas with sector professionals and young and emerging talent from the Doc at Work-Future Campus event, was hugely emotional and a source of great satisfaction”, enthused Artistic Director Alessandro Stellino. “Making the Festival dei Popoli a reference point for all those active in documentary film, both in Italy and beyond, wasn’t just an objective, it was one of our ultimate goals. We’ve laid the foundations for great transformation, and we can’t not be happy with how this edition went, based as it was on the courageous idea of opening ourselves up to new languages, to recovery and to taking a punt on the future”.

The full list of winners is as follows:

Best Feature Film (International Competition)
From the Planet of the Humans [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Giovanni Cioni
film profile
]
- Giovanni Cioni (Italy/Belgium/France)
Special Mention
Metok - Martín Solá (Italy/Argentina/Tibet)

Best Medium-Length Film
First Time - Nicolaas Schmidt (Germany)

Best Short Film
My Uncle Tudor - Olga Lucovnicova (Belgium/Portugal/Hungary/Moldova)

Best Italian Documentary
L’età dell’innocenza - Enrico Maisto (Italy/Switzerland)
Special Mention
Il momento di passaggio - Chiara Marotta (Italy)

Gian Paolo Paoli Plaque for Best Anthropological Film
Aya [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Simon Coulibaly Gillard
film profile
]
- Simon Coulibaly Gillard (Belgium/France)

CG Entertainment Distribution Prize
Tardo Agosto - Federico Cammarata, Filippo Foscarini (Italy)

CG Digital on Demand Distribution Prize for Best European Film
Oltre Le Rive - Riccardo De Cal (Italy)

“Unmissable Films” Prize (Italian Competition)
Los Zuluagas - Flavia Montini (Italy)

“Il Cinemino” Theatrical Distribution Prize (Italian Competition)
L’età dell’innocenza - Enrico Maisto

“Tënk” Distribution Prize (Italian Competition)
From the Planet of the Humans - Giovanni Cioni

MyMovies.it Audience Award
As I Want [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
- Samaher Alqadi (Egypt/Norway/France/Palestine/Germany)

“Cinema For All” SudTitles Award 2021
Portuali - Perla Sardella (Italy)

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(Translated from Italian)

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