Theatre of Violence wins the DOK.international Main Competition at DOK.fest Munich
by Teresa Vena
- Besides Lukasz Konopa and Emil Langballe’s doc, other winners included Gretas Geburt by Katja Baumgarten and Le Spectre de Boko Haram by Cyrielle Raingou
A series of prizes have been handed out at this year's edition of DOK.fest Munich (3-14 May). In the main competition, the hopefuls were 12 international documentaries that were judged by a three-member jury. Said jury was made up of Susanne Burg (editor at Deutschlandfunk Kultur), Mohamed Saïd Ouma (filmmaker and executive director of Documentary Africa) and Jasmina Vignjevic (festival manager for Syndicado). The VIKTOR DOK.international Award, endowed with €10,000 and sponsored by Bayerischer Rundfunk, went to Theatre of Violence by Lukasz Konopa and Emil Langballe. This Danish production is a psychological study of Dominic Ongwen, who was raised in Uganda as a child soldier, later rising to the rank of commander in the Lord’s Resistance Army, and who finally faces charges for the atrocities he committed at the International Court of Justice.
The jury justified its decision with the following statement: “In their carefully constructed film, Emil Langballe and Lukasz Konopa create a more complex space with each new scene in which we, as viewers, ask ourselves question after question about international law in a post-colonial framework, about the challenges of getting justice while threatening to reopen old wounds, and about guilt, forgiveness and reconciliation.” The Belgian documentary Adieu Sauvage [+see also:
interview: Sergio Guataquira Sarmiento
film profile] by Sergio Guataquira Sarmiento, set in the Colombian Amazon, received a Special Mention.
As for the VIKTOR Dok.deutsch Prize, which is awarded to a film that deals with people or topics from the German-speaking area, the winner was Gretas Geburt by Katja Baumgarten. A jury of three gave out the prize, endowed with €7,500 and sponsored by Sky, to this documentary that follows the life of its protagonist over a time span of ten years. At the centre of it is a midwife who is on trial for manslaughter after she assisted in the birth of a girl who was stillborn. The jury, composed of Niccolò Castelli (director and artistic director of the Solothurn Film Festival and director of the Ticino Film Commission), Neda Lukić (festivals and education manager at Taskovski Films) and Johannes Rosenberger (a documentary film producer), commented on its decision as follows: “With Gretas Geburt, the filmmaker succeeds in making an essential contribution to this highly sensitive topic and impressively demonstrates the social relevance of documentary film work.”
Another jury of three (namely, film programmer Anca Păunescu, filmmaker and activist Güliz Saglam, and journalist and author Chris Schinke) awarded the VIKTOR in the “Horizonte” section to Le Spectre de Boko Haram [+see also:
film profile] by Cyrielle Raingou, from Cameroon. The film depicts the reality of children in her home country who are surrounded by the constant presence of soldiers and war. The jury stated: “Cyrielle Raingou's debut work captures the devastating impact of the military conflict with Islamist Boko Haram in her home country of Cameroon, imbuing the inexpressible with cinematic expression. Raingou's young protagonists offer insight into the experience of growing up in a world that is rife with danger, yet still characterised by trust, tenderness and community.” The prize is endowed with €5,000 and is sponsored by the Petra Kelly Foundation. A Special Mention in this section went to the opening film of the festival, Etilaat Roz by Abbas Rezaie, from Afghanistan.
Here is the complete list of award winners at this year’s DOK.fest Munich:
VIKTOR DOK.international Main Competition
Theatre of Violence – Lukasz Konopa, Emil Langballe (Denmark)
Adieu Sauvage [+see also:
interview: Sergio Guataquira Sarmiento
film profile] - Sergio Guataquira Sarmiento (Belgium/France)
Gretas Geburt – Katja Baumgarten (Germany)
megaherz Student Award
Border Conversations – Jonathan Brunner (Germany)
VFF Documentary Film Production Award
Für immer – Pia Lenz (Germany)
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