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FESTIVALS / AWARDS Slovakia

Unseen nets the main prize and the Audience Award at One World Slovakia

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- Slovak filmmaker Maia Martiniak won two prizes for her feature debut, a documentary about childbirth trauma, while Viera Čákanyová took home the Special Prize for her sci-fi documentary essay FREM

Unseen nets the main prize and the Audience Award at One World Slovakia
The One World 2020 winners (l-r): Unseen producer Silvia Panáková, Unseen director Maia Martiniak and FREM director Viera Čákanyová (© Robert Tappert)

Like so many other film festivals, the International Documentary Film Festival One World in Slovakia transformed its 21st edition into a virtual, nationwide event. And similarly to other gatherings such as the Ji.hlava IDFF, One World 2020 managed to reach record-breaking attendance levels. The films selected for the 2020 line-up (see the news), which unspooled from 5-11 November, were watched by an audience of over 14,000 viewers.

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“The Online One World dispelled all the fears about whether this form of film festival could maintain its audience. On the contrary, the festival’s audience ranks have swollen to include viewers from other cities and towns in Slovakia, and other groups, such as mothers with children, who thanked us for the fact that they were able to watch films at home and in the morning hours. We are very pleased that in these challenging times of the pandemic and self-isolation, we have been able to bring content to the homes of our viewers that has captivated, inspired and connected them for a whole week,” said the festival’s executive director, Eva Križková, noting that accompanying events such as discussions racked up 100,000 views.

The international jury – consisting of Stephanie Fuchs, of Autlook Filmsales; Czech documentarian and activist Ivona Remundová; and Slovak documentary maker Pavol Pekarčík – watched Slovak and Czech films in the competitive Slovakia and the Czech Republic for Human Rights section. The jury picked a documentary about trauma during childbirth, Unseen [+see also:
interview: Maia Martiniak
film profile
]
, the feature debut by Slovakian director Maia Martiniak, as the recipient of the top prize. “Unseen is a captivating film that does not end with the end credits, but forces us to think about the question of freedom and respect for women's decisions during childbirth. At a time when, in some European countries, women have to fight once again for the right to decide on issues concerning their own body, the film gently, but urgently, points to how long a journey is still ahead of our society until we can approach the dream of achieving the respect and kindness that every woman deserves, without exception. Inconspicuously accurate shots, elaborate dramaturgy, and excellently selected characters make the film an important and timeless work that deals with a significant question that concerns us all,” noted the international jury. In addition, Martiniak’s film also netted the Audience Award.

Besides the main trophy, the jury decided to award the Special Prize to Slovakian director Viera Čákanyová for her documentary feature debut, FREM [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Viera Čakányová
film profile
]
, which the jurors praised for its powerful visual approach and bravery to step beyond the conventional “human” rules of film. “FREM puts us in the perspective from which artificial intelligence ‘looks’ at the world. This creates a space for pervasively free thoughts and interpretations that we do not often encounter in documentary films,” revealed the jury.

Here is the full list of award winners:

Main Prize in the Competitive Slovakia and the Czech Republic for Human Rights Section
Unseen [+see also:
interview: Maia Martiniak
film profile
]
– Maia Martiniak (Slovakia)

Special Prize
FREM [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Viera Čakányová
film profile
]
– Viera Čákanyová (Slovakia/Czech Republic)

Audience Award
Unseen – Maia Martiniak

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