A Night of Knowing Nothing emerges victorious at IceDocs
- The documentary by Payal Kapadia has come out on top, while A House Made of Splinters went home from Akranes with a Special Mention on Sunday
The fourth edition of the Iceland Documentary Film Festival (IceDocs, 22-26 June) came to a close on Sunday night after four days of screenings and events in scenic Akranes, on the west coast of Iceland.
The Main Competition Award went to the documentary A Night of Knowing Nothing [+see also:
interview: Payal Kapadia
film profile] by Payal Kapadia. The feature follows a university student in India who writes letters to her estranged lover, and it is through these letters that the audience gets a glimpse into the drastic changes taking place around her.
The three-member jury of the main competition, featuring Christine Camdessus (filmmaker and managing director of FIPADOC), documentary producer and director Hanna Björk Valsdóttir, and Miguel Eek (filmmaker and artistic director of MajorDocs), stated: “We have unanimously decided to give the Award for Best Feature Documentary to a film that took us on a unique journey, mixing a personal story with a collective experience. The jury highlights the richness of the cinematic language; this carefully crafted film dives into a political story with an approach based on poetic sensitivity.”
In turn, director Payal Kapadia responded with a letter of thanks, in which she explained how she wanted to draw attention to the fact that the lawyer and activist in the film, Teesta Setalvad, was arrested during the weekend.
The jury also handed out a Special Mention to Danish director Simon Lereng Wilmont for his film A House Made of Splinters [+see also:
film profile], which is about a residence in Ukraine for children from troubled homes. The jury “was deeply moved by the tenderness in approaching fragile characters with honesty and respect, in order to uncover a sad reality”.
The Best Short Film Award went to In Flow of Words by Eliane Esther Bots, a short, experimental film about the experiences of three interpreters taking part in the Yugoslavia Tribunal in The Hague. The short-film jury comprised filmmaker Claudia Tossi, director Karna Sigurðardóttir and Racha Helen Larsen, director and founder of Mirage – Art of the Reel.
Finally, the Audience Award, for the best member of the audience, went to Hilmar Sigvaldason, lighthouse keeper at the Akranes lighthouse, for his diligent attendance at film screenings and his valuable support of the festival.
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