Up the Mountain and Una Primavera scoop the Big Stamps at the 15th ZagrebDox
by Vassilis Economou
- Yang Zhang’s documentary has received the top prize in the International Competition, while Valentina Primavera was the winner in the Regional Competition
Chinese documentarian Yang Zhang’s visually impressive Up the Mountain has received the Big Stamp in the International Competition of the 15th-anniversary edition of the ZagrebDox International Documentary Film Festival, which ran from 24 February-4 March; meanwhile, Valentina Primavera’s debut feature, Una Primavera [+see also:
film profile], which had its international premiere at the gathering, snagged the Regional Competition’s Big Stamp. The prizes were given out during the official awards ceremony, which was held in the Kaptol Boutique Cinema.
The international jury, comprising Croatian writer-director Nebojša Slijepčević, Danish film critic and advisor Tue Steen Müller and acclaimed Serbian director Želimir Žilnik, handed the main prize to Up the Mountain, which follows the impact of an artist’s drawing lessons on a local community residing in a remote Chinese mountain village. The two Special Mentions of the jury were presented to the Oscar-nominated American documentary Minding the Gap by Bing Liu and the political-historical documentary My Unknown Soldier [+see also:
film profile] by Ukrainian director Anna Kryvenko.
In the Regional Competition, the Big Stamp went to debutant Italian director Primavera for her film Una Primavera. The regional jury, consisting of Bosnian director Nedžad Begović, Sheffield Doc/Fest acting director Melanie Iredale, and Croatian TV reporter, director and Motovun Film Festival director Igor Mirković, stated: “The winning film is a very personal insight into domestic abuse, and a great example of a filmmaker turning their camera on their own dysfunctional family to produce a work so intimate and warm whilst also making a bigger statement about the systemic issue of patriarchal violence and coercion.” The film follows the director’s 60-year-old mother, who makes the bold decision to start her life over again after 40 years of marriage. The Visions du Réel- and Beldocs-awarded Serbian documentary 4 Years in 10 Minutes [+see also:
film profile] by Mladen Kovačević and the Croatian medium-length film In the Name of the Republic of Croatia by Goran Dević, which world-premiered at ZagrebDox, received the jury’s Special Mentions.
The Little Stamp for Best Film by an Author Under 35 Years of Age went to Still Recording [+see also:
film profile] by Saeed Al Batal and Ghiath Ayoub, “an honest inside story from hell”, and the Young Jury, comprising Danish director Christian Sønderby Jepsen, Croatian director Zorko Sirotić and Serbian director Marko Grba Singh, also handed two Special Mentions to the Serbian film Taurunum Boy [+see also:
film profile] by Jelena Maksimović and Dušan Grubin, and to the Hungarian documentary Easy Lessons [+see also:
film profile] by Dorottya Zurbó, which also received the Movies that Matter Award for the film that best promotes human rights.
The Special Mentions in the Movies That Matter competition, judged by political scientist and activist Sara Kekuš, Georgian director Rati Oneli and Animateka Ljubljana director Igor Prassel, went to Gabrielle Brady's Island of the Hungry Ghosts [+see also:
film profile] and Alexandria Bombach's On Her Shoulders.
The FIPRESCI Award was bestowed upon the Italian film Stories of the Half-Light [+see also:
film profile] by Luca Magi, while the Best Film About Youth Issues, as selected by students from the School of Graphic Design and Media Production in Zagreb, who made up the Teen Dox Jury, went to Science Fair by Cristina Constantini and Darren Foster.
The My Generation Award, given out each year by ZagrebDox director Nenad Puhovski to a film by an auteur from his generation, went to To Be Continued [+see also:
film profile] by Latvian cinematographer-director Ivars Seleckis. Also, Tue Steen Müller and Hrvoje Hribar received the Honorary Stamps for their long professional collaboration and friendship with ZagrebDox.
Here is the complete list of winners at the 15th ZagrebDox International Documentary Festival:
Up the Mountain - Yang Zhang (China)
Easy Lessons [+see also:
film profile] - Dorrotya Zurbó (Hungary)
Taurunum Boy [+see also:
film profile] - Jelena Maksimović, Dušan Grubin (Serbia/Switzerland)
Movies That Matter Award
Easy Lessons - Dorrotya Zurbó
Teen Dox Award
Science Fair - Cristina Constantini, Darren Foster (USA)
Tue Steen Müller
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