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AJB DOC 2021 Awards

Wait for Me crowned as the champion at the fourth edition of AJB DOC

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- Other award-winning titles included Brotherhood and Writing With Fire

Wait for Me crowned as the champion at the fourth edition of AJB DOC
Director Damir Markovina collecting his Main Award for Wait for Me

With the awards ceremony, followed by the screening of the documentary film Scenes From the Life of BIH Film by Mustafa Mustafić, both taking place at the open-air location of the Kovači Multimedial Centre in Sarajevo, the fourth edition of the AJB DOC Film Festival has officially drawn to a close. This year’s edition of the gathering, taking place both in person and online, hosted 23 documentary titles across four categories, 11 of them in competition.

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In accordance with the decision of the jury, consisting of filmmaker Una Gunjak, producer Jamal Dallali and Dokufest director Veton Nurkollari, Damir Markovina’s Wait for Me [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
was deemed the best documentary. “For its delicate, touching, mature yet humorous contemplation of character, family relations and ageing, and its ability to transcend all racial and ethnic barriers, the AJB DOC jury gives the Main Award to the film Wait For Me,” stated the jury in their explanation. A Special Mention went to Brotherhood [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Francesco Montagner
film profile
]
by Francesco Montagner, “for its ability to offer a fascinating look at the process of growing up in a seemingly pastoral environment, as well as for its examination of the patriarchy while maintaining a delicate balance”, according to the jury statement.

The Programme Department Award, handed out by a jury consisting of programme committee members Lejla Dedić, Sead Kreševljaković and Đani Hasečić, was given to Writing With Fire by Indian directorial duo Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh. “While tackling a local Indian theme, the film sends a universal message and has the power to inspire the entire journalistic community and encourage each of us to try to make the world a better and more just place,” went the explanation.

Finally, the Audience Award went to the German doc The El-Masri Case by Stefan Eberlein, which was given an average grade of 4.9 out of 5.

With expectations high for the next, fifth edition of the festival, which will see some major changes, such as the launch of the AJD Industry Days@AJB DOC industry platform (see the news), the fourth edition also boasted some side programmes, such as the Smart Phone Documentary Film Production Workshop, held by award-winning Bosnian photojournalist Damir Šegolj, and a lecture for journalists by Al Jazeera’s reporter from Gaza, Safwat al-Kahlout, on the topic “Gaza: Past, Present and Future”. With the screenings as full as they could be, in view of the limits imposed by the health-and-safety measures, it is safe to say that the fourth edition of the AJB DOC Film Festival was a success and stood as a testament to the event’s constant growth.

Here is the full list of winners:

Main Award
Wait for Me [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
- Damir Markovina (Croatia)
Special Mention
Brotherhood [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Francesco Montagner
film profile
]
- Francesco Montagner (Italy/Czech Republic)

Programme Department Award
Writing With Fire - Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh (India)

Audience Award
The El-Masri Case - Stefan Eberlein (Germany)

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