"Checkpoint" and "My Flesh and Blood" Top 2003 IDFA
by Eugene Hernandez
Jonathan Karsh's "My Flesh and Blood," from the United States, was a top award-winner at the 2003 International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) nabbing two awards, while Yoav Shamir's Isreali film "Checkpoint" won the VPRO Joris Ivens competition award.
"My Flesh and Blood," which debuted at Sundance this year, won the IDFA audience award and the international film critics prize. It shared the critics award with the short doc, "The Very Best Day" by Pavel Medvedev, from Russia.
"Checkpoint" offers a verite look at the heavily guarded Israeli checkpoints set up to monitor the movements between Israeli and Palestinian areas. It was filmed from 2001 to 2003.
Mark Achbar and Jennifer Abbott's "The Corporation" won a special jury award. The doc, which explores the growing influence of corporations over our lives, debuted earlier this year at the Toronto International Film Festival. (It opened theatrically in select cities on Friday.)
The festival's Silver Wolf prize, for best short doc, went to "Surplus - Terrorized Into Being Consumers" by Erik Gandini from Sweden.
"Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer" by Joan Churchill and Nick Broomfield from the U.K. won the Amnesty International - DOEN Award.
Festival organizers said there was a 10-percent jump in attendance in 2003, up to 110,000 from 99,000 last year. Box office receipts jumped 20 percent and the festival welcomed 1,900 guests, up from 1,560 last year.
[indieWIRE will also publish a full report from the 2003 IDFA later this week.]