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"First Cousin" Claims Top IDFA Prize; "Sugar Man" Takes Both Audience and Music Awards at Dutch Doc Event

Indiewire By Basil Tsiokos | Indiewire November 24, 2012 at 4:11PM

"First Cousin" Claims Top IDFA Prize; "Sugar Man" Takes Both Audience and Music Awards at Dutch Doc Event
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A still from "First Cousin Once Removed."

The awards for the 25th anniversary International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) were announced in a ceremony today, covering the various competition sections of the world's largest documentary event.

Alan Berliner's NYFF entry, "First Cousin Once Removed," a moving portrait of Edwin Honig facing Alzheimer's, took IDFA's top honor, the VPRO IDFA Award for Best Feature-Length Documentary, a distinction that comes with a hefty €12,500 prize. Esther Hertog's "Soldier on the Roof," a look at a small community of Jewish settlers in the overwhelmingly Palestinian West Bank city of Hebron, claimed both the First Appearance Award and the Best Dutch Documentary Award, a total of €10,000. Also taking home two nods was Malik Bendjelloul, whose "Searching for Sugar Man" received €7,500 between his Audience Award and Best Music Documentary Award, repeating the film's double win from its premiere at the beginning of the year at Sundance.

A full list of IDFA winners follows. The festival wraps up its twelve days of programming tomorrow evening.

2012 IDFA Award Winners:

VPRO IDFA Award for Best Feature-Length Documentary (€12,500):

Alan Berliner, "First Cousin Once Removed," a portrait of his uncle during the latter stages of his life, which were marked by Alzheimer’s disease.

NTR IDFA Award for Best Mid-Length Documentary (€10,000):

Lida Chan and Guillaume Suon, "Red Wedding,"  the poignant story of Cambodian Sochan Pen, who as a sixteen-year-old was forced to marry a soldier of the Khmer Rouge.

IDFA Award for First Appearance (€5,000):

Esther Hertog, "Soldier on the Roof," a film providing insight into everday lives in the Jewish enclave in Hebron, where 800 colonists live among their 120,000 Palestian neighbours.

Dioraphte IDFA Award for Dutch Documentary (€5,000):

Esther Hertog, "Soldier on the Roof"

BankGiro Loterij IDFA Audience Award (€5,000):

Malik Bendjelloul, "Searching for Sugar Man," about the mysterious American singer-songwriter Rodriguez, who is completely unknown outside of South Africa.

IDFA Award for Student Competition (€2,500):

Chico Pereira, "Pablo’s Winter," a humorous portrait of inveterate smoker Pablo, who spends his retirement complaining and reminiscing about the old days, when everything was better.

IDFA Melkweg Award for Best Music Documentary (€2,500):

Malik Bendjelloul, "Searching for Sugar Man" 

IDFA DocLab Award for Digital Storytelling (€2,500):

Miquel Dewever-Plana and Isabelle Fougère, "Alma, a Tale of Violence," an interactive tablet documentary that graphically tells the story of a former gangster.

IDFA DOC U Award (€ 1,500): 

Marcel Barrena, "Little World," about nineteen-year-old Albert who travels in his wheelchair, with his girlfriend but without any money, to the other side of the world.