The International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) handed out its prizes Friday evening, with South Korean director Seung-Jun Yi’s “Planet of Snail” taking the Best Feature-Length Documentary prize. The Special Jury Award went to “5 Broken Cameras” (Palestine/Israel) by Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi, who also won the Publieke Omroep IDFA Audience Award. The film received financial support from the festival’s Jan Vrijman Fund.
In other prizes, Jorge Gaggero’s “Montenegro” won IDFA’s award for Best Mid-Length doc and Xun Yu’s “The Vanishing Spring Light” took the nod for best First Appearance.
The 2011 IDFA continues through Sunday, though the festival is estimating an increase from 180,000 visits in 2010 to 200,000 this year.
The 2011 IDFA winners with descriptions and information provided by the festival:
The VPRO IDFA Award for Best Feature-Length Documentary (consisting of a sculpture and €12,500): “Planet of Snail” by Seung-Jun Yi (South Korea)
The film depicts the everyday life of deaf & blind Young-Chan and the love of his life, Soon-Ho.
Special Jury Award: “5 Broken Cameras” by Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi (Palestine/Israel/Netherlands/France)
The film is a personal portrait of a Palestinian village resisting encroaching Jewish settlements, as recorded by an inhabitant of the village over a number of years.
NTR IDFA Award for Best Mid-Length Documentary (€10,000):
“Montenegro” by Jorge Gaggero (Argentina)
The film is about an old man living with his dogs on a quiet island in a river delta, in a seemingly harmonious symbiosis with a hermit who lives a little way away.
The IDFA Award for First Appearance (€5,000):
“The Vanishing Spring Light” by Xun Yu (China/Canada)
The film documents the life of the residents of West Street in Dujiangyan City.
The Dioraphte IDFA Award for Dutch Documentary (€5,000):
“900 Days” by Jessica Gorter
The film centers on survivors of the siege of Leningrad soberly separate propagandist myth from their horrific personal memories.
De Publieke Omroep IDFA Audience Award (€5,000):
“5 Broken Cameras” by Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi
IDFA Award for Student Documentary (€2,500):
“The Betrayal” by Karen Winther – The film is about Karen, who as a teenager made a crucial mistake as part of the Norwegian squatting scene, and is hoping for forgiveness.
The BlackBerry IDFA DOC U Award (€1,500):
“The Last Days of Winter” by Mehrdad Oskouei (Iran) – The film is a portrait of seven Iranian boys in a youth detention centre, who talk candidly about their lives.
The IDFA Award for Best Green Screen Documentary (€2,500):
“Bitter Seeds” by Micha X. Peled – Filmmaker Peled investigates why every thirty minutes an Indian cotton farmer commits suicide, and follows one such farmer on his journey to the edge of the abyss.
Oxfam Global Justice Award: “Bitter Seeds” by Micha X. Peled (USA/India)
IDFA DocLab Award for Digital Storytelling (€2,500): “Insitu” by Antoine Viviani (France). “Insitu” is a search for creative, artistic ways to intervene in the public space.