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Docaviv 2015 Winners Announced

The winners of the 17th Docaviv Tel Aviv International Documentary Film Festival were announced yesterday.

Israeli Competition Winners

Best Israeli Film Award

Twilight of a Life

directed by Sylvain Biegeleisen

70,000 ILS prize (approx 16,000 Euro) courtesy of Sarah and Prof. Michael Sela

Jury’s statement

“A cinematic journey on finding joy in the smallest moments of life. Full of humor, love and compassion, this film warms the audience’s hearts and souls.”

Special Jury Mention

7 Days in St. Petersburg

directed by Reuven Brodsky

20,000 ILS (approx. 4500 Euro) prize

Jury’s statement

“A culmination of carefully calibrated cinematic elements gradually exposes the film’s subjects and characters.”

Mayor of Tel Aviv-Yafo Award for Debut Film

Censored Voices

directed by Mor Loushy

30,000 ILS prize (approx 6800 Euro)

Jury’s statement

“It’s rare to see a film from a young filmmaker that treats a complex subject with such depth, grace and maturity.”

Best Cinematography Award

Credit for Murder

directed by Vladi Antonevicz

4,000 ILS prize (approx. 900 Euro)

Jury’s statement

“A collage of impressively different styles of footage, some Gonzo-style or shocking, others highly cinematic and beautiful, all come together in the search for truth.”

Best Editing Award

7 Days in St. Petersburg

edited, directed, produced, filmed by Reuven Brodsky

4,000 ILS prize (approx. 900 Euro)

Jury’s statement

“Carefully respecting the timeline, the editor reveals a complex narrative with poetry and precision.”

Best Research Award

Censored Voices

directed and researched by Mor Loushy

4,000 ILS prize (approx. 900 Euro)

Jury’s statement

“Bringing together a wealth of previously unseen and unheard archive materials and combining them to reveal a hidden side of a familiar story.”

Best Original Music Award

7 Days in St. Petersburg

Adi Rennert

5,000 ILS prize (approx 1100 Euro)

Jury’s statement

“The musical score complements and highlights the ‘old’ world in which the film takes place, yet feels contemporary and timeless.”

The Director Award of Fedeora, the Federation of Film Critics of Europe and the Mediterranean

Twilight of a Life

directed by Sylvain Biegeleisen

5,000 ILS prize (approx 1100 Euro) courtesy of Irina and Rami Shalmor

Jury’s statement

“A heartwarming, heartbreaking portrait of an extraordinary woman facing her nearing death. Directed clearly and with great love, the film finds and reflects the deep, universal meaning to be found in the private parting of a son and his mother.”

Fedeora Jury Special Mention

Against Your Will

directed by Assaf Banitt

Jury’s statement

“A complex and compassionate film that tackles the delicate subject of suicide regarded as taboo by the religious community, and explores the quest of bereaved parents from multiple viewpoints, through the use of economical storytelling and a tight structure.”

Art and Culture Competition Winners

Art and Culture Award

Arab Movie

directed by Eyal Sagui Bizawe & Sara Tsifroni

10,000 ILS (approx. 2300 Euro) courtesy of friends of Sarah and Prof. Michael Sela

Jury’s statement

“First and foremost, this is a film about love. Love for people and love for cinema. We believe it’s quite impossible not to fall in love with everyone onscreen. With the help of brilliant editing, great research and almost film-noirish detective work, we as an audience get to relive the ritual of watching Arab-speaking films on Israeli TV every Friday afternoon at 17:15 sharp, which was something of a national pastime years ago. The directors haven’t forgotten to place this ritual in its socio-political and human contexts, and the result is a joyful and highly original journey in a colorful time machine, full of healthy nostalgia, tears and laughter, waves of emotion, and, of course, yearning for a long-gone age. “Arab Movie” comes from the heart and goes straight into the heart, and nothing will remove it from there.”

Special Jury Mention

Matti Caspi – Confession

directed by Dalia Mevorach & Dani Dothan

Jury’s statement

“We decided, after long deliberations, to award the film with a special mention. “Matti Caspi – Confession” illustrates – with powerful and rare honesty – the complex personality of the songwriter, to whom we send our wishes of many long and prolific years of creativity. Cinematic magic is instantly created on screen as Caspi talks candidly about just about everything. “Confession” takes us on an unforgettable journey, traversing through genius and misery, love and hate, perfect beauty and wounds that will never heal.”

International Competition Winners

Best International Film Award

Approaching the Elephant

directed by Amanda Wilder

20,000 ILS (approx. 4500 Euro)

Jury’s statement

“At first sight, the topic of the film seems like another progressive middle class whim, but in the hands of the director, the stark black and white images of the establishment of a new democratic school become a rich, multilayered reflection on reality. Within a few rooms, a corridor and a small courtyard, we witness a real struggle to change accepted conservative educational concepts. The film reveals with unprecedented candor the real difficulties and questions as they happen in front of our eyes. The director succeeds in combining great intimacy with a precise cinematic language while focusing on engaging characters. This is by itself a great documentary achievement that leaves the viewer in total surprise, glued to the screen. From the small moments observed, deep questions arise concerning authority, education, democracy and the limits of freedom.”

Special Jury Mention

A German Youth

directed by Jean-Gabriel Périot

Jury’s statement

“The international jury decided to accord a special mention to an outstanding and thought-provoking film, built entirely from archive material, unfolding a tense period in West Germany’s history of the 1960s and ’70s. The film makes the connections between German intellectuals, filmmakers and the political reality that led a small group of young, opinionated men and women to terrorism and acts of killing. On the surface, the rich and varied archival material goes almost without any directorial comment. However, the analytical assemblage in itself and the tiny, ingenious connotations attached to it open up a space for reflection, allowing the audience to make their own interpretations of this process of radicalization.”

The Freedom Award of Fedeora, the Federation of Film Critics of Europe and the Mediterranean

Democrats

directed by Camilla Nielsson

Jury’s statement

“An observational documentary structured like a narrative feature, in which history unfolds in front of the camera, telling an engaging story of two political figures who are initially on opposite sides but are gradually brought together by common human values.”

Depth of Field Competition Winner

בשיתוף עם פורום מבקרי הקולנוע

Artistic Vision Awards

Sam Klemke’s Time Machine

directed by Matthew Bate

$3,000 USD prize, courtesy of Iris Rywkind Ben Zur and Eran Ben Zur

Jury’s statement

“Sam Klemke’s Time Machine” is rich with cinematic, human and philosophical layers, as it explores the idea of the biopic and self-documentation. The last act holds in store a wonderful surprise, sending the viewer to rethink the nature of moving pictures in the age of the internet. With all its use of irony, the film is filled with love of mankind, warts and all.”

Student Competition Winners

Best Student Film Award (First Prize)

1 Building and 40 People Dancing

directed by Miki Polonski, Minshar for Art

10,000 ILS prize (approx. 2300)

Jury’s statement

“Not often do we see a cinematic story unfold before us with such exquisite and meticulous craftsmanship and with such respect for and understanding of its subjects. ‘1 Building and 40 People Dancing’ delicately observes the residents of the public housing of Bat Yam, taking its time, resting its lens and slowly creating a tapestry of their lives, in which both people and building gently and lovingly come to life. ‘1 Building and 40 People Dancing’ demonstrates a maturity and control of the cinematic language that is rarely seen in the work of a student. We expect great things from director Miki Polonski.”

Second Prize

Mazal Means Luck

directed by Mazal Ben Yishai, Ma’aleh School of Television, Film & The Arts

4,000 ILS prize (approx. 900 Euro)

Jury’s statement

“With inspiring intimacy, using an original and moving cinematic language – and completely avoiding any clichés – the film “Mazal Means Luck” tells a small story about three generations, but succeeds in filling it with vivid colors, sounds and passion. The film is devoid of any mannerism or gimmickry; it is precise, engaging, and painfully real. The director engages courageously and closely with her parents, grandparents and even herself – as if searching for way out from her entangled family situation, hoping to find it in each wrinkle, each blink of an eye, each shadow. “Mazal Means Luck” is bold, original and close as any documentary film should be, surpassing its categorization as a student film. We are proud to present the second prize to this film and its director, and hope she continues telling us of the world around her in her original way.”

Third Prize

Etoile

directed by Nitzan Lahav, Liat Raviv and Lee Ben Waiss, Sapir College

3,000 ILS prize (approx 700 Euro)

Jury’s statement

“For its uniquely artistic storytelling, its painstakingly measured and gentle style and its innovative and astute depiction of the plight of Jewish families in Morocco in the 1960s, we are happy to present “Etoile” with an award for artistic distinction.”