Docaviv 2016 Winners Announced

During a ceremony held today, May 25, 2016, the winners of Docaviv 2016, the 18th International Documentary Film Festival, were announced. The festival, which ends on May 28, has drawn in larger audiences than ever before, and many of the screenings sold out. Twelve unplanned screenings were added in order to meet the public’s demand, and most of these sold out as well, filling theaters to the brim.

The Israeli Competition

Best Israeli Film Award

Death in the Terminal

directed by Tali Shemesh and Asaf Sudry

70,000 ILS prize, courtesy of Sarah and Prof. Michael Sela and friends, Bank Discount (additional film prizes supported by Ruth Diskin Films, Zinko Studios and Glikson)

Jury's justification: The Best Israeli Film Award goes to Tali Shemesh and Assaf Sudri for their virtuous and heart shattering film "Death in the Terminal". The award is given for transcending the apathy of surveillance footage by using them to create a sharp cinematic mirror of an Israeli society inundated by messages of incitement and racism in times of fear. The jury hopes this film sends a sobering outcry and helps imprint the lynching of Abtum Zarhum in Israel’s collective memory.

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Special Jury Mention

Child Mother

directed by Yael Kipper and Ronen Zaretzky

20,000 ILS prize, courtesy of the Ministry of Culture and Sport and Harel Insurance Investment and Financial Services

Jury's justification: The film "Child Mother" delicately reveals the harsh story of women who, as young girls, were given to much older men and enslaved by them, in the name of tradition. The filmmakers, Yael Kipper and Ronen Zaretzky, succeed in portraying a complex, complicated and important story – through multiple layers of concealment, denial and shame. A story that echoes and has existed from ancient times to our own days.

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Special Honorable Mention

The Settlers

directed by Shimon Dotan

Jury's justification: The jury would like to give a special mention to "The Settlers" for its complex and anthological portrait of the massive settlers' enterprise. The film unflinchingly exposes the movement's attack on democracy and the support it receives from the state of Israel and its institutions.

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Mayor of Tel Aviv-Yafo Award for Debut Film

Babylon Dreamers

directed by Roman Shumunov

30,000 ILS prize

Jury's justification: The best debut prize is given to Roman Shumunov, a young filmmaker who brings his great rebel spirit to his film Babylon Dreamers. His fresh approach in portraying a group of tough and sensitive breakdancers opens up a window of hope and new possibilities for underground culture.

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Best Cinematography Award

Child Mother

Cinematography: Ronen Zaretzky

4,000 ILS prize, courtesy of the Ministry of Culture and Sport – the Israeli Film Council

Jury's justification: For its unique understanding and proven ability of presenting the story trough stoic scenes. The winner displayed amazing use of available light, poetic composition, allowing the protagonists and their environment to possess the full frame and lead the film.

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Best Editing Award

Town On A Wire

edited by Noa Keidan, Joelle Alexis, Boaz Lion

4,000 ILS prize, courtesy of the Ministry of Culture and Sport – the Israeli Film Council

Jury's justification: With material shot over 4 years, the editor composed a compelling, multi-faceted and character-driven story and given us a fascinating look into the complexities of a city full of conflict.

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Best Research Award

The Patriarch's Room

directed by Danae Elon

4,000 ILS prize, courtesy of the Ministry of Culture and Sport – the Israeli Film Council

Jury's justification: "The Patriarch's Room" researcher Danae Elon opened doors that lead us into an unknown world of religion, power, and political intrigue, shedding light on the far-reaching influence of the Israeli government.

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Best Original Music Award

Death in the Terminal

music by Tomer Yosef, Tom Darom

5,000 ILS prize, courtesy of ACUM

Jury's justification: The original music award goes to Tomer Yosef and Tom Darom of "Death in the Terminal" for the way in which their subtle music heightens the emotional response to the surveillance images and provokes a chilling effect that is hard to forget.

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

Death in the Terminal

directed by Tali Shemesh, Asaf Sudry

5,000 ILS prize, courtesy of the Ministry of Culture and Sport – the Israeli Film Council

Jury's justification: The exceptional use of media footage, obtained by security cameras and videos of bystanders, attests the horrific events occurring in today’s society, which is struggling with the increase of violence and racism perpetrated upon refugees.

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Feodora Jury Special Mention

The Patriarch's Room

directed by Danae Elon

Jury's justification: This documentary thriller is laudable for the way filmmaker Danae Elon shatters political, and religious boundaries, in order to expose the latent interests involved in the mysterious inner workings of Greek Orthodox Church in Jerusalem.

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International Competition

Best International Film Award

Call Me Marianna

directed by Karolina Bielawska

20,000 ILS prize, courtesy of the Ministry of Culture and Sport – the Israeli Film Council

Jury's justification: This is a touching portrait of a woman who risks all that is dear to her to find her true self, paying a heavy price. The film is wonderfully crafted by a director who gently weaves a human story full of love, pain and compassion.

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Special Jury Mention

Don Juan

directed by Jerzy Sladkowski

Jury's justification: This director succeeds to bring us closer to a world that is usually distant and inaccessible. In a troubling and thought-provoking journey, the viewer delves deep into the soul of Oleg, a 22-year-old autistic student, and his attempt to break the circles of fear and loneliness.

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The Feodora Award for Best Director, the Federation of Film Critics of Europe and the Mediterranean

Under the Sun

directed by Vitaly Mansky

Jury's justification: The film uses a subtle and veiled irony to give insight to an extremely closed society, while dealing with the ethical aspect of completing a movie within a totalitarian regime.

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Special Mention

Call Me Marianna

directed by Karolina Bielawska

Jury's justification: Mariana’s story is worthy of mention as it unravels on two different levels: the personal transformation of body and identity, as well as a detached, meta-theatrical perspective.

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Depth of Field Competition — In collaboration with the Israeli Film Critics Association

Artistic Vision Award

The Land of the Enlightened

directed by Pieter-Jan De Pue

10,000 ILS prize, courtesy of the Ministry of Culture and Sport – the Israeli Film Council

Jury's justification: By mixing documentary material, staged reenactments, and a story that unfolds like a legend or a fairytale, filmmaker Pieter-Jan De Pue immerses the viewer in a world that is cruel and brutal, yet breathtakingly beautiful. The forces of nature, together with the landscapes of Afghanistan, re-contextualize the battle between the military presence of the United States and the guerilla army of kids, and put them in proportion. The film presents both sides of the armed conflict in a unique way, depicts intimacy between the filmmaker and his subjects, and moves circularly around two poles: the concrete and the mythical. Many films were made about the war in Afghanistan, but De Pue’s film stands out among them with its bold vision and original film language.

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An Honorary Mention

Kate Plays Christine

directed by Robert Greene

Jury's justification: Robert Greene’s film cleverly explores the complexity of performance in documentary cinema. By employing re-enactment in an original manner - following an actress’s journey of preparation for playing a difficult role - the film resurrects its subject and amends her media representation. "Kate Plays Christine" breaks the fourth wall and challenges the viewer’s position in a reflexive and provocative manner. It is a film that seeks to channel the fury of a deceased TV broadcaster and the actress that plays her part into a multilayered and thought-provoking treatment of depression, suicide and mental illness.

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Student Competition in the name and memory of Ruthi Gottesman

Best Student Film Award (First Prize)

The Mute's House

directed by Tamar Kay, The Sam Spiegel Film and Television School

10,000 ILS prize, courtesy of Yoav Gottesman (additional prizes courtesy of Zinko Studios and Glikson)

Jury's justification: A deaf mother and her one-armed son face an unbearable situation, yet remain strong and life-affirming. The filmmaker uses impressive cinematic choices, a complex dramatic structure, and sensitive orchestration between intimacy and distance in order to touch our hearts by the everyday survival strategies of her strong protagonists.

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Second Prize

Sashka

directed by Yana Lerner, Sapir College

6,000 ILS prize, courtesy of Yoav Gottesman

Jury's justification: A tender look at a teenage son and his mother, who are dealing with the painful process of cutting the metaphoric umbilical cord. The filmmaker allows us to deeply identify with her young protagonist, who is a true hero facing the challenge of growing up in a confusing world.

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Third Prize

Off Guard

directed by Elad Davidovitch Shicovitch, Tel Hai College

4,000 ILS prize, courtesy of Yoav Gottesman

Jury's justification: The filmmaker-protagonist bravely invites us to join his journey into the emotional and ultimately moral dilemma about quitting his army service. A film that is able to capture the complex reality of this country and its inhabitants.

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