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International Documentaries Film Festival Amsterdam - IDFA - Awards 2012

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The International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, at the conclusion of its 25th anniversary edition (November 14 to 24, 2012), presented its juried awards to documentary films in eight categories, and distributing a total of 44,000 Euros (about $57,000) in cash prizes.

IDFA's 2012 Winners:

  • VPRO IDFA Award for Best Feature-Length Documentary: First Cousin Once Removed - Directed by Alan Berliner (USA) - In this very moving and profoundly insightful documentary, Alan Berliner chronicles his frequent visits with his beloved uncle and mentor, an extremely intelligent and sophisticated professor and poet, who is passing through the successively debilitating stages of Alzheimer's disease. The award is 12,500 Euros.
  • NTR IDFA Award for Best Mid-Length Documentary: Red Wedding - Directed by Lida Chan and Guillaume Suon (Cambodia/France) - The documentary tells the story of Sochan Pen, a sixteen-year-old Cambodian girl who was forced to marry a soldier of the Khmer Rouge. The award is 10,000 Euros, but additional support for the making of the film was provided by the IDFA Fund. Additionally, the project participated in the IDFAcademy Summer School last summer and, in September the film was given the IDFA Worldview Award, a grant contributing towards financing the production.
  • IDFA Award for First Appearance: Soldier On The Roof - Directed by Esther Hertog (the Netherlands) - A film that documents every day life in Hebron, an enclave of some 800 Jewish settlers who live among a larger population of some 120,000 Palestinians. The award is 5,000 Euros.
  • Dioraphte IDFA Award for Dutch Documentary: Soldier on the Roof - Directed by Esther Hertog (the Netherlands) - Described above, the film also won the IDFA Award for First Appearance. This award was also valued at 5,000 Euros.
  • BankGiro Loterij IDFA Audience Award: Searching For Sugar Man - Directed by Malik Bendjelloul (Sweden/England) - An entertaining profile of Rodriguez, an American pop singer from Detroit who became famous and topped the charts in South Africa, but remained relatively unknown in the United States and elsewhere around the globe. The prize is 5,000 Euros.
  • IDFA Award for Student Competition: Pablo's Winter - Directed by Chico Pereira (Scotland/Spain) - The film is an entertaining portrait of a character who, now retired and with little to do, smokes incessantly, reminisces about the past and complains about the present. The prize is 2,500 Euros.
  • Melkweg Award for Best Music Documentary: Searching For Sugar Man - Directed by Malik Bendjelloul (Sweden/England) - Described above, the Searching For Sugar Man also won the BankGiro Loterij IDFA Audience Award. This best music documentary prize is 2,500 Euros.
  • IDFA DocLab Award for Digital Storytelling: Alma, A Tale of Violence - Directed by Miquel Dewever-Plana and Isabelle Fougère (France> - This interactive documentary designed for a tablet, graphically illustrates the story of the former gangster named Alma. The prize is 2,500 Euros.
  • IDFA DOC U Award: Little World - Directed by Marcel Barrena (Spain) - A documentary travel adventure following Albert, a nineteen year old penniless, wheelchair-bound lad, who voyages with his girlfriend to the other side of the world. The prize is 1,500 Euros, awarded by a jury of young people.

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(i>DISCLOSURE: I have served as a juror at IDFA).

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