Jury's First Prize, consisting of 4,000 € and a trophy.
“In a very devoted and curious way, Melissa Langer puts light on the details that weave a Syrian family that made the decision to flee the civil war. Step by step, a strong cinematographic language reveals the evolution of the caracters, the increase of tension and the pain to handle this dificult situation. My Aleppo is a film that seeks to understand from the very inside. We were emotionally touched by the captations that put us right into the situation as we could ourselves feel the despair, anger and helplessness of the family.”
19' / 2015 / United States of America
English and spanish subtitled
Audience vote 6.65
The young Abdullah family fled the Syrian civil war and settled in Pretoria, South Africa. There, in their one-room apartment, the Internet is all that connects them with Aleppo. As long as the Wi-Fi is working back in Syria, they can Skype with family and friends in their home city. News videos show the buildings they knew disintegrated and old neighborhoods deserted. But the greatest disappointment of all is seeing the changes in people whom they were close to. They hear about the deaths of family members, of how they got drawn into the conflict and the unexpected things they did.
ZagrebDox, 2016 (Movies That Matter Award) / Doc Fortnight, MoMA, 2016 / IDFA, 2015 (Winner for Best Student Documentary) / Telluride Film Festival, 2015
Melissa Langer is a nonfiction filmmaker based in Oakland. She holds an MFA in Documentary Film & Video from Stanford University and a BA in History from Carleton College. Her short films include Hauled Out, Treasure Island, and Terms of Intimacy. Her most recent film, My Aleppo, tells the story of a young Syrian family in South Africa as they struggle to retain ties to the ancient city of Aleppo. She is the recipient of a UFVA Carole Fielding Grant and her films have premiered at Telluride Film Festival, SXSW, IDFA, and MoMA’s Doc Fortnight.