The International Documentary Film Festival DocumentaMadrid, promoted by the City Council of Madrid, announced the winners of its 15th edition this morning at the Cineteca Matadero. Over twenty filmmakers with films in competition eagerly awaited the reading of the awards by the festival co-director, Andrea Guzmán and by Sally Gutiérrez, on behalf of the jury in the National Competitive Section, Manuel Asín, for the jury of the International Competitive Section, and Isabela Monteiro, as jury member and consultant for the Corte Final professional forum.
During the act, Irene Yagüe and Alberto García, directors of La Grieta (Spain, 2017) learned the news that the jury for the National Section has chosen their feature film as winner of the 10,000€ award. The jury, composed of DocsMx festival director Inti Cordera, the researcher Hanna Hatzmann and Sally Gutiérrez herself, granted the Jury Award to this portrait of evicted families "for its committed and respectful filmmaking, one that renews the essence of observational cinema and portrays its characters without victimizing them, by highlighting the power of unity and social movements." The same jury has also made a Special Mention to Ainhoa: yo no soy ésa, an intimate, feminist testimony with an ensemble cast by Carolina Astudillo "for its ability to shed light on the void left by absence through the screenplay and the editing".
In the short film category, the 5,000€ Jury Award has been granted to Silvia Rey for Wan Xia. La última luz del atardecer. The director of this story about the Chinese community living in Madrid hugged Elena Molina, director of Rêve de Mousse, upon hearing the news. The jury recognized Silvia Rey's ability to "skillfully combine resources and narrative searches in a refreshing and also sophisticated way; giving audiences a closer look at a community that is very visible but often difficult to access, through a brilliant screenplay." Ekhiñe Etxeberria, director of Mikele, and Julia Maura, co-director of Galatée à l'infini received Special Mentions for their short films.
For its part, the Jury of the International Competitive Section, composed of Colombian filmmaker Diana Bustamante, film critic and curator Manuel Asín and filmmaker Pirjo Honkasalo, recognized the political film O Processo, by Brazilian director María Augusta Ramos, as the winning feature film: "for the energy and tension with which it reveals the web of interests underlying a situation with global impact and for which an overly simple treatment is often given". Manuel Asín recognized the need for giving two special mentions "of identical relevance": Bixa Travesty, by Claudia Priscilla and Kiko Goifman, "for the strength with which it affirms the right, but most of all" the duty to be happy "in an ongoing process of identity-building" and Of Fathers and Sons, by Talal Derki, who was recognized at the event for "the courage with which he portrays the passing-on of violence between generations by accessing a family rarely seen with such nuanced complexity". This award gave meaning to Derki's two and a half years of living alongside a Taliban family in Syria, where he saw first-hand the training process of future jihadists and the consequences of a war.
One of the shorts to win an award in the International Section was the French film Saule Marceau, in which Juliette Achard uses "her formal inventiveness to meticulously and acutely show the knot of historical and social contradictions converging in an often hidden place, the both imagined and physical border between the European countryside and the city". David Enrique Aguilera was the next one to learn that his short film Moriviví, was to receive the Special Mention "for the heterodoxy of vision with which he reveals the strangeness of the everyday life in a syncretic culture."
Now in its second year, the Fugas Section gives recognition to risk-taking in film. Its jury, composed of the teacher and researcher Elena Oroz, the Armenian filmmaker Harutyun Khachatryan and the Chilean Ignacio Agüero, decided to give the Jury Award, worth 10,000 euros, to the feature film The Worldly Cave, by Zhou Tao, who "follows in the footsteps of the diaspora in a world that appears both natural and hyperreal, through a spectatorial experience marked by banishment." What was noted about the Special Mention feature film, Good Luck, was "its penetrating ability to immerse us in oppressive work spaces... that not only plunge us into hostile environments, but also cares about understanding human relationships with, and through, work."
In the Fugas Short Film Competition, the 5,000 Euro Award went to Absent Wound, by Maryam Tafakory, "for the forcefulness and accuracy with which the poetic and the political get combined". The Special Mention was given to The Haunted by Saodat Ismailova because, as is expected from this section, she shows strong "formal originality and metaphorical power when it comes to articulating a reflection on personal and national memory".
The first Professional Forum of Documentary Film of Madrid, Corte Final, selected the project Mercedes, by Isabella Lima, from among those participating this week in the overseeing of feature films in the final stages of editing and postproduction. Thanks to this award, this co-production between Spain and Brazil will be granted sound post-production services from DraxAudio, image post-production thanks to Aracne Digital, and distribution and subtitling at the hands of Festhome and 36 caracteres. The value of these specialized services is over 22,000 euros, which will help Isabella Lima complete the project.
The jury also decided to grant a Special Mention to My Mexican Bretzel, by Nuria Giménez "for inviting us to participate in a game in which one can appropriate from the other in a place of freedom and fantasy."
Other companies in the audiovisual sector such as Movistar +, Screenly, the Instituto del Cine and the TAI School also announced their awards during the event. The content team of Movistar+, headed by Cristina Merino, chose Impulso, the Emilio Belmonte-directed portrait of the creative process of the flamenco dancer Rocío Molina. Screenly has placed its bet on Tódalas mulleres que coñezo, which will be distributed on demand in movie theaters across Spain, "to expand and propagate this necessary conversation to free us from the fear and violence against women".
The TAI School granted the DOC-TAI Award to the up-and-coming filmmaking talent Brenda Boyer, director of *en lugar de nada, thanks to which she will get consulting on the development and production of her next project. For its part, the Instituto del Cine determined that the best film was Alejandra Molina’s, for the sound in Ainhoa: yo no soy ésa, and the Lens School selected El señor Liberto y los pequeños placeres as the winner of the Best Photography Award.