Trenches wins the DOK.international Main Competition at DOK.fest Munich
by Teresa Vena
- French director Loup Bureau has scooped the VIKTOR in the international section at this year's edition, while the VIKTOR Dok.deutsch was bestowed upon Living Together by Thomas Fürhapter
An international jury of three members (composed of Wenke Husman, editor of ZEIT Online; Thilo Kasper, team lead for Content Strategy at ARD Mediathek; and Maureen Gueunet, manager and curator at MUBI) have given the VIKTOR DOK.international in the main competition of this year's DOK.fest Munich (4-15 May) to Trenches [+see also:
film profile] by Loup Bureau, a black-and-white documentary that follows Ukrainian soldiers in the Donbas area. French director and journalist Bureau has covered several military conflicts in the last few years, such as the Arab Spring, the Syrian War and the Russian-Ukrainian conflict since the initial escalation in the Donbas region. Trenches is his feature debut.
The jury justified its decision with the following statement: “The calm that Bureau's images radiate is, of course, a deceptive one, and this is something that we, even as viewers, cannot forget for a second. At any moment, there could be another attack. And there is. The urgency of the film has increased immeasurably since its completion in 2021.” The prize money of €10,000 is sponsored by Bayerischer Rundfunk.
The winner of the VIKTOR Dok.deutsch, given to a film that deals with people and topics in the German-speaking world, was Living Together by Thomas Fürhapter. The prize, endowed with €5,000, was awarded by another jury of three, including Gesa Marten (editor, dramatic advisor and professor at the Film University Babelsberg), Edima Otuokon (co-founder of the Ladima Foundation) and Jennifer Stahl (director of the FIRST STEPS Award). The jury explained its decision to give the prize to the Austrian documentary about the international community in Vienna with the following words: “This is a precisely composed documentary that breaks down barriers in a cultural process that not only focuses on the protagonists, but also intentionally connects the audience to a deep cultural experience that deconstructs stereotypes.”
Another VIKTOR, the third-most-important award, went to a film in the “Horizonte” section. The nominees were films that direct their attention to countries with unstable structures. No Simple Way Home by Akuol de Mabior won the VIKTOR DOK.horizonte prize, sponsored by the Petra Kelly Foundation and worth €5,000. The jury, composed of Sharon Nuni (author and editor, head of Documentaries at ORF’s Culture department), Tortsen Frese (managing director of the distribution company Neue Visionen Filmverleih GmbH) and Victoria Leshchenko (programme director at the Docudays UA International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival), said it was particularly inspired by the positive and pragmatic nature of the protagonist, who faces up to her duty against all odds. The film tells the story of South Sudan’s political leadership in a very direct and intimate way and, at the same time, is the chronicle of a family with a strong mother-daughter relationship.
Here is the complete list of award winners at this year’s DOK.fest Munich:
Living Together – Thomas Fürhapter (Austria)
No Simple Way Home – Akuol de Mabior (South Sudan)
FFF Talent Award Documentary Film
Hoamweh Lung – Felix Klee (Germany)
Daughters – Jenifer Malmqvist (Sweden)
VFF Documentary Film Production Award
1001 Nights Apart – Sarvnaz Alambeigi (Iran)
German Documentary Film Music Award
This Stolen Country of Mine – Marc Wiese (Germany)
DOK.fest Award of SOS-Kinderdörfer weltweit
Children of the Mist – Ha Le Diem (Vietnam)
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