Award ceremony in Duisburg! The ECFA Doc Award went to CHAMP by Cassandra Offenberg (the Netherlands). But another interesting prize was handed out this year for the first time.
In CHAMP, 14 year old kickboxer Esma – against all odds and fears – follows her dream of becoming a champion and having to get back up after being knocked down. Kickboxing is more than just a sport for Esma, it offers structure, support and an opportunity to vent, as emotions are brought to boiling point due to her mother’s illness. The jury stated: “Without showcasing it explicitly, the film conveys an insight into the family ties, that are marked as much by three generations of women as by Esma’s migrant background. We learn about both Esma’s strength and vulnerability.” The film convinced the jury members on an aesthetic level as well: “Through the three chosen formats – digital, 16 mm and smartphone – the filmmaker succeeds in creating atmospheric density, thus offering a profound visual experience on screen. A unique approach, complemented by the sound design and the choice of music.”
The ECFA Jury were Nicola Jones (Golden Sparrow, Germany), Dimitra Kouzi (Kinderdocs, Greece) and Victoria Ebel (Goethe Institut, France) (from left to right in the picture – with jury secretary Claudia Ziegenfuß). You’ll find an interview with Cassandra Offenberg in the next ECFA Journal.
The Selbst.Los! Cultural Foundation – Annelie and Wilfried Stascheit for the very first time awarded a prize for the Best Foreign Language Documentary at doxs!, endowed with € 6,000. The prize went to AATOS AND THE WORLD by Reetta Huhtanen (Finland, Belgium).
Six-year-old Aatos and his friends Amine and Flo from Molenbeek, a Brussels suburb, take centre stage in the international co-production GODS OF MOLENBEEK, from which AATOS AND THE WORLD (photo) was distilled as a short young audience documentary. Together they explore their surroundings and dare to ask questions of existential gravity. At the same time, they carefully observe how, after a terror attack in 2016, the mood out on the streets is changing.
Award sponsors Annelie and Wilfried Stascheit were impressed by the film’s detailed observations and social relevance: “It is the little hints that cause children to pause and wonder: police inspections, closed metro entries, pork meat in a dish – seemingly incidental irritations in a child’s everyday life, all souvenirs of the major social challenges of religious fanaticism and xenophobia. Instead of offering cheap answers, we participate in the children’s philosophical process of trying to formulate questions.”
The prize endowed with € 6.000 by the Selbst.Los! Kulturstiftung for the Best Foreign Language Documentary is presented in cooperation with the association ‘Freunde der Realität’ every two years, and includes the release of the winning film for educational work in Germany.