DokuBaku rewards the best documentaries [PHOTO]


November 11, 2021 2:50 p.m. (UTC + 04:00)


By Laman Ismayilova

The 5th DokuBaku International Documentary Film Festival concluded in Baku.

The main theme of this year’s festival was “Senses ±”, and most of the films presented are devoted to the inner and outer metamorphoses of people, their search for themselves and the meaning of their existence.

Some 56 films from 30 countries were screened as part of the festival. In addition, a retrospective of Azerbaijani documentary films was organized as part of the event.

At the closing ceremony of the festival, DokuBaku director Imam Hasanov noted that founded in 2017, DokuBaku is the first independent international documentary film festival, whose aim is to show documentaries from around the world.

The festival aims to find new names and support national documentary makers.

The jury included renowned documentary filmmakers such as Vitaly Mansky and Kristian Feigelson.

The international jury awarded the winners in the categories Best Feature Film, Best Short Film and Best Azerbaijani Film.

The winners of each category received a diploma and a handmade statuette – iHuman.

In addition, the festival hosts received two special prizes and – iCyborg, which were awarded to outstanding representatives of Azerbaijani cinematography for their special merit.

Maija Blafield’s film “Fantastic” (Finland) was named best international documentary short for its deep artistic reflection on the boundaries between the real and the imaginary.

“The Last” by Fariz Ahmadov (Azerbaijan) won the category Best Local Documentary Short for Poetic Slices of Life, illustrating the last chapter in the life of Vitaliy, one of the last inhabitants of Kurdili Island in the The Caspian sea.

“From the Neighborhood” (Portugal) by Diogo Varela Silva received the No Main Competition award for its dialogues on the lost glory of an old town, the memories evoked by its inhabitants and the mystical atmosphere brought by the narrators evoking their childhood.

In addition, the jury awarded several films special mentions.

Leylakhanim Ganbarli’s “A Butcher’s Daughter” (Azerbaijan) was highly regarded for its delicate anthropological approach to portraying her father’s daily activity.

Ginou Choueiri’s film “Rhythm of Oblivion” (Lebanon) was awarded for taking viewers on an exciting personal journey of the director’s memories, experiences and fears.

“My Quarantine Bear” by Weijia Ma (France) won the prize for demonstrating the difficulties of life in confinement for a creative person, for its light atmosphere and episodes reflecting the emotional side of people limited in their freedom.

The documentaries “Taming the Garden” by Salome Jashi (Georgia), “I’ll Stand By You” by Virginija Vareikyte and Maximilien Dejoie (Lithuania) and “80,000 Schnitzel” by Hannah Schweier (Germany) also received special mentions.

In addition, Mirsadig Agazadeh, Murad Ibrahimbekov, Khamis Muradov, Nizami Abbas and Ali Isa Jabbarov received commemorative awards.

Special iCyborg Prizes were also awarded to outstanding figures of Azerbaijani and world cinema for special services in the field of cinema, including Vitaly Mansky, Vagif Mustafayev and Chingiz Rasulzade (posthumously).

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