9th ZagrebDox Closed with the Official Award Ceremony


The 9th ZagrebDox was closed by the festival director Nenad Puhovski: "I greet you at the end of this one and the beginning of the tenth, birthday edition of ZagrebDox!" The main festival awards, Big Stamps, went to 'Kudzu Vine' and 'Tzvetanka'. All other information about award-winning films and filmmakers follow.

With the official award ceremony, tonight at the Cineplexx theatre we officially closed the ninth edition of ZagrebDox. At the very beginning the visitors were greeted by the festival director Nenad Puhovski. I greet you at the end of this one and the beginning of the next, birthday edition of ZagrebDox. I thank the ZagrebDox audience who made all this possible, said Puhovski.

My Generation Award was announced then, given for the second year in a row by Nenad Puhovski to the best author of his generation. We established this ward to acknowledge the filmmakers whose systematic work indebted the documentary practice, either with their involvement, or with their art, he added. The said award went to Private Universe by Helena Třeštiková. This is another outstanding film in her recognisable style, following life stories through a longer period of time, said Puhovski to explain his choice.

Two new award categories were then presented: the Phone Dox Award for best film made by a cell phone. Filmmakers from across the world submitted their short films and five of them were selected for screening. The best among them was picked by the jury consisting of producer Vera Robić-Škarica and directors Nedžad Begović and Dalibor Matanić – Deadline/Lifeline by Tomislav Jelinčić. The author managed in this documentary miniature to convey contrasts within his own lifestyle. This film also highlights the advantages of cell phone as a new medium for successful instant capture of life moments, said the jury explanation.

The other new award is the one for the Best Teen Dox film, courtesy of a jury consisting students from Zagreb’s Private Classical Gymnasium. The special mention in this category went to Amar (all great achievements require time) by Andrew Hinton. The main award went to Little World by Marcel Barrena. Their explanation says: This inspiring tale about love, family, desire and adventure fascinates and provokes emotions from the very beginning. In a large selection of film we opted for this one mainly because of its protagonist, whose touching story stimulates inspiration, not pity. His cheerfulness and positive attitude make us think and releases us from prejudice. It proves that our shortcomings, big or small, should not prevent us from fulfilling our goals. Director Marcel Barrena thanked in a video message: I am particularly glad that this award comes from a young jury because they are the filmmakers of the future. Even more important is that we conveyed the message of love and that anything is possible in this world!

The Movies that Matter Award is presented to a film which best promotes human rights, to the opinion of the jury consisting of theorist and philosopher Srećko Horvat, programme manager at Centre for Peace Studies Sandra Benčić and director of International Verzio Human Rights Film Festival Oksana Sarkisova. The special mention went to the Austrian film Mama Illegal by Ed Moschitz.

The main award in this category went to The Act of Killing by Joshua Oppenheimer. 'The Act of Killing' is poignant, disturbing and provocative. It has a strong potential for initiating the process of dealing with the past crimes and traumas, and, importantly, exposes the role that cinema plays in shaping societal values which can induce and justify atrocities as well as expose them and call for their critical examination. The jury would like to add that the film raises important moral dilemmas as the filmmaking process could be also read as empowering for the perpetrators. We recognize 'The Act of Killing's' longlasting impact and potential for social change making it a real movie that matters, said the jury's explanation.

Joshua Oppenheimer left Zagreb a few days ago but he sent a thank you note when he received the news of the award. All of us involved in making 'The Act of Killing' are extremely honoured. By giving this award the jury recognised that as human beings we should overcome our fear and face the painful truth. We are all closer to perpetrators than we’d like to admit. However, until we face that reality, there is no room for change. I am thankful for this award. But I am even more thankful that you had the courage to use 'The Act of Killing' to sincerely explore the world around you and yourselves, said Joshua Oppenheimer.

The Little Stamp, presented to the best film by an author below 35 years of age, courtesy of the Young Jury – Dick Fontaine, head of documentary department at NTFS, Beaconsfield, director Marta Minorowicz and director Tonći Gaćina – went to the Romanian film Turn Off the Lights by Ivana Mladenović. 'Turn Off the Lights' shows real empathy for its problematic subjects but is clear-eyed about their shortcomings, using entirely appropriate "in your face" technique. The award also goes for honesty and big sensitivity the author peregrinates the dark world of her characters, said the jury’s explanation. Special mentions in this category went to the Romanian film 24 Buckets, 7 Mice, 18 Years by Marius Iacob and the Polish film Rogalik by Pawel Ziemilski.

The Regional Jury consisting of Hanka Kastelicová, executive producer of HBO Europe’s documentary programme, director Ines Tanović and producer Siniša Juričić awarded the special mentions to two Croatian films: How’s Everyone at Home? by Kaja Šišmanović and The Verdict by Đuro Gavran.

The main award, Big Stamp in regional competition, went to the Bulgarian-Swedish film Tzvetanka by Youlian Tabakov. Using a careful and refined cinematic language, Tzvetanka takes us through the most intimate moments of the main protagonist’s life. Director’s powerful visual signature and perfectionist approach to every segment of filmmaking lead the viewers to a world in which even distant past has a strong emotional charge. Even though the film is a story about a simple Bulgarian doctor, it conveys a universal message. In order to receive the award in person, director Youlian Tabakov came to Zagreb today.

Director Vlatka Vorkapić chaired the international jury, alongside director and producer Audrius Stonys and film critic and journalist Dragan Rubeša. A special mention in the international competition went to the films The Imposter by Bart Layton and Elena by Petra Costa.

The main award in this category went to the American film Kudzu Vine by Josh Gibson. With a train taking us into the world seemingly completely different from our own, Gibson draws us in an area covered with kudzu plant, which turns it into a surreal space similar to an old reanimated photograph in a wondrous combination of archaic documentary and experimental film. It is at the same time also an incredibly real world in which people live in coexistence with nature. The surface of this seemingly cataclysmic world hides out need to take most of what it wants to give us, be it food or art, said the international jury’s explanation.

After the award ceremony we screened the Swedish film The Prize of Gold by Folke Ryden.