Winning Films 2018
ADA-Winner: MABACHER - #UNGEBROCHEN
Stefan Wolner | Austria 2017 | 80 Min. | OmeU
Jury Statement: The amusing portrait of the Youtube star Mabacher impresses with its humorous but sensitive view on the protagonist's everyday life which is full of surprises, barriers and above all a fight against cliches. The filmmakers are at eye level with Mabacher and thus impressively prove that films about people with disabilities can get along without stereotypes and victimisation. Gradually, the protagonist's autonomy becomes evident and unfolds as it is not represented as something remarkable but as a given. Portraits of people with disabilities are rare and often limited in their depiction, however, the film's witty but respectful approach confirmed the jury's decision: we award this year's ADA, Austrian Documentary Award, to Mabacher #unbroken.
IDA-Winner: 20th CIRCUIT SUSPECTS
Hesam Eslami | Iran 2017 | 73 Min. OmeU
Jury Statement: In 20th Circuit Suspects, director Hesam Eslami develops a rich and intriguing portrait of a male adolescent gang that runs the streets of Tehran breaking into cars. The access he gained with the young criminals, who relate to him with candid familiarity, allows Eslami to show their work, lives, aspirations, without any judgment of values or superficial morality. The guerrilla style of film-making combined with a subtle reflexive approach suits the subject matter perfectly. Not simple another coming of age tale, what we have here is an engaging story of becoming a man under precarious social and political conditions in an increasingly alienating world.
Special Mention:WOMEN OF FREEDOM
Abeer Zeibak Haddad | Palestine 2016 | 57 Min. | OmeU
Jury Statement: Women of Freedom is a striking exemplar of vitally important stories that we need to make, watch, and hear. Following different testimonies on honour killing in Palestine, Abeer Zeibak Haddad shows the complexity of a world caught in between the habitual pull of tradition, under which atrocities perpetrated against women endure, and the urgent need for change. The film is witness to the courage of the women and families who, breaking a taboo, speak of their own suffering under the deep injustice of a cultural practice.
EVA-WINNER: REMAKE OF A SUMMER
Magali Bragard und Enjolras Séverine | France 2017 | 96 Min. | OmeU
Jury Statement: We are very happy to announce this year's winner of the EVA competition: It is Remake of a Summer directed by Magali Bragard and Severine Enjolras. The film is a wonderful homage to Cinema verité and the cineastic and anthropological vision of Jean Rouch and Edgar Morin. Their Chronique d'un été/Chronicle of a Summer (F1961, b/w) introduced anthropological field research to the cinema and to a large audience. At the same time it heavily influenced French documentary as well as fictional film-making by its application of a social research method as an aesthetic, cineastic tool. This seminal film also contains one of the first testimonies of a Holocaust survivor – the artist Marceline Loridan-Ivens, widow of Ioris Yvens, who talks about her experience of WW II and the time in Auschwitz-Birkenau in a famous monologue at the Place de la Concorde. Loridan-Ivens is also the key person for Bragard and Enjolras’ Remake of a Summer as they take a fresh approach to the film by questioning themselves in their attempt to do 'a retake' of the original in the present by following its methods, aesthetics and locations. Talking to people in the streets of Paris and its banlieus, at their chosen activities, spots and places, people and camera equally participate. The result is a beautiful film, which demonstrates the strength of this cineastic language but also the validity of a research method; the simple question “Are you happy?” always yields sheer unlimited answers and opens fields of vision and understanding. This documentary shows that the direct and dialogical approach to ‘the people’ is and always will be the ideal way for social and cultural sciences as well as for politics to understand people’s needs and desires, before answering questions like „What is to be done?“. It also shows that the ‘pursuit of happiness’ is not only a timeless task of every individual human being, but should also be the central question of society, culture, politics, and philosophy. To ask „Are you happy?“ will never be outdated, and should be asked in every generation, time and again. This is exactly what Magali Bragard and Severine Enjolras are doing.
Special Mention: KHO KI PA LÚ – UP DOWN & SIDEWAYS
Anushka Meenakshi, Iswar Srikumar | India 2017 | 83 Min. | OmeU
We would like to award a special mention to the film Up Down & Sideways / Kho ki pa lü by the directors Anushka Meenakshi and Iswar Srikumar. We were spellbound by the film’s extraordinary rendition of the Li, the songs sung by farmers in Nagaland. The songs and the ambient sound together create a highly refined soundtrack that take the viewer inside the hard, physical labour performed in small cooperative groups of people working the land, the müle, collectively. The durational aspect of the film – its long shots depicting the farm work accompanied by songs, which are rarely cut short – works extraordinarily well in conveying the sense of the collective working and singing together. The songs take the viewer through the long repetitive movements in the same way that they take the workers through the day. Added to all these elements is a flawless photography of a stunning landscape. Congratulations to the filmmakers.
ISA-WINNER: THE LAKE
Daria Blokhina | Russia 2016 | 30 Min. | OmeU
ESSA-WINNER: MIĘDZY NAMI – BETWEEN US
Maciej Miller | Poland 2017 | 30 Min. | OmeU
From the 4th to the 10th of May 2018, the ethnocineca - International Documentary Film Festival Vienna will transform the Votiv Kino and Kino De France into the center of international documentary film. For the 12th edition of the festival, a special program has been compiled from more than 500 film submissions covering different issues of political, social and cultural life worldwide. Fifty-six films, an extensive side programme, as well as numerous film talks with international filmmakers invite visitors to immerse themselves in the world of documentary and ethnographic film. Five focus programs will highlight recent social discourses and developments while inviting open discussion to question and critically comment on these topics.
The festival opens with the new film, It happened and took place right here. Volkhard Knigge and Buchenwald, by Siegfried Ressel, who uses clear words and images to sharpen the view of past, as well as present, social movements. It is important to take a close look, and while remembering the past, not to forget about the future. In the face of national and global political events, this is an important film and appeal to humanity.
With five competition sections, ethnocineca will continue to focus on cutting-edge documentary cinema. In the three competitions - International Documentary Award (IDA), Austrian Documentary Award (ADA) and Excellence in Visual Anthropology Award (EVA) - an international jury will award this year's winners. In addition, we are once again looking forward to receiving our two short film awards: The International Shorts Award (ISA) and the ethnocineca Student Shorts Award (ESSA) - where the audience will become the jury.
This year's festival focus Whose Story is it? asks in a diverse supporting program for authorship, narrative styles and types of documentary film forms. At this year's Keynote Lecture, Paolo Favero from the University of Antwerp will discuss the challenges of new documentary methods in the digitally networked age. In the Masterclass, Australian filmmaker David Fedele explores documentary narrative strategies and discusses ethical and moral aspects of responsible and collaborative storytelling. At this year's panel discussion in cooperation with dok.at, producer Marion Guth, filmmaker Alexandra D'Onofrio and filmmaker Ascan Breuer will shed light on the different ways of narrating, including new media and technologies in documentary cinema. In discussion with Grace Winter we will explore the possibilities and challenges of audio-visual processing and archiving of historical film material.
A special highlight of this year is the cooperation with the Film Festival in Exile: Syria. Three films will be screened in the program at De France Cinema on May 9th, titled "Seven Years of Famine, Seven Years of Plenty ?!", giving a direct look at the human side of the Syrian Disaster in the seven years from 2011 to 2018. Complementing the film program, a panel discussion will take place on May 8th at Weltmuseum Wien. We look forward to brave films and exciting discussions and are delighted to host the Film Festival in Exile: Syria as part of this year's ethnocineca.
This year’s program is dedicated to a contemporary and critical documentary cinema, seeing itself as an initiator and platform for discussion in times of political change, and once again focusing on questions of human realities and how we live together.
We wish you a stimulating festival!