Posted by Larry Gleeson
For many years now, the Berlin International Film Festival has been committed to documentary film and diverse documentary forms. This was evident not only in the programmes of the different sections, initiatives and special series but also in the European Film Market (EFM).
Thanks to the support of Glashütte Original, watch manufacturer from Saxony, the Berlin International Film Festival is launching a new award, the Glashütte Original Documentary Award.
The Glashütte Original Documentary Award is endowed with € 50,000, funded by Glashütte Original. The prize money will be split between the film’s director and producer. A total of 16 documentary entries from the current programmes of the Competition, Berlinale Special, Panorama, Forum, Generation and Perspektive Deutsches Kino sections are nominated for the Glashütte Original Documentary Award.
The prize will be presented during the official Award Ceremony in the Berlinale Palast on February 18. In addition to the prize money, Glashütte Original will also provide the trophy, which will be finely crafted in the company’s manufactory in Saxony.
A three-member jury will pick the winner:
Daniela Michel (Mexico)
Born in Mexico City, Daniela Michel is a film critic and founding director of the Morelia International Film Festival, an annual event launched in 2003 to support a new generation of Mexican filmmakers. After studying filmmaking she received a degree in English Literature. She has curated retrospectives of Mexican cinema in and outside Mexico. Michel has also served on the Jury for the “Un Certain Regard” and “La Semaine de la Critique” sections of the Cannes Film Festival, the Venice Film Festival, the Sundance Film Festival, the Locarno International Film Festival, the San Sebastian International Film Festival, the International Documentary Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), the Sarajevo Film Festival, among other festivals, as well as the Rockefeller Foundation’s Media Arts Fellowships and the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative.
Laura Poitras (USA)
Laura Poitras, who was born in the USA, first studied at the San Francisco Art Institute and then The New School in New York. Her work crosses the boundaries of documentary film, journalism, and art. In 2006 she began her 9/11 Trilogy with the film My Country, My Country, for which she received her first Oscar nomination. This was followed by The Oath (2010), which like My Country, My Country, was shown in the Berlinale’s Forum section. With CITIZENFOUR, the third part of her trilogy, Poitras won the Academy Award for Best Documentary in 2015. With this film about Edward Snowden, she also took home awards from the German Film Prize, the Director’s Guild of America, and BAFTA. Her reporting on NSA surveillance has appeared in Der Spiegel, The Guardian, and the Washington Post, and received a Pulitzer Prize and the Nannen Prize for Press Freedom. In 2016, she mounted her first solo museum exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art. She is co-creator of the visual journalism project, Field of Vision.
Samir (Iraq / Switzerland)
Samir was born in Bagdad and moved with his family to Switzerland when he was seven years old. In the 1980s, after studying at Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK) and training to be a typesetter, he began working as a cameraman, director, and screenwriter. Over the years he has made more than 40 short and full-length films. In 1994, he – and documentary filmmaker Werner Schweizer and producer Karin Koch – took over Dschoint Ventschr (spoken like Joint Venture) Filmproduktion, which concentrates on promoting young Swiss talents. Samir has directed both fiction and documentary films for the cinema and television – including Snow White (2005), which received multiple awards – as well as many stage productions. His documentary Iraqi Odyssey was screened in the Berlinale Panorama in 2015 and submitted by Switzerland for an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.
The following films are nominated for the Glashütte Original Documentary Award:
Beuys – Germany
By Andres Veiel
Berlinale Special (1)
La libertad del diablo (Devil’s Freedom) – Mexico
By Everardo González
Belinda – France
By Marie Dumora
El Pacto de Adriana – Chile
By Lissette Orozco
Erase and Forget – United Kingdom
By Andrea Luka Zimmerman
Fünf Sterne (Five Stars) – Germany
By Annekatrin Hendel
Istiyad Ashbah (Ghost Hunting) – France / Palestine/ Switzerland / Qatar
By Raed Andoni
For Ahkheem – USA
By Jeremy S. Levine and Landon Van Soest
Maman Colonelle (Mama Colonel) – Democratic Republic of Congo / France
By Dieudo Hamadi
El mar la mar – USA
By Joshua Bonnetta and J.P. Sniadecki
Mzis qalaqi (City of the Sun) – Georgia / USA / The Netherlands / Qatar
By Rati Oneli
Tigmi n Igren (House in the Fields) – Morocco / Qatar
By Tala Hadid
Almost Heaven – United Kingdom
By Carol Salter
Shkola nomer 3 (School Number 3) – Ukraine / Germany
By Yelizaveta Smith, Georg Genoux
Soldado (Soldier) – Argentina
By Manuel Abramovich
Perspektive Deutsches Kino (1)
Eisenkopf (Ironhead) – Germany
By Tian Dong
All nominated films will celebrate their world premiere at the Berlinale 2017.
(Source: Berlinale Press Office)