A NEW KIND OF WILDERNESS wins DOK.fest-Award of SOS-Kinderdörfer weltweit 2024


Norwegian director Silje Evensmo Jacobsen receives the DOK.fest Award of the SOS-Kinderdörfer weltweit 2024 for A NEW KIND OF WILDERNESS. Sincere congratulations! 

About the film: The Norwegian photographer Maria Gros Vatne and her husband Nik decide they want to live close to nature with their four children. The family wants to be free, independent and live self-sufficiently. The children are educated at home. However the idyll comes to an abrupt end: after Maria’s tragic death, the family are forced to rethink how they wish to live and find a way back to modern society. Barbara Off

Director and Writer: Silje Evensmo Jacobsen. Camera: Silje Evensmo Jacobsen, Karine Fosser a.o. Sound: Yngve Leidulv Sætre. Editing: Kristian Tveit, Christoffer HeieMusic: Olav Øyehaug. Production: A5 Film. Producer: Mari Bakke Riise. Length: 83 min. Distribution: DR sales. 

About the award winner
: Norwegian filmmaker Silje Evensmo Jacobsen, born in 1984, began her career in 2009 with the award-winning documentary film DAUGHTER OF GOD, which explores the complexity of gender relations through the life of a young boy in India. Over the past 15 years, she has directed other award-winning films and series, including the series TEAM INGEBRIGTSEN and the documentary FAITH CAN MOVE MOUNTAINS.

Jury statement

“The film A NEW KIND OF WILDERNESS follows a Norwegian family in their quest for an alternative natural lifestyle. Full of idealism, parents Maria and Nik want to bring up and home school their four children Ulv, Falk, Freja, and Ronja in Norway’s nature in freedom and in the wilderness. After Maria dies of cancer, Nik tries to carry on with their shared alternative dream of a life far from civilisation on his own, pushing the family to its limits. The four children experience lots of love and affection but must come to terms with the loss of their mother.

The inability of the deeply grieving children to express themselves is illustrated by the approach of the older half-sister Ronja, who has lost the mother who united them. She cannot access her family since the link that binds them has been lost. Her relationship with her half-siblings reflects their dramatic loss. She moves to the far north. It is only through this new experience and her closeness to nature that she manages to open up emotionally. She realises how important the relationship to her family is for her personal development and this allows her to reconnect with her family, especially her sister.

Silje Evensmo Jacobsen leads us through A NEW KIND OF WILDERNESS through an outstanding dramatic structure. A play of light and shade and a great filmic aesthetic take us on this adventure. The film shows a lifestyle that poses questions about how we all deal with nature and thus subtly asks socio-political questions: how do we live in this world? How do we treat nature and how do our children learn to relate to the environment and the natural world? In a touching way that allows us to be deeply immersed in the story, Silje Evensmo Jacobsen evokes deep emotions and calls on us to reflect about our planet.”

The film at the festival

The winning film A NEW KIND OF WILDERNESS will be screened at the 39th DOK.fest München in May 2024:

2 to 12 May at the Munich venues
6 to 20 May @home

The DOK.fest-Award of SOS-Kinderdörfer weltweit will be presented at a festive award ceremony with film screening on Sunday, 12 May 2024 at 6.00 pm at Amerikahaus.

An award for unique perspectives

The DOK.fest Award of SOS-Kinderdörfer weltweit honours films across all sections that make the perspective of children and young people visible and tangible in a remarkable way. It is donated by B.O.A Videofilmkunst and endowed with 3,000 euros. The award will be presented for the eleventh time at DOK.fest München 2024.

Many thanks to our award donors and partners:

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