Winners of DOK.fest 2015

The winning films of DOK.fest 2015 have been honored. Find here the winners and jury statements.

VIKTOR Main Competition
Donated by Bayerischer Rundfunk and Global Screen. Worth 10,000 EUR.
The nominated films feature a wide contentual and formal spectrum and stand out because of their artistic quality
Goes to:

Denmark, Poland 2014, 105 Min
A totally normal life, like most people take for granted, is a long way away for Yula. She lives in Europe’s biggest landfill site, a few kilometres from Moscow. The only thing left for her is hope for a better future. Far from social romanticism and without dwelling on misery, in poetic images the film tells a present-day fairytale of humanity in an inhumane world.

Jury statement:
For a captivating documentary with a remarkable story. For the filmmaker’s ongoing commitment over 14 years to the dwellers of Moscow’s rubbish dumps. For the special access we are allowed to the protagonists. For the striking images. For placing the audience within the political and social context of Russian society. For incorporating many layers in one piece of art.

Special Mention:

THE QUEEN OF SILENCE – Agnieszka Zwiefka
Poland, Germany 2014, 80 Min
Denisa is partially deaf and battles her way through the tough everyday life in a Roma community somewhere in Poland. The ten-year-old has never learned to talk, yet she loves to dance and to create her own colourful and bright musical world.

Jury statement
An illuminating film about dreams and reality, which skillfully combines music, dance and scenes of the Roma community’s everyday life. A documentary about a compelling character, who, despite her disability, shows a strong passion for life.

Ruth Diskin, Managing Director Ruth Diskin Films Ltd., Jerusalem 
Jarmila Outratová, Leiterin der Industry-Sektion des Jihlava International Documentary Film Festivals
Volker Heise, Geschäftsführer Zero One Filmproduktion Berlin


VIKTOR DOK.deutsch 2015
Donated by Planet, worth 5.000 EUR. The nominated films deal with people and topics from the german-speaking world.
Goes to

AUS DEM ABSEITS – Simon Brückner
Germany 2014, 112 Min
The filmmaker, Simon Brückner, goes in search of his long-deceased father, one of the central figures of the German students’ movement. A picture of a multi-faceted character emerges and a piece of German history is retold.

Jury statement
Part historical drama, part love story: this is a film that brings us close to a person who we barely knew but would like to get to know. Peter Brückner was an intellectual with an atypically frank nature. A political human being for whom the label of dissident was an honorary title. A damaged man who knew how to turn his injuries into positives. AUS DEM ABSEITS recalls this forgotten character. And above all, the director Simon Brückner introduces us to his father, who he never got to know properly himself. AUS DEM ABSEITS is sensitive and adept in its use of a wide range
of media. A film that recounts the fragmentary essence of memory - and perhaps of documentary
per se - its fragility and constructed nature. In this way, he brings Peter Brückner back to life. We want to read his work, find out more about him, and get to know him - the intellectual and the father.

Special Mention:

FANG DEN HAIDER – Nathalie Borgers
Austria, Germany 2015, 90 Min
How can it be that, despite the corruption scandals he has been associated with, Jörg Haider is portrayed as a hero after his accidental death? Nathalie Borgers goes to investigate in Carinthia. Her discoveries range from the comically bizarre to the strangely vexing.

Jury statement:
Perhaps the most discussed film by the jury: in FANG DEN HAIDER, director Nathalie Borgers takes us on an investigative journey through Haider’s Carinthia. This film about insider relationships and mythmaking releases us from an enriching, albeit disturbing state of bewilderment.

JURY DOK.deutsch
Georg Bütler, Senior Programmer Zürich Film Festival 
Sebastian Höglinger, Leiter der Diagonale - Festival des österreichischen Films, Graz 
Rüdiger Suchsland, Journalist & Filmcritic, Director, Berlin

VIKTOR DOK.horizonte 2015

Donated by Petra-Kelly-Stiftung. Worth 3.000 EUR. The nominated films focus on volatile countries
Goes to

A psychiatric hospital on the outskirts of Dakar: who gets cured here and by whom? The psychiatrists consult with traditional healers. An intelligent, visually elaborate investigation of insanity and approaches towards it in postcolonial society.

Jury statement
The film begins in the corridor of a psychiatric institution in the Senegal that is illuminated by dazzling white light. A young man is having his head shaved. The director Joris Lachaise integrates us into his space; we cannot escape the distress and uncertainty and there are no clear classifications. Doctors trained in scientific medicine and traditional healers enter into a dialogue. Here symptoms of illnesses are objectively
understood to be culturally specific and are dealt with accordingly. Psychopharmaceuticals come up against goat’s blood and isolation cells meet Christian fundamentalists. The film, CE QU’IL RESTE DE LA FOLIE positively explodes with its propensity for discourse, takes an unusual formal approach and captivates with its visual strength. An intellectual debate is made tangible. ‘Remnants of madness’ is an outstandingly crafted piece of art that stunned and convinced us from its very first images.

Special Mention:

Kolumbien, Spanien 2015, 70 Min 

Jury statement:
We would like to give a special mention to the Columbian film, LA SELVA INFLADA. The director has succeeded in creating a poetic narrative that illustrates young people’s conflicting feelings about the jungle and their boarding school. The images he has found evoke mythical forces.

JURY DOK.horizonte
Jenny Billeter, Leiterin der Sektion FOKUS, Solothurner Filmtage 
Cornelia Klauß, Kuratorin des Bundesverbands Kommunaler Filmarbeit Berlin 
Dr. Andreas Ströhl, Leiter der Abteilung Kultur und Information, Goethe-Institut München

Kino Kino Audience Award of DOK.fest München

ELECTROBOY – Marcel Gisler
CH 2014, 113 Min

FFF-Documentary Talent Award 2015
Sponsored by FilmFernsehFonds Bayern, worth 5.000 EUR, for upcoming Bavarian directors.
Goes to

Germany 2014, 83 Min
For 17 years the independent television show, “The Atheist Experience,” has been broadcasted from Texas. Its presenters discuss questions of belief, politics, abortion and creationism with Christian callers, maintaining their sense of humour throughout. It is not always easy to be an atheist in the bible belt.

Jury statement
Austin, Texas, USA – this is the home of the radio and internet programme, “The Atheist Experience.” Ralf Bücheler introduces the presenters of the programme,
who are in a minority as they doggedly tackle religious fanaticism in America. In a seemingly incidental manner, the film reveals the alarming dominance of ultraconservative Christianity here in the bible belt. The arms lobby meets Tea Party supporters and simple patriotism. The director has succeeded in taking an effective and impressive look at a radicalised America that we find terrifying!

Special mention:

ABDO – Jakob Gross
Germnay 2015, 74 Min

Jury statement:

The director takes us to the streets of post-revolutionary
Cairo. We get to know Abdo, a young Egyptian who has lived a turbulent existence between bloody street fighting, fanatical football violence, chilling and the hopelessness of today’s youth in North Africa. We were impressed by the intensity of the images, the likes of which we have never seen before. We look forward to Jakob Gross’ next work with great anticipation

JURY FFF-Förderpreis Dokumentarfilm 
Markus Aicher, Leiter der Koordinationsstelle Kino/Film, Bayerischer Rundfunk
Nicole Leykauf, Geschäftsführerin, Leykauf Film GmbH München
Werner Fuchs, Geschäftsführer, Zorro Filmverleih GmbH München

German Documentary Music Award 2015
Dotated by Förder- und Hilfsfonds des Deutschen Komponistenverbandes,
goes to
Paradox Paradise (John Gürtler, Jan Miserre und Lars Voges) for their composition for the film

ABOVE AND BELOW –  Nicolas Steiner
Schweiz, Deutschland 2015, 118 Min


DOK.fest Preis of SOS-Kinderdörfer weltweit 2015
Donated by B.O.A Videofilmkunst, worth 3.000 Euro
Goes to:

Rumänien 2014, 93 Min 
Three siblings on the margins of Romanian society. Toto, Ana und Andreea live among heroin addicts. Their mother is in jail. Yet they battle on, they dance and they learn. A moving and energetic drama about dreams and a childhood amid great adversity “…strong and stubborn…”

Jury statement
Emmy prize-winner Alexander Nanau has succeeded in creating a wonderful observational documentary
with his film TOTO AND HIS SISTERS, which has a narrative that allows its viewers an uncompromising and profound insight into a disturbing living environment. It is a film that tells of the great suffering, infinite courage and astonishing strength of a child. 10-year old Toto lives with his family on the fringes of Romanian society. His mother is in prison; his older sister, Ana (17), takes heroin and the second sister, Andrea (15), is always escaping her so-called family. Little Toto struggles day in day out to maintain his dignity within this incomprehensively hard environment.
He takes small steps to free himself from this milieu, accompanied by an adult friend, by learning to dance, read and write.
The film relentlessly shows what it means to children to be confronted by the reality that drug addiction destroys family ties. Sometimes for children, “family” is the most dangerous place in the world. This film’s biggest achievement lies in the closeness with its protagonists and the intensity
with which it immerses its audience in this world. A touching and shocking film, but also a courageous and optimistic one, that broaches the issue of child independence.

Prof. Dr. Peter Arens, ZDF Leiter der ZDF-Hauptredaktion Kultur, Geschichte und Wissenschaft
Christine Kehrer, Head of TV/Video SOS-Kinderdörfer weltweit
Prof. Heribert Prantl, Chefredaktion Süddeutsche Zeitung München 
Sonja Scheider, Dokumentarfilmredakteurin BR
Dr. Wilfried Vyslozil, Vorstand SOS-Kinderdörfer weltweit
Mehr Informationen zur Jury

Award by Untertitel-Werkstatt Münster 2015
For barrier-free caption, worth 5,500 EU

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NICHT ALLES SCHLUCKEN – Jana Kalms, Piet Stolz und Sebastian Winkels
Germany 2015, 86 Min
“None of the psycho-pharmaceutical drugs have a healing approach. They subdue symptoms.” NICHT ALLES SCHLUCKEN highlights the eternal stigma of mental illness, the power of medicine and questions our perceptions of normality and mental health.

Jury statement
90 minutes of total therapy. One room; 26 people. Thoughts are interwoven; sentences become monsters and allow terrible images to emerge in our mind’s eye. This is the most formally consistent
film that we have seen. NICHT ALLES SCHLUCKEN soberly debates a charged topic. Without exposing the protagonists, the camera focuses on faces, gestures and expressions. Perspectives are interlaced in a gently moderated rhythm of montage. The three directors, Jana Kalms, Piet Stolz and Sebastian Winkels, introduce us to the regime of psychiatry – the medicalised
immobilisation of patients - with a precise, earnest, indignant and never blustering approach.
A film that campaigns against sadness. A film that demonstrates that every political statement is worthy of its own aesthetic form.

JURY DOK.deutsch
Georg Bütler, Senior Programmer, Zürich Film Festival
Sebastian Höglinger, Leiter der Diagonale – Festival des österreichischen Films, Graz
Rüdiger Suchsland, Journalist, Filmkritiker und Regisseur, Berlin

Megaherz Filmschool Award 2015
worth 3.000 Euro,
goes to:

Niederlandse Filmacademie

Jury statement:
The winning film is a small film from the first moment: a daughter speaks with her mother. The young woman asks herself if her life has been predetermined by the women in her family who all got by without men. With this personal encounter the filmmaker manages to make family structures visible. This self-reflection takes on a political dimension. Charming, playful and creative - the film is a historical exploration and gives us motivation to look for stories on our doorsteps and gives us the desire to make films.
ARRI pitch award 2015
Worth 5,000 EUR. 1st prize for the best new talent concept.
goes to:

ALIYAH -  Rafael Bondy (ZhdK)

Jury statement
In a convincing, confidently delivered pitch, Raphael Bondy (ALIYAH) tells the story of a search for happiness set against a complex political situation. The Epstein family come from a middle class background and have two children. They must make a decision: to settle for their long-familiar surroundings or leave France for a new life in the Holy Land. Here life no longer seems worth living due to the open aggression they experience from Muslims and Right-wing extremists. There a no-less aggressive law of return offers them an all-inclusive emigration to a homeland that they only know from visits and whose language they don’t speak. Trapped by the fear of discrimination
and the fear of the unknown ALIYAH takes a stance on politics and paranoia and thereby gives us awkward insights into present-day Europe. We wish Raphael Bondy and his team great success!