The film is produced by Norway’s producers Kristine Ann Skaret and Sarah-Winge Sørensen of Stray Dogs Norway.
The International Documentary Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) revealed the winners of its 36th edition competition programmes during the Awards Ceremony held at the International Theater Amsterdam (ITA) on November 16.
Palestinian filmmaker Mohamed Jabaly secured the title of Best Director in the International Competition for his film Life Is Beautiful (Al haya helwa), which narrates his experience of being stranded in Norway while producing his earlier film Ambulance. In 2014, the closure of the border to Gaza during Jabaly’s stay in Norway prevented his return. However, complications arose when he discovered that the computerized visa application form did not include Palestine as a country. The directing award comes with a €5,000 prize.
In a statement, the jury said: “A timely cinematic expression of the universal need to be recognised in our full humanity. A compelling indictment of the bureaucratic and political structures that deny that. A directorial tone that, almost impossibly, manages to find hope and humour amid unimaginable pain. An urgent call for freedom, freedom of movement, freedom of opportunity and the freedom to pursue our dreams.”
Armenian film1489 by Shoghakat Vardanyan clinched the IDFA Award for Best Film, while Ariel Kuaray Ortega and Ernesto de Carvalho secured the IDFA Award for Best Film in the Envision Competition for Canuto’s Transformation.
The International Competition jury comprised Emilie Bujès, Francesco Giai Via, Tabitha Jackson, Ada Solomon, and Xiaoshuai Wang.