/press release 2018
The 10th Viewpoint Documentary Film Festival Ghent kicked off this year with the international premiere of The Limits of my World by Heather Cassano. The American documentary follows a nonverbal young man’s transition from the school system into adulthood. Brian has autism and faces the daily challenges of adjusting to his new life. Filmed from the intimate perspective of his older sister Heather, this documentary seeks to understand Brian’s personality beneath his disability. According to the jury members 'a confronting and powerful view on the gift of life'.
During the course of the festival filmgoers could catch 23 feature and short documentary films — selections from among the 1,500 submissions the festival received this year from 69 different countries.
Special guest of this year's festival was Peter Entell who also presented his feature documentary Josh's Trees. Peter Entell is an American-born award winning documentary filmmaker, living in Switzerland. Originally studied antropology but later decided for documentary filmmaking. He has filmed in Europe, Africa, and Asia on film projects with social, political, and environmental subjects. Recognitions include the Guggenheim Foundation grant, the Canvas Prize at the Viewpoint Documentary Film Festival and the Grand Prize of the Jury at the Montreal International Film Festival.
Today Viewpoint Documentary Film Festival Ghent announced the award winners from the fest. The 2018 Viewpoint Documentary Film Festival Ghent prize winners are:
Documentary Feature Jury Award – GRAB AND RUN (SPAIN) BY ROSER CORELLA
Since Kyrgyzstan gained its Independence in 1991, there has been a revival of the ancient practice of Ala-Kachuu, which translates roughly as “grab and run”. More than half Kyrgyz women are married after being kidnapped by the men who become their husbands. Some escaped after violent ordeals, but most are persuaded to stay by tradition and fear of scandal. Although the practice is said to have its root in nomadic customs, the tradition remains at odds with modern Kyrgyzstan. Ala-Kachuu was outlawed during Soviet era and remains illegal under the kyrgyz criminal code, but the law has rarely been enforced to protect women from this violent practice.
Documentary Feature Public Jury Award – ZAATARI DJINN (NETHERLANDS) BY CATHERINE VAN CAMPEN
In Jordan a tent town called Zaatari has been erected in the middle of the blistering desert. It’s now home to refugees from the war in Syria. While it offers a roof over their heads, resources are scarce and the weather can be awfully harsh. Regardless, the community tries to make the best of things. The most resilient people are the kids, who make up over 80% of the town’s population. Some, like Miryam and Hammoudi, are able to survive through escapism via Shakespeare and material possessions. Others are struggling to adjust. The depressed Farras is forced to work hard, while troublemaker Fatma causes her mother grief with daily hijinks. Because of their innocence, the experience of war is different from a child’s perspective. Their spirits can be uplifted by turning paper into a soccer ball or insects into a zoo. Zaatari Djinn tells the story of these four children from a point-of-view perspective, offering an intimate look at a day in their shoes. Despite the horrors around them, they are still beautiful little dreamers.
Documentary Short Jury Award – WIFI PLAZA CUBA (SWITZERLAND) BY ADRIAN KELTERBORN
The Cuban soprano singer Maria Dolores Garcia no longer has an audience. These days, the residents of her town San Antonio de los Banos prefer to spend their evenings in the central plaza, where they have access to Wi-Fi. Since the audience won’t come to the theatre, Maria Dolores Garcia decides to go to the Wi-Fi plaza and sing a song for the people gathered there.
Documentary Short Public Jury Award – KOKA, THE BUTCHER (GERMANY) BY BENCE MÁTÉ
A respected figure in Cairo’s pigeon fighting world is leading his area into a decisive battle. Under immense pressure from his conservative community to quit his passion and marry, he is faced with the possibility that the upcoming race will be his last one.
/official selection 2019