Okay, folks, down and dirty this is, 'cause I'm posting this from a party on a houseboat on a canal in Amsterdam. Life is hard. Seriously, it's been a huge challenge to post here just due to the sheer volume of things to see and do during festival/market time here--the biggest doc fest and market in the world. It hasn't been super easy navigating the festival, although all the venues are close and the volunteer staff, for the most part, is as helpful as they can be with people clamoring for access and passes.
Tonight the nominations for the 20th annual awards ceremony that will take place Saturday night were announced in a charming ceremony hosted by Women Make Movies' Debra Zimmerman. Each of the nominating committees came up to the stage and announced the finalists for the various prizes that carry a good deal of heft on the international scene.
At 4:00 p.m. tomorrow, in the beautiful Tuschcinski Theatre, the film that is the "false" true story here will be revealed, stay tuned. The festival has been polling and tracking votes for this all week.
At the time of the talk show, the three top Audience Award stats were 1) To See If I Am Smiling 2) Hear and Now and 3) Pete Seeger: The Power of Song (which was surprising to host, Peter Wintonick, for some reason). Each award below is also accompanied by a cash prize. I'll have more details on what these awards are and what they mean in a later post or you can learn more right this second if you go to the festival web site.
Audience Award for Doc U! Movie Squad Award: Chirigu from Switzerland, Paradise: Three Journeys in This World from Finland (one of the young Dutch jurors said of this one, "The director makes beautiful lens shapes."), and Planet B-Boy from the US.
Movies That Matter Award
Out of 10 films screened, these three are the nominees: Jerusalem Is Proud to Present from Israel, Holland's The Dictator Hunter (normally I would supply director's names and links and all that, but, well, see above) and The Price of Sugar from the US (also in Oscar's shorties).
IDFA Student Competition
Out of 13 films, the three nominees are My Olympic Summer from the US, One Day from Denmark, and Paradise: Three Journeys in This World from Finland. Heddy Hongimann said, "We were a good jury. The jury found these good films." She was quite entertaining and charming.
First Appearance Award
Out of 15 films, the three nominees are: Combolimon from France, Donkey in Lahore from Australia, and End of the Rainbow from France and Australia.
There was no shortlist announced for the Silver Cub Award (no one knows why, it's just the IDFA way) but Silver Wolf nominees are Lakshmi and Me from Finland, India and the US, This Way Up from France and To See If I Am Smiling from Israel.
Finally, here are the Joris Ivens nominees, the biggie, for best full-length feature doc:
Septembers, (Spain), director Carlos Bosch
Stranded (France), director Gonzalo Arijon (saw this the very first night I was here on a recommendation from Sky Sitney, documentary programmer for Silverdocs, and it blew me away despite my staggering jet lag--maybe that helped); and
Up the Yangtze (Canada), director Yung Chang (this film has been a consistent sell-out here and I will have an interview with the talented young director, who is also Sundance-bound with this film, for my Filmmaker Magazine feature article on IDFA for their '08 winter issue.)
A fourth feature film, as-yet-unnamed, will be honored with a Special Jury Prize at Saturday night's awards ceremony.
More soon from IDFA on this blog and on the Filmmaker blog.