‘Apolonia, Apolonia’ Wins Best Film Award at Documentary Film Festival IDFA

Lea Glob’s documentary “Apolonia, Apolonia,” depicting French figurative painter Apolonia Sokol over the course of 13 years, has won the best film award in the International Competition section as well as €15,000 at documentary film festival IDFA in Amsterdam.

The coming-of-age story with Bohemian Paris as its backdrop was pitched at IDFA Forum back in 2015. In his Variety review for “Apolonia, Apolonia” Guy Lodge described the docu as “an impressively idiosyncratic, far-reaching work, assured of further festival play and specialist arthouse attention.” The film is a co-production between Denmark, Poland and France.

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This marks the third time that Glob, a Danish director, has been at IDFA with a docu.

Glob’s “Olmo & the Seagull” which she co-directed with Petra Costa screened at IDFA 2015, while “Venus,” which was co-directed with Mette Carla Albrechtse, made its world premiere at IDFA in 2016.

“(‘Apolonia, Apolonia’) has characters who breathe life and take us on a journey, opening us up to the worlds of culture and art, of business and politics, of the mechanics of a success story,” said International Competition jurors, Pirjo Honkasalo, Vanja Kaludjercic, Yousry Nasrallah, Mary Stephen and Yoshihiko Yatabe. “It is infused with love.”

The award for best directing (worth €5,000) went to British docmaker Simon Chambers’ “Much Ado About Dying.” About the final five years of the director’s eccentric uncle David’s life, the personal and humorous film was an audience favorite. “Death isn’t an ending in this achingly funny-sad film, just an anxiety passed between loved ones,” wrote Variety‘s Lodge. “Much Ado About Dying” is a co-production between Ireland and the U.K.

The award for best editing (worth €2,500) in the International Competition went to Mario Steenbergen for “Journey Through Our World” (The Netherlands), while Paul Guilhaume’s “Paradise” (France, Switzerland) was noticed for its cinematography. (The cinematography prize is worth €2,500).

In the Envision Competition, Angie Vinchito’s “Manifesto” (Russia) garnered the top prize. A patchwork of often-shocking videos Russian teenagers have posted on social media, the docu was praised by jurors Rosa Bosch, Thania Dimitrakopoulou, Pawel Lozinski and Jumana Manna for its “dramaturgical rigor, masterful editing, and political commitment.”

In the same section, Roberta Torre was named best director for “The Fabulous Ones” (Italy), while the Award for Outstanding Artistic Contribution went to Ishtar Yasin Gutiérrez for “My Lost Country” (Costa Rica, Iraq, Chile, Egypt). Special mention was given to Ignacio Agüero’s “Notes for a Film” (Chile, France).

In the IDFA DocLab Competition for Immersive Non-Fiction, Darren Emerson won with his project “In Pursuit of Repetitive Beats” (U.K.). A VR experience, “In Pursuit of Repetitive Beats” takes place at a rave, accompanied by the sound of old-school acid house.

“This project is a clear manifestation of this unique medium that uses VR, touch, sound and lived experience to honor the human need for community and a collective desire to be free, together,” said jury members Marcel van Brakel, Katayoun Dibamehr and Amelia Winger-Bearskin. “Through documentary, we remember those who are policed, are reckless, are alive, are unlimited, and demand to be free, even if for a night.”

The Special Jury Award for Creative Technology went to Miri Chekhanovich and Edith Jorisch’s “Plastisapiens” (Canada, Israel).

Taylor McCue won the IDFA DocLab Award for Digital Storytelling with “He Fucked the Girl Out of Me” (U.S.). About a trans person drawn into traumatizing sex work to pay her transition costs, the jury described “He Fucked the Girl Out of Me” as “a unique approach to conveying a complicated personal history in the artist’s own terms.” Loren Hammonds, Jepchumba and Leonieke Verhoog made up the jury.

The 35th edition of IDFA has run as an in-person event and will conclude on Nov. 20. The 12-day fest attracted over 138,000 visitors, 25% more than in 2021.

IDFA 2022 Winners List

Best Film – International Competition: “Apolonia, Apolonia,” dir. Lea Glob

Best Directing – International Competition: “Much Ado About Dying,” dir. Simon Chambers

Best Editing – International Competition: “Journey Through Our World,” editor Mario Steenbergen

Best Cinematography – International Competition: “Paradise,” cinematographer Paul Guilhaume

Best Film – Envision Competition: “Manifesto,” dir. Angie Vinchito

Best Directing – Envision Competition: “The Fabulous Ones,” dir. Roberta Torre

Outstanding Artistic Contribution – Envision Competition: “My Lost Country,” dir. Ishtar Yasin Gutiérrez

Special Mention – Envision Competition: “Notes for a Film,” dir. Ignacio Agüero

DocLab Award for Immersive Non-Fiction: “In Pursuit of Repetitive Beats,” dir. Darren Emerson

Special Jury Award for Creative Technology: “Plastisapiens,” dir. Miri Cherkhanovich and Edith Jorisch

DocLab Award for Digital Storytelling: “He Fucked the Girl Out of Me,” dir. Taylor McCue

Special Jury Award for Creative Technology: “His Name Is My Name,” dir. Eline Jongsma and Kel O’Neill

Best Short Documentary: “Away,” dir. Ruslan Fedotow

Special Mention – Short Documentary: “The Porters,” dir. Sarah Vanagt

Best Youth Film (14+): “Home Is Somewhere Else,” dir. Carlos Hagerman and Jorge Villalobos

Best Youth Film (9-13): “Ramboy,” dir. Matthias Joulaud

Special Mention – Youth Film: Jasmin’s “Two Homes,” dir. Inka Achté and Hanna Karppinen

Best First Feature: “The Etilaat Roz,” dir. Abbas Rezaie

Special Mention – First Feature: “Guapo’y,” dir. Sofia Paoli Thorne

Best Dutch Film: “Journey Through Our World,” dir. Petra Lataster-Czisch and Peter Lataster

Special Mention – Best Dutch Film: “Inside My Heart,” dir. Saskia Boddeke

Beeld & Geluid IDFA Reframe Award: “Private Footage,” dir. Janaína Nagata

Special Mention – Beeld & Geluid IDFA Reframe Award: “The March on Rome,” dir. Mark Cousins

Forum Award for Best Pitch: “Niñxs,” dir. Kani Lapuerta

Forum Award for Best Rough Cut: “The Tuba Thieves,” dir. Alison O’Daniel

DocLab Forum Award: “We Speak Their Names in Hushed Tones,” dir. Omoregie Osakpolor

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