Award for best documentary at IDFA to 'Apolonia, Apolonia'

Apollonia, Apollonia was chosen on Thursday as the best documentary of the International Documentary Film Festival (IDFA). From 2009, Danish filmmaker Lea Glob followed Apolonia Sokol, who is seeking her place in the art world as a painter. Glob shares with the viewer the subtle and less subtle obstacles that the predominantly male art world throws up, and how they sometimes shake Apolonia, possessed of a rare focus and self-confidence.

The Envision Competition, aimed at more experimental work, was won by Manifesto by Angie Vinchito, a poignant, menacing collage of live streams and YouTube videos by Russian students. Vinchito’s brilliant editing paints a shocking picture of growing up in a repressive society.

Best editing and best Dutch documentary Journey Through Our Worldd by the couple Peter and Petra Lataster, known for their captivating, beautifully observing documentaries about Miss Kiet, who teaches immigrant children Dutch. During the lockdown, the couple turned the camera on themselves: living room, street, garden. As their lives slow down and shrink, they observe even more acutely, it turns out.

Drama queen

In the main competition, Simon Chambers was awarded the prize for best direction with Much Ado About Dying, in which his uncle David lures the filmmaker back from India because he is said to be dying. That turns out not to be too bad; Chambers is bombarded as the caretaker of his chaotic uncle, a former actor and teacher and a drama queen pur sang. He’s left with a great movie.

The prize for best cinematography went to Paul Guilhaume Paradise: a visit to the Siberian village of Shologon in the very dry summer of 2021. Enormous forest fires threaten the taiga village from all sides, nothing can be expected from the government. Guilhaume travels with the brave, often impotent volunteer fire brigade into the oven, where fire crackles and roars, retreats and hurtles towards you. A dragon with its own will, according to the villagers: rather winters of 35 degrees below zero.

IDFA will continue next weekend and announces that it has received 147,000 visitors so far – a quarter more than last year, when Covid restrictions were still in place. IDFA ultimately counts on 230,000 visitors, which means that the pre-corona level has not yet been reached. In record year 2019, IDFA attracted 292,870 visitors.

Also read about war documentaries at IDFA: The emphasis is on Ukrainian resilience

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