The Norwegian/Palestinian documentary produced by Stray Dogs Norway won the coveted €5,000 best director award from the international competition last night in Amsterdam.
The jury consisting of Romanian producer Ada Solomon, Visions du Réel artistic director Emilie Bujès, Annecy Cinema Italien artistic director Francesco Giai Via, former Sundance Film Festival director Tabitha Jackson and Chinese producer and director Xiaoshuai Wang described the film as “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.”
Life is Beautiful is sold internationally by First Hand Films.
Read our recent interview with the director - IDFA Palestinian competitor Mohamed Jabaly on Life is Beautiful - “this is what I want to see”
Meanwhile the Syrian/Qatari/Swedish co-production Chasing the Dazzling Light by Stockholm-based Syrian-born filmmaker Yasser Kassab won the €5,000 IDFA Award for best first feature. The director’s self portrait of his relationship with his father still in Syria, had its world premiere in the Envision competition. The film was produced by Kassab and Rima Alhamedd for their company Zenloop Productions.
To check the full list of IDFA awards, check: https://festival.idfa.nl/en/