Florence, 14th- 21th November 2008

International documentary film festival

49th Festival dei Popoli - The Verdicts

Official Selection - Feature Documentary Competion
The International Jury of the 49th Festival dei Popoli composed by Xiaolu Guo (China), Arturo Lavorato (Italy), Carlos Muguiro (Spain), Audrius Stonys (Lithuania), Marie Vermillard (France), after viewing all of the 17 films in competition decided to award the following prizes:

"Holunderblüte" di Volker Koepp (Germany, 2008)
“For the quality of his gaze which poetically renders the intimate and sincere relationship between the filmmaker, the subjects and the landscape. His cinema reveals a life that is born and continues to create new life in a land forgotten by history”.

Herz Frank for the film "Muzigais Meginajums/Perpetual Rehearsal" (Israel/Latvia)
"For the perpetual cinematographic journey towards the human soul, in search of passion for life and essence of creation. For the freedom and vitality reflected in this film and carried out through the entire artistic life of this Great Master."

"La Vie Moderne", di Raymond Depardon (France)
“His intimate understanding of characters, his empathy and mastering of cinematographic art allow us to access, beyond silence, to the deepest feelings of the people he films. He reveals and lets us feel the existence of a world on the verge of disappearing where words are not the only way of communicating."

The jury also gave the following Special Mentions:

"Fondamenta delle Convertite", by Penelope Bortoluzzi (Italy)
"For the sensitive and humanistic look at the life of inmates of a women prison: For the document of hope and light that shine even in the darkest abyss of human life."

"L’Empreinte", by Guillaume Bordier (France).
"For the research in style and the ability to grasp the gaze of the filmed subject, continuously questioning spectators."

The Jury conclude its work with the following declaration:
"It has been a great privilege to be a member of the Jury of the International Competition of Festival dei Popoli. This year Festival dei Popoli has been a celebration of diversity and vitality of documentary film. We would like to congratulate the Art Director and the Selection Committee on the quality of the works selected.
Next year Festival dei Popoli will celebrate it’s 50th anniversary as an institution defending documentary film as source of knowledge and art form: OUR BEST WISHES!"


Official Selection - Short Documentary Competition
The jury composed by students attending the University of Florence and the Lorenzo de’ Medici Institute award the Lorenzo de’ Medici Prize for the Best Film (€ 2,500 euro) to:
"La favola del pennello", by Andreas Kassel (Sweden)
"For its expressive power and lyric images that are both poetic and visionary. The audience participates in the narrator's life through the memories and experience of words, which develop through the refined cinematographic style".


The Ente dello Spettacolo Award
The Ente dello Spettacolo Foundation Jury, comprised of Dario E. Viganò (president of the Performing Agency), Carlotta De Leo (journalist), Salvatore Fronio (documentary filmmaker), Gianluca Arnone (journalist), Luca Cappelli (director of the Ascarè di Fiesole association), decided on the following awards (winning films will be distributed in approximately seventy movie theatres in Italy):

Official Selection – Feature-length Film Competition

“La vie moderne” by Raymond Depardon (2008)
“For its ability to capture with depth and lyricism the progressive dissipation of an old rural community in the wake of modernity.”

Special Mention
“La Forteresse” by Fernand Melgar

Special Mention
“L’Empreinte” by Guillaume Bordier

Official Selection – Free Style

"Renè" by Helena Trestikova (Czech Republic)
“A twenty-year project that investigates the chiaroscuro of the human soul, interrogating nature and the finalities of documentary film.”

Special Mention
“Must Read After My Death” by Morgan Dews (USA)


Premio Ucca – “Twenty Cities”

The Premio Ucca – “Twenty Cities” Jury (the Unione Circoli Cinematografici Arci),
comprised Paolo Bernardini (president of the Agorà film club), Francesca Chiavacci (president of Arci Firenze) and Lorella Ranallo (head of the culture department ARCI provinciale di Prato) decided on the awards for the Short Film Competition (winning films will be screened in Arci film clubs in 20 cities in Italy):

"Mosh Va Gorbe/Cat and Mouse" by Bijan Zamanpira and Nahid Ghobadi (Iran)
“For its ability to be narrative and descriptive without passing judgment or being rhetorical; for the bitter discovery of a banality of discomfort and malaise that is as quotidian as it is ignored and/or unknown; for the power to denunciate; for the care with which this film was told to us.”

“La Favola del Pennello” by Andreas Kassel (Sweden)
“For the happy account of a meeting that is the story of other meetings during which memories, emotions, knowledge, and poetry is exchanged…For the evocative suggestion in a perfect balance of images and words, for the pleasure that can transmit a creative act into whatever form, and transform gratitude into a new, art-and-culture-generating power.”


Audience Award

The audience of the 49th Festival dei Popoli award the following films:

Feature Documentary Competition:
"La Forteresse", by Fernard Melgar

Short Documentary Competition:
"Distancias", by Pilar Monsell

Free Style:
"Must Read After My Death", by Morgan Dews

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