The 2nd edition of ELBE DOCK International Documentary Festival has revealed its winners. The 13thPavel Koutecký Award for Czech feature documentary debut goes to director Andran Abramjan for Empire Builders. The winner of the short-film category is Me, Flamingo by director Elvira Dulskaia. The ELBE DOCK Award for the best Central European feature documentary debut was bestowed on Marek Kuboš for his The Last Self-Portrait at the award ceremony in Drama Theater in Ústí nad Labem. The awards include financial prizes for directors, EUR 4.000 for Marek Kuboš, CZK 100.000 for Andran Abramjan, and CZK 40.000 for Elvira Dulskaia.
The Pavel Koutecký Award winner, Empire Builders by director Andran Abramjan, follows anti-immigration and anti-Islamic activists who want to be a part of our history and change the political scene. It was selected by a jury consisting of photographer Tereza Bonaventurová, artist Richard Loskot, editor Marek Kráľovský and blogger Žena filmového kritika (Film Critic's Wife). “Rather than a film, we would call it a feat that poignantly depicts a crucial local issue that can be transferred to any society. We appreciate that the film has an opinion and its creators got really close to their protagonists. The documentary technically mastered its tempo and has a potential to positively influence the phenomenon of racism and xenophobia in society,” commented the jury on the winning Czech feature documentary.
The short-film category was dominated by Elvira Dulskaia's Me, Flamingo. “The film captivated us by its purity of approach and the humanity and tension it radiates. At the same time, it conveys the obvious yet truthful notion that art means knowledge with ease and precision,” states the jury.
The jury's Special Mention went to editor Tonička Janková for Inside Mosul. “Editor Tonička Janková combined the emotional story-line and intellectual level of the film with sensitivity and functionality. Simultanouesly, she made the location of the film highly accessible and approachable to viewers, and left a distinctive mark on the film,” explains the jury .
The winner of the ELBE DOCK Central European Documentaries Award is director Marek Kuboš for The Last Self-Portrait. It won the competition among eight nominated documentaries. The ELBE DOCK Award was bestowed by a jury comprising of producer Ágnes Horváth-Szabó, director Csaba Bollók, and journalist Petr Horký. “We bestowed the ELBE DOCK Award to The Last Self-Portrait for its introduction of a filmmaker in crisis that reflects a deeper social feeling in Central Europe, as the trust in an 'open society' has transformed into fear of exposure over the last decades,” discloses the jury.
Special Mention for film production of Over the Limit by director Marta Prus was awarded to Maciej Kubicki and Anna Kepinska.
“The second edition of ELBE DOCK festival expanded the categories of awarded films, thus drawing attention to documentary films with interesting themes as well as style not only within the Czech Republic, but also in Central Europe, and that makes me happy. I believe the festival has found deeper roots in Ústí nad Labem, and I must thank the city and the region for their support,” said Jarmila Poláková, the founder of Pavel Koutecký Award.
The theme of this year's edition was Absurdity Around Us – being it business with poverty, the bizarre approach to the migration issue, or the horrors of war conflicts.
The project is co-financed by the Governments of Czechia, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia through Visegrad Grants from International Visegrad Fund. The mission of the fund is to advance ideas for sustainable regional cooperation in Central Europe.