The 2020 Doc.Berlin Documentary Film Festival featured a great selection of 21 films hailing from Germany and around the world. Unfortunately, amid the ongoing lockdown, our event at Babylon cinema was not in the cards this year. As was previously announced, the Doc.Berlin team has decided to make next year's edition a double one, screening the entire 2020 selection alongside the new batch of films chosen for 2021.
Despite the postponement of the event, the jury members have not been sitting still, but have been viewing each film and casting their votes. We are happy to share with you today the 2020 Doc.Berlin award winners.
The prize for Best Feature Documentary Film went to HOUSE CALLS (Germany) by Anne Münch. 'House calls' is a portrait about an 80-year-old philosopher who goes from door to door to prepare people for the great occasion of Immanuel Kant’s 300th birthday. In search of closeness, he wants to get to the bottom of the pressing issues of our time.
PACIFIC (Lebanon) by Angie Obeid received the award for Best Short Documentary Film. “Whenever I walk through the dark reddish hallways to reach my apartment, whenever I would look out of my windows and dive into that expended view of the city of Brussels, unusual feelings would emerge... until the day I read an article about my building PACIFIC, entitled 'the suicide tower'.”
Best Experimental Documentary Film went to AMERICAN EXPRESS (Germany) by Häly Heinecker. Following the filmmaker through the aftermath of a long-distance relationship, spaces which were once relevant points of connection are revisited as part of an individual journey. Superposition of distance and proximity creates a cathartic expercience. An experimental exploration of anxious attachment, removing projection and resolving in clarity.
The prize for Best Extreme Short Documentary Film went to LUMEN (Canada) by Sarah Seené. 'Lumen' (meaning ''light'' in Latin) is a sensory film shot on Super-8 that portrays a young girl with oculocutaneous albinism. Despite the hypersensitivity caused by this genetic disease, the depigmentation of her skin and eyes gives her an extraordinary aura.
Finally, to conclude this year's awards, the prize for Best German Documentary Film went to NEIGHBORS (Germany) by Pary El-Qalqili and Christiane Schmidt. The encounters during the filming of 'Neighbors', whether conversational or defensive, open a door to the narrative of each German neighborhood, if only for a brief moment.
A new Call for Entries for Doc.Berlin 2021 will be launched tomorrow, 17 December, on FilmFreeway (https://filmfreeway.com/docberlin). Doc.Berlin is part of Doc.World, a new global network of Documentary Film Festivals, with festivals in London, Berlin, Ghent and Boston. As a celebration of the cinematic and visual arts, these documentary festivals will bring diverse international films to our community and showcase the best regional and international filmmakers.
We wish everyone a healthy and merry Christmas time, and are looking forward to seeing you all next year for a double edition of Doc.Berlin Documentary Film Festival.