Jury statements on the winners of DocPoint’s Finnish and International Competitions

Finnish Competition

DocPoint’s Finnish Competition winner is John Webster’s film DONNER – PRIVATE. The jury’s statement:

“A unique portrait with outstanding use of archive material and a carefully structured pace, constructing and deconstructing its protagonist, using interviews, private photographs and memories of close companions all beautifully edited, managing to bring us close to a person that wants to stay distant. The documentary gives a rare chance to see this controversial cultural and political figure also from his vulnerable and gentle side.”
The jury also awarded Mohamed El Aboudi’s SCHOOL OF HOPE with a special mention. The jury’s statement about the film:

“A film that takes us to a different world in the middle of the desert, full of warmth and intimate moments, while showing us with urgency that education is still not a given in today’s world. We applaud the filmmaker’s approach and striking cinematography.”

International Competition

The International Competition jury chose Elvis Sabin Ngaïbino’s MAKONGO as the winner of the International Competition. The jury also awarded PURPLE SEA by Amel Alzakout and Khaled Abdulwahed with a special mention. The jury’s statement:

“We thank festival director Kati Juurus and her team for the opporunity to view this curated view of the world around us through the eyes of documentary filmmakers.

Part reflective, part immersement into worlds unknown, with strong cinema verite values, the films were a brave choice of film directors who brought us close to people in very specific areas but with a universal gaze.

We would like to give a Special Mention to a film of poetry and emotion, a film that can stand as a document in the future for the events of our time. This film is both very intimate and personal, but at the same time concerning the whole European immigration policies. It turns the numbers in the news into real people in sweat pants and jeans floating in the Mediterranean waiting if someone might be interested in getting them out of there. We all know this is happening all the time, but this film makes us feel what it is like to be there – with such beauty and urgency that is almost unbearable to watch. The Special Mention goes to Purple Sea by Amel Alzakout and Khaled Abdulwahed.

The DocPoint YLE Award for Best International Documentary goes to a film that touched our hearts and portrayed the protagonists’ resilience and strength of purpose against many obstacles. With strong camera direction and a feeling of humanity, the filmmaker brought us close to the people in his story. This access brings to light how it can be possible to change the future of a people who are largely hidden from view and discriminated against for their ethnicity. Importantly it is an African story told from the viewpoint of an African filmmaker who provides agency to his characters and not as subjects of a film. This award goes to Makongo by Elvis Sabin Ngaïbino.