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Winners of the 34th International Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA)
Winners of the 34th International Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA). Credit: Coen Dijkstra

Mr. Landsbergis (Lithuania, Netherlands) by Sergei Loznitsa won the IDFA Award for Best Film in the International Competition at the 34th edition of International Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA). In the documentary, Lithuanian politician Vytautas Landsbergis looks back on his country’s independence struggle in this captivating masterclass on the collapse of the Soviet Union by the great chronicler Sergei Loznitsa.

“It is not easy to bring history to life. It is even more difficult to make it thrilling, urgent, and totally enriching, to make it feel like we are living through it as it happens. On every level of craft, the winning film represents a monumental achievement that fully explores the role one man, one nation, and one historical moment can play in the still-unfolding story of the global struggle for freedom and self-determination. The 2021 IDFA Award for Best Film in the International Competition goes to Sergei Loznitsa’s stunningly complete and gripping Mr. Landsbergis,” the jury reported.

Karim Kassem won the IDFA Award for Best Film in Envision Competition for Octopus. The aftermath of the explosion that took place at the Port of Beirut in August 2020 is revealed in quiet stillness, from the destroyed buildings and the despair of local residents to the cautious first sounds of reconstruction.

The 34th edition of IDFA run as an in-person event, with twelve special online screenings for audiences, and an extensive library of films, talks, and consultancies available to online guests around the world.

The International Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) continues until Sunday, November 28.

Winners of 2021 International Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) Awards

International Competition

Mr. Landsbergis (Lithuania, Netherlands) by Sergei Loznitsa is the winner of the IDFA Award for Best Film (€15,000).

The IDFA Award for Best Directing (€5,000) in the International Competition went to Diem Ha Le for Children of the Mist (Vietnam).

The IDFA Award for Best Editing (€2,500) went to Danielius Kokanauskis for Mr. Landsbergis (Lithuania, Netherlands), and the IDFA Award for Best Cinematography (€2,500) went to Where Are We Headed (Belarus, Russia), filmed and directed by Ruslan Fedotow.

Envision Competition

Karim Kassem won the IDFA Award for Best Film in Envision Competition (€15,000) for Octopus (Lebanon, Qatar, United States).

The Award for Best Directing (€5,000) in the Envision Competition went to Pim Zwier for O, Collecting Eggs Despite the Times (Netherlands), and the Award for Outstanding Artistic Contribution (€2,500) went to Lindiwe Matshikiza for One Take Grace (South Africa).

The jury for the Envision Competition decided to award a special mention to Skin (Brazil) by Marcos Pimentel.

IDFA DocLab Competition for Immersive Non-Fiction

Sacha Wares and John Pring won the IDFA DocLab Award for Immersive Non-Fiction (€5,000) for Museum of Austerity (United Kingdom).

The Special Jury Award for Creative Technology (€2,500) went to Marcel van Brakel and Mark Meeuwenoord for Symbiosis (Netherlands).

IDFA DocLab Competition for Digital Storytelling

Tamara Shogaolu won the IDFA DocLab Award for Digital Storytelling (€5,000) with Un(re)solved (United States, Netherlands).

The Special Jury Award for Creative Technology (€2,500) went to Ravi and Emma (Australia) by Kylie Boltin, Ella Rubeli, Ravi Vasavan, and Emma Anderson.

IDFA Competition for Short Documentary

Handbook (Germany, Belarus) by Pavel Mozhar won the IDFA Award for Best Short Documentary (€5,000).

A special mention in the IDFA Competition for Short Documentary went to
Wolf Whispers (France) by Chloé Belloc.

IDFA Competition for Youth Documentary

The IDFA Award for Best Youth Film (€5,000) went to Shamira Raphaëla for Shabu (Netherlands, Belgium).

A special mention in the IDFA Competition for Youth Documentary went to Water, Wind, Dust, Bread (Iran) by Mahdi Zamanpoor Kiasari.

IDFA 2021 cross-section awards

The IDFA Award for Best First Feature (€5,000) went to Where Are We Headed (Belarus, Russia), directed by Ruslan Fedotow.

The jury also awarded a special mention to Children of the Mist (Vietnam) by Diem Ha Le.

The IDFA Award for Best Dutch Film (€7,500) went to Maasja Ooms for Jason (Netherlands).

A special mention was awarded to Housewitz (Netherlands) by Oeke Hoogendijk.

The FIPRESCI Award (€5,000) was given to Jafar Najafi for Makeup Artist (Iran).

Tthe Beeld en Geluid IDFA ReFrame Award for Best Creative Use of Archive (€5,000) went to Robin Hunzinger for Ultraviolette and the Blood-Spitters Gang (France).

A special mention was awarded to Sergei Loznitsa for Babi Yar. Context (Netherlands, Ukraine).

IDFA Forum Awards

Bettina Perut and Iván Osnovikoff’s project La Casa won the IDFA Forum Award for Best Pitch, Anna Shishova-Bogolubova’s The New Greatness picked up the IDFA Forum Award for Best Rough Cut, while the DocLab Forum Award went to Continuum VR by Daniela Maldonado, Tomas Espinosa, and Paula Gempeler.

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