Motherland , a “dark and monumental” film about neo-nationalism in Belarus, earned the top prize tonight at the prestigious CPH:DOX festival in Copenhagen. Belorussian directors Alexander Mihalkovich and Hanna Badziaka accepted the Dox:Award honor at a ceremony at the Kunsthal Charlottenborg in the Danish capital. Jurors praised Motherland as “a cinematic and meaningful film that took its time unfolding the complexity of living within an oppressive and unjust system.
It poses questions about the idea of an individual choice within a cornered society. The title of the film is a way to give back the power to the women who are at the forefront of this fight. ” [See the full list of CPH:DOX winners below].
Related Story Oscar-Winning Filmmakers Chai Vasarhelyi & Jimmy Chin On Love Stories – Their Own, And The One They Tell In ‘Wild Life’ – CPH:DOX ‘Motherland’ Courtesy of CPH:DOX The world premiere of Motherland at CPH:DOX comes at a particularly timely moment, just over a year after Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine with key assistance from the Kremlin-allied Belorussian government. Russian forces trained in Belarus in advance of the war and sprang part of their attack from the country, which offers the closest land route to the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv. The festival noted the documentary offers a unique insight into contemporary Belarus, “where corruption and a brutal military culture push young people to choose sides.
With eminent camerawork and an intimate knowledge of the culture, Motherland is one of those rare films that manages to encapsulate a crucial point in history while it is still unfolding. It’s a film that reaches far beyond the country’s borders and analyses the post-Soviet condition from a perspective rarely seen: that of the young people. ” ‘Motherland’ directors Alexander Mihalkovich and Hanna Badziaka earn the top prize at CPH:DOX in Copenhagen in an awards ceremony on Friday, March 24, 2023 Courtesy of Emil Agerskov/CPH:DOX In a statement shared with Deadline, the filmmakers said, “We were happy and excited to premiere the film at CPH:DOX and were so moved by the audience’s response.
The feeling that people get the layers and senses we were thinking about while making the film, and feel its pace and atmosphere, is something really valuable. And it’s extremely honorable for us that the film has the jury’s recognition: We are grateful for their high evaluation of the film, a film that has become not only an artistic journey for us, but a life-changing experience in many aspects. ” On the Edge , a documentary set in a psychiatric hospital in Paris, earned a Special Mention in the Dox:Award category.
Jurors for that section included Gugi Gumilang, Mathilde Henrot, Ania Trzebiatowska, Salomé Jashi, and Lea Glob (Glob’s film Apolonia, Apolonia won the separate Politiken:DOX Award at CPH:DOX Friday night). Reyhaneh Jabbari testifies in ‘Seven Winters in Tehran’ © Made in Germany Claiming the prize in the F:act Award category was Seven Winters in Tehran , a film by Steffi Niederzoll that examines the shocking case of a young Irananian woman, Reyhaneh Jabbari. Jabbari spent seven years on death row after her arrest in 2007 for killing a man in self-defense who had tried to rape her.
Deadline spoke with Niederzoll in Berlin where the documentary held its world premiere (read about that here ). The Hostage Takers earned a Special Mention in the F:act Award competition. The Nordic:Dox Award went to Mrs.
Hansen & the Bad Companions , directed by Jella Bethmann, with a Special Mention there going to Lynx Man . Queer artist Gena Marvin in ‘Queendom’ Galdanova Films Queendom , which Deadline covered at SXSW where the documentary made its world premiere, won the Next:Wave Award. The film directed by Agniia Galdanova centers on a daring and innovative performer from Russia’s frozen hinterlands.
“Like a young David Bowie from another planet, the whole world is one giant catwalk for intrepid 21-year-old queer artist Gena,” CPH:Dox programmers write. “She grew up in the far reaches of Russia, in a town built on top of an old gulag camp. Today, she stages her radical performances in supermarkets, metro stations and in the middle of Moscow streets in an alternative protest against the way LGBTQ+ people are treated in Putin’s extremely conservative Russia.
” Yihao in ‘The Last Year of Darkness’ Wavelength/Kindred Spirit A Special Mention in the Next:Wave category went to The Last Year of Darkness , directed by Ben Mullinkosson (you can see a clip from the documentary in our post here ). Jurors in that section included Mario Valero, Ben Fowlie (founder of the Camden International Film Festival and executive and artistic director of the Points North Institute), and Cille Hannibal. The New:Vision Award was claimed by An Asian Ghost Story , directed by Bo Wang.
Jurors awarded two special mentions in that category – one going to The Secret Garden and another to Pacific Club . As noted above, the Politiken:DOX Award went to Lea Glob’s Apolonia, Apolonia (it also won the top prize at IDFA in November). A Special Mention was awarded to The Mountains from director Christian Einshøj.
CPH:DOX All the award-winning films will be screened in cinemas in Copenhagen on March 27 and 28, the festival noted. This is the 20 th anniversary for CPH:DOX, which has become one of the world’s leading all-documentary festivals. In addition to the categories above, awards were presented in the parallel CPH:DOX Forum event.
Regarding those prizes, CPH:DOX writes: “Eurimages together with CPH:DOX’ long-standing financing and co-production event CPH:FORUM… awarded the Eurimages Co-Production Development Award of 20,000 Euro to the project Only on Earth by Robin Petré, produced by Hansen & Pedersen (Signe Skov Thomsen, Malene Flindt Pedersen, Denmark, Spain). “The Council of Europe’s Eurimages Fund handed out a Special Eurimages Co-production Development Award of 20,000 Euro to the project Red Zone by Iryna Tsilyk and the production company Moon Man (Darya Bassel, Ukraine). The award was handed out to express the support of and solidarity with the Ukrainian film industry.
“CPH:FORUM, Unifrance and TitraFilm also handed out the Unifrance Doc Award for the best French majority or minority co-produced pitch of this year’s CPH:FORUM. The prize went to Cuba & Alaska by Yegor Troyanovsky , produced by 2Brave Productions (Olha Beskhmelnytsina, Ukraine) and TAG Film (Christian Popp, France). ” Courtesy of CPH:DOX Award winners at CPH:DOX 2023: ● Dox:Award: Motherland by Alexander Mihalkovich & Hanna Badziaka (Sweden / Ukraine / Norway) Special Mention: On the Edge by Nicolas Peduzzi (France) ● F:act Award: Seven Winters in Tehran by Steffi Niederzoll (Germany / France) Special Mention: The Hostage Takers by Puk Damsgaard & Søren Klovborg (Denmark) ● Nordic:Dox Award: Mrs.
Hansen and the Bad Companions by Jella Bethmann (Denmark) Special Mention: Lynx Man by Juha Suonpää (Finland) ● New:Vision Award: An Asian Ghost Story by Bo Wang (Netherlands / Hong Kong) Special Mention: The Secret Garden by Nour Ouayda (Libanon) Special Mention: Pacific Club by Valentin Noujaïm (France / Qatar) ● Next:Wave Award: Queendom by Agniia Galdanova (USA / France) Special Mention: The Last Year of Darkness by Benjamin Mullinkosson (China / USA) ● Politiken:DOX Award: Apolonia, Apolonia by Lea Glob (Denmark) Special Mention: The Mountains by Christian Einshøj (Denmark).