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IDFA Announces Award Winners of the Competition Programs


During the award ceremony on Wednesday, 27th November, the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) has announced the winners of the competition programs of the 32nd festival edition, with the IDFA Award for Best Feature-Length Documentary going to Heidi Hassan and Patricia Pérez Fernández' In A Whisper.

In a Whisper by Heidi Hassan and Patricia
Pérez Fernández won the IDFA Award for
Best Feature-Length Documentary

The line-up of IDFA award winners had been revealed on Wednesday evening at the official award ceremony in the Eye Film Museum. In A Whisper, the winner of Best Feature Length Documentary (20.000) is a film which centers on two emigrated Cuban filmmakers whose passion for film, friendship, and freedom reunites them after years apart. The jury said that it is a refreshing expression of womanhood; an ode to loss; a celebration of friendship, will, and vulnerability; a reclaiming of hope and passion; and a piercingly honest cinematic dialogue are all embodied in this magical, original, and risk-taking cinematic endeavor.

This year, three new awards were presented in the Competition for Feature-Length Documentary. The IDFA Award for Best Directing (5.000) went to Mehrdad Oskouei for his film Sunless Shadows (Iran).

The IDFA Award for Best Editing (2.500) went to Sander Vos for Punks, directed by Maasja Ooms, and the IDFA Award for Best Cinematography (2.500) went to Maasja Ooms for Punks (the Netherlands), directed by Ooms.

Solidarity by Lucy Parker has taken home the IDFA Award for Best First Appearance (10.000) with he jury report stating that it was a rigorous, complex, and clever yet accessible look at a strongly contemporary issue, which transcends its subject and transforms it into a disquieting universal warning”.



The awarded filmmakers, titles and categories are:

IDFA Award for Best Feature-Length Documentary

In A Whisper | Director: Heidi Hassan and Patricia Pérez Fernández  | Production: Daniel Froiz, Delphine Schmit

IDFA Award for Best Directing 

Sunless Shadows | Director: Mehrdad Oskouei | Production: Mehrdad Oskouei, Carsten Aanonsen

IDFA Award for Best Editing 

 Punks | Director: Maasja Ooms | Production: Willemijn Cerutti 


IDFA Award for Best Cinematography

 Punks | Director: Maasja Ooms | Production: Willemijn Cerutti


IDFA Award for Best First Appearance

Solidarity | Director: Lucy Parker | Production: Kate Parker, Lucy Parker


IDFA Special Jury Award for First Appearance

Froth | Director: Ilya Povolotsky | Production: Blackchamber

I Owe You a Letter About Brazil | Director: Carol Benjamin | Producer: Carol Benjamin, Leandra Leal, Rita Toledo


IDFA Award for Best Mid-Length Documentary

Summa | Director: Andrei Kutsila | Production: Miroslaw Dembinski for Film Studio Everest


Aswang | Director: Alyx Ayn Arumpac | Production: Armi Rae S. Cacanindin, Alyx Ayn Arumpac

IDFA Special Jury Award for Mid-Length Documentary

Anticlockwise | Director: Jalal Vafaei| Production: Jalal Vafaei, Marjan Alizadeh


IDFA DocLab Award for Digital Storytelling
The Waiting Room VR  | Director: Victoria Mapplebeck  | Production: Shehani Fernando 

Special Jury Award for Creative Technology

In Event of Moon Disaster | Director: Francesca Panetta, Halsey Burgund | Production: Professor D. Fox Harrell

IDFA DocLab Immersive Non-Fiction Award

Vast Body 22  | Directors: Vincent Morisset  | Production: Vincent Morisset

Special Jury Award for Creative Technology

Only Expansion | Director: Duncan Speakman | Production: University of Exeter Arts and Culture, Theatre In The Mill, Pervasive Media Studio


IDFA Competition for Dutch Documentary

Sidik and the Panther  | Director: Reber Dosky | Production: Jos de Putter 


IDFA Competition for Short Documentary

Up at Night  | Director: Nelson Makengo| Production: Rosa Spaliviero


IDFA Special Jury Award for Short Documentary

Mizuko  | Director: Katelyn Rebelo and Kira Dane | Production: Katelyn Rebelo and Kira Dane

IDFA Competition for Best Student Documentary

Saudade  | Director: Denize Galiao | Production: Michael Kalb 


Special Jury Award for Student Documentary

Summerwar  | Director: Moritz Schulz| Production: Louis Wick, Nils Gustenhofen

IDFA Competition for Creative Use of Archive

Letter to the Editor | Director: Alan Berliner | Production: Alan Berliner


IDFA Competition for Kids & Docs

Asho | Director: Jafar Najafi | Production: Maryam Naghibi


Special Jury Award for Children's Documentary

Foreplay | Director: Anne van Campenhout | Production: JeanMarc van Sambeek, Menna Laura Meijer


Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds Documentary Award

Filmmaker Marina Meijer

The winners of the VPRO IDFA Audience Award will be announced on Friday, 29 November 2019. The full list of award winners can also be found on the IDFA website here.