'Guantanamo,' 'Chernobyl' take top prizes at TV fest
ROME — Michael Winterbottom and Mat Whitcross’ “The Road to Guantanamo” and French pubcaster FR3’s TV doc “The Battle of Chernobyl” claimed top prizes at the 58th Prix Italia.
Produced by Andrew Eaton and Melissa Parmenter for Britain’s Channel 4, “Guantanamo” traces the ordeal of three British Muslims held without charges in the U.S. military prison camp. It won the SIGNIS Award for making a courageous stand and asking difficult questions while much of the mainstream media remained quiet, per the organizers.
Controversial pic won the Silver Bear in Berlin and took top honors at the Newport Film Festival this year.
Thomas Johnson’s “Chernobyl,” an epic documentary about the 1986 plant meltdown, revealed, in the words of the organizers, “how close we came to an even greater tragedy.” It was named best TV docu for cultural and general interest, but the Play Film production generated some controversy among jurors concerned the decision to mix archival and dramatically reconstructed scenes could be “potentially misleading.”
German soap comedy “Turkish for Beginners,” helmed by Oliver Schmitz for ARD, won for TV drama, series and serials. Discovery Net took home the prize for TV documentary, current affairs, for “The Beslan Siege,” helmed by Richard Alwyn and produced by Liana Pomeranzev.
Korean pubcaster KBS took prizes for TV drama, TV, movies and miniseries with “Saya Saya,” a “visually stunning” love story shot in high-definition.
The prestigious Prix Italia, the world’s oldest international TV fest, was held in Venice.