Dutch helmer is first double winner of VPRO IDFA award

Dutch director Leonard Retel Helmrich has become the first double winner of the prestigious VPRO IDFA award for feature-length documentary.

“Position Among the Stars,” the final installment of his trilogy following the Indonesian Sjamsuddin family, picked up the statue and €12,500 for feature docu Friday at the awards ceremony of the 23rd annual Intl. Documentary Festival Amsterdam, where it also won the Dioraphte IDFA Award for Dutch Documentary. Pic is distributed by Cinema Delicatessen in the Netherlands, and Films Transit has international sales.

“The Shape of the Moon,” the second pic in the trilogy, earned Helmrich the 2004 IDFA.

The feature jury — consisting of Orlando Bagwell, Frederic Boyer, Vibeke Bryld, Lixin Fan and Monique van de Ven — gave a special award to Canadian docu “You Don’t Like the Truth — 4 Days Inside Guantanamo.” Luc Cote and Patricio Henriquez’s examination of the case of Omar Khadr, who was incarcerated in the infamous prison when he was 16.

Dutch helmer Boris Gerrets won the NTR IDFA award for mid-length film for “People I Could Have Been and Maybe Am,” an urban docu-fiction shot entirely on a mobile phone.

The first appearance prize went to Filipino helmer Monster Jimenez for “Kano: An American and His Harem,” about an ex-Vietnam soldier now in prison for rape after establishing a harem in a poor village.

Lucy Walker’s “Waste Land,” about a photographer who creates portraits of scavengers at the world’s largest dump in Rio de Janeiro, won the aud award. Eva Kupper’s “What’s in a Name,” about New York body art performer Jon Cory, was named best student docu, while a separate youth jury handed the Doc U Award to Jan Tenhaven’s “Autumn Gold,” which follows five elderly Finnish athletes.

IDFA introduced two prizes this year. The inaugural green screen docu award went to Michael Madsen’s “Into Eternity,” about an enormous nuclear waste repository in Finland; the jury gave an honorable mention to Risteard O Domhnaill’s “The Pipe.”

And the first DocLab award for digital storytelling was nabbed by Katarina Cizek’s “Highrise/Out My Window,” which tells multiple stories of apartment tenants in 13 cities through 360-degree moving images.

IDFA saw 46 international projects at various stages of development pitched at the Forum (Nov. 22-24).Based on box office returns as of Friday, IDFA organizers estimate the aud for public screenings will hit 180,000, up from 165,000 last year.

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