Prague– Sophia Tzavella’s “Paradise Hotel,” a documentary about Roma families in a communist-era tower block on the outskirts of a Bulgarian town, took top honors at the Thessaloniki Documentary Festival on Saturday night, nabbing the Fipresci critics’ jury prize.
In the Greek category, the Fipresci jury honored Kalliopi Legaki’s “Only the Words Continue,” about the Confession Sessions at an Athens bar in which 52 regulars revealed personal stories on camera.
Titus Faschina’s “Close to Heaven,” a German/Romanian doc on the last mountain shepherds in Transylvania, won the Habitat award, bestowed by the World Wildlife Fund jury.
Fest’s 200-plus screenings from 52 countries marked a high note not just for regional non-fiction filmmakers but for the Greek film community, which has been beset by strikes and funding cuts.
Pitching forums sponsored by the European Documentary Network, with Western European pubcasters in attendance, further fueled the inspiration of young documakers on the rise.
The 13the edition of the fest closed on Sunday.