‘Moon’ doc shines over IDFA kudos

10-day fest pulled in 120,000 attendees

AMSTERDAM — Dutch helmer Leonard Retel Helmrich’s “The Shape of the Moon” took the highest prize, the E12,500 ($16,000) Joris Ivens award, at the Intl. Documentary Filmfestival Amsterdam, which wrapped Sunday.

Pic covers political and social upheaval in Indonesia when a man converts to Islam, coming into conflict with his Christian mother.

The Joris Ivens jury, headed by Finnish lenser Pirjo Honkasalo, handed veteran U.S. docmaker Jonathan Stack’s gut-wrenching “Liberia: An Uncivil War” the Special Jury Prize. The jurors called the film about recent events in Liberia “an act of bravery — some might even say, suicidal insanity,” in Stack’s “tenacious rejection of personal safety in pursuit of the truth.”

Among other awards handed out, the $13,000 prize for short doc went to Bulgarian Andrey Paunov’s “Georgi and the Butterflies” and Amnesty Intl.’s $6,600 Doen kudo went to Finnish director Pirjo Honkasalo for “The 3 Rooms of Melancholia.”

U.S. docmakers Dan Ollanman, Sara Price and Chris Smith’s “The Yes Men” took the $6,000 audience award.

Despite heavy budget cuts, the same fate suffered by all cultural orgs in Holland this year, the 10-day fest pulled 10,000 more visitors than a year ago, boosting its numbers to 120,000 and box office to $530,000.

The event’s lineup of debates and talks included some of the biggest names in the doc industry as well as a scattering of politicians and policymakers.

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