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Jerzy Sladkowski’s ‘Don Juan’ Takes Top Prize at IDFA

Polish director Jerzy Sladkowski won the VPRO IDFA Award for best feature-length documentary (€12,500) for his film “Don Juan.” Described by the festival programmers as raising questions “about the distinction between introversion and autism,” the Swedish-Finnish co-production offers a seriocomic portrait of a 22-year-old student and his mother’s attempts, via therapy and psychiatry, to cure him of his slacker tendencies.

The Special Jury Award (€2,500), meanwhile, went to “Ukrainian Sheriffs” by Roman Bondarchuk. The Ukrainian/Latvian/German co-production puts the spotlight on a small Ukrainian village that hires two local men to be their police force, dealing with drunkenness, petty turf wars and stolen ducks as they patrol the area in their customized yellow Lada.

Other awards:

IDFA Award for Best Mid-Length Documentary (€10,000): Andreas Koefoed for “At Home in the World” (Denmark).

IDFA Special Jury Award for Mid-Length Documentary (€2,500): Samir Mehanovic for “The Fog of Srebrenica” (Scotland/Bosnia and Herzegovina).

The IDFA Award for First Appearance (€7,500): Salome Machaidze, Tamuna Karumidze and David Meskhi for “When the Earth Seems to Be Light” (Georgia/Germany).

The Special Jury Award for First Appearance (€2,500): Hassen Ferhani For “Roundabout in My Head” (Algeria/France/Lebanon/Qatar).

The IDFA DocLab Award for Digital Storytelling (€5,000): Jan Rothuizen and Sara Kolster for “Drawing Room” (the Netherlands).

IDFA DocLab Immersive Non-Fiction Award (€2,500): Ant Hampton for “Someone Else” (Belgium).

The Beeld en Geluid IDFA Award for Dutch Documentary (€7,500): Ester Gould for “A Strange Love Affair with Ego”.

IDFA Special Jury Award for Dutch Documentary (€2,500): Tom Fassaert for “A Family Affair”.

The ARRI IDFA Award for Best Student Documentary (€5,000): Melissa Langer for “My Aleppo” (USA).

IDFA Special Jury Award for Student Documentary: Tamar Kay for “The Mute’s House” (Israel).

The inaugural IDFA Award for Best Children’s Documentary (€2,500): Niki Paddidar for “Ninnoc” (the Netherlands), with an honorable mention to Victor Kossakovsky for “Varicella” (Norway/Denmark/Sweden/Russia).

IDFA DOC U Award (€2,500): Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami for “Sonita” (Iran).

The festival continues until Sunday, when the winners of the BankGiro Loterij IDFA Audience Award and the IDFA Music Audience Award will be announced.

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