×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Venice: Syria’s ‘Still Recording’ Wins Critics’ Week Prize

Syrian civil war doc “Still Recording,” directed by Ghiath Ayoub and Saeed Al Batal, is the winner of the Venice Film Festival’s Critics’ Week prize.

It follows art students Saeed and Milad, who in 2011 decide to leave Damascus and go to Douma, a suburb under rebel control and take part in the Syrian revolution. Amid revolutionary enthusiasm, they launch a local radio station and a recording studio. War, siege and famine follow. 

The directing duo (pictured) shot more than 500 hours of footage over four years spent in the besieged city. “Recording” also won the section’s best technical contribution nod. The powerful doc does not yet have a sales agent.

The winner of the Critics’ Week prize is chosen by the audience.

The independently run Venice section dedicated to first works also gave out a prize known as the Verona Film Club Award to Franco-Swiss directorial duo Alexia Walther and Maxime Matray’s “Blonde Animals,” a surreal comedy involving the former star of a short-lived TV sitcom.

The Verona prize goes to the film deemed the most innovative in the section by a jury of film buffs who belong to one of Italy’s oldest arthouse cinema organizations. “Blonde Animals” is being sold by France’s Ecce Films.

In a statement, artistic director Giona Nazzaro underlined how this year’s selection combined “the pleasure of diversity and the search for new gazes.”

“At a time when politics are closing doors we wanted to open all the windows,” he said, “and invite viewers to think about today’s contradictions and work for a combative cinema.”

All Venice Critics’ Week entries will compete for the fest’s Lion of the Future prize alongside titles in the official selection. 

The Venice Film Festival’s official selection prizes will be announced Saturday.

More Film

  • Noe Debre On His Directorial Debut,

    Top French Screenwriter Noe Debre Make Directorial Debut, ‘The Seventh Continent’

    This last half-decade, few French screenwriters have run up such an illustrious list of co-write credits as Noé Debré. Thomas Bedigain’s writing partner on Jacques Audiard’s Cannes Palme d’Or winner “Deephan,” Debra co-penned Bedigain’s own debut, “The Cowboys,” “Racer and the Jailbird,” by Michael Roskam, and “Le Brio,” directed by Yvan Attal. He has now [...]

  • Julien Trauman Talks Survival-Thriller Short ‘At

    Julien Trauman on Survival-Thriller Short ‘At Dawn’

    France’s Julien Trauman has never been afraid to play with genre, and in his latest short, the MyFrenchFilmFestival participant “At Dawn,” he employs aspects of psychological thriller, survival, coming-of-age and fantasy filmmaking. “At Dawn” kicks off the night before when a group of teens, one about to leave town, are imbibing heavily around a beach-side [...]

  • ‘Flowers’ Director Baptiste Petit-Gats Interview

    Baptiste Petit-Gats: ‘Editing Taught Me How to Write for Film’

    France’s Baptiste Petit-Gats is an hyphenate that keeps himself plenty busy editing, photographing, writing and directing. The bulk of his editing gigs up until now have been in documentary film work, evident in the way he shot and edited his own short film, participating in the MyFrenchFilmFestival, “Flowers.” In the film, Petit-Gats tells the heartbreaking [...]

  • Fanny Litard, Jérémy Trouilh on ‘Blue

    France’s Fanny Liatard, Jérémy Trouilh Discuss MyFFF Suburban Fable ‘Blue Dog’

    French filmmakers Fanny Liatard and Jérémy Trouilh met at university while studying political science before diverging towards separate careers. Trouilh trained in documentary filmmaking; Liatard worked on urban artistic projects in Lebanon and France. They eventually joined back up to film three shorts: “Gagarine,” a Sundance Channel Shorts Competition Jury Prize winner in 2016; “The [...]

  • MFFF: 'The Collection' Director Blanchard Readies

    'The Collection' Director Emmanuel Blanchard Readies First Feature

    Paris-born Emmanuel Blanchard studied and then taught history before becoming a documentary filmmaker responsible for films such as “Bombing War,” “Le diable de la République” and “Après la guerre.” He’s currently directing “Notre-Dame de Paris”, a 90-minute animated part-doc, part-fiction film on the building of the world-famous Paris cathedral. Competing at MyFFF, “The Collection” is [...]

  • Dragon Ball Super: Broly

    Film Review: ‘Dragon Ball Super: Broly’

    Late in “Dragon Ball Super: Broly,” the 20th Japanese anime feature in a 35-year-old franchise that also has spawned scads of TV series, trading cards, video games, mangas, and limited-edition collectibles, a supporting character complains, “I don’t understand a single thing you’ve said the whole time.” If you’re among the heretofore uninitiated drawn to this [...]

  • Loco Films Boards 'Paper Flag' From

    Loco Films Boards 'Paper Flag' From Promising New Director Nathan Ambrosioni (EXCLUSIVE)

    Loco Films has come on board “Paper Flag” (“Les Papiers de drapeaux”), the feature debut of 18-year old French director Nathan Ambrosioni. The film explores the ambivalent relationship between two siblings and the concept of freedom. Guillaume Gouix (“The Returned”) stars as a young adult who has just got out of jail after 12 years [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content