20 November: Heddy Honigmann receives Living Legend Award during opening IDFA 2013
The official opening has just taken place of the International
Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) with a screening of Talal
Derki’s Return to Homs.
Before the film, the Living Legend Award was presented to documentary
maker Heddy Honigmann, and the chair of the Dutch Cultural Media Fund
Jacob Kohnstamm announced the winner of the fund’s 2013 Mediafonds
Documentary Award. The recipient Xander de Boer received a sum of
€125,000 to realize his plan for the film Girls Boys & Me.
In her opening speech, the festival’s director Ally Derks talked about
the history and achievements of the IDFA Bertha Fund, which provided
financial support for the making of Return to Homs. She also
announced the creation of a new award in memory of the Canadian
filmmaker Peter Wintonick, who died last Monday: the Peter Wintonick
Special Jury Award for First Appearance.
Heddy Honigmann wins Living Legend Award
The Living Legend Award, an oeuvre prize of €5,000, has this year been
granted for only the second time. The sole previous recipient, American
documentary maker Frederick Wiseman, who won it in 2009, presented it at
the opening to Heddy Honigmann (b. 1951, Lima). Honigmann is widely
regarded as one of the greatest documentary makers the Netherlands has
ever produced. She had a huge impact nationally and internationally with
films such as Metal and Melancholy
(1993), O Amor Natural
(1996), The Underground Orchestra
(1997) and Crazy
(1999), which won the 1999 IDFA Audience Award. Festival director Ally
Derks also invited Honigmann to compile the Top 10 in 2014.
IDFA Mediafonds Workshop
The Dutch Cultural Media Fund makes available a sum of €125,000 annually
for the realization of the best film plan developed at the IDFA
Mediafonds Workshop. The fund supports the workshop financially and
co-organizes it. This year, the filmmakers Menna Laura Meijer and Tom
Fassaert led the workshop for the second time.
Girls Boys & Me by Xander de Boer
Girls Boys & Me
concerns Jo, a 26-year-old transgender
woman searching for her true identity. For the past four years, she has
been recording on video her journey, her uncertainties and her
questions. Her immediate future will be dominated by the all-important
question: shall I stay a woman or become a man? Will the decision she
makes bring her the happiness she so longs for?
This year’s jury comprised filmmakers Boris Gerrets and Mijke de Jong,
editor Axel Skovdal Roelofs, and Kees Schaap and Laetitia Schoofs
representing the public broadcasters. The jury described the plan as, ‘A
kaleidoscopic whole. It is a bold adventure, because the filmmaker will
need to navigate between poignancy and lachrymosity, between the
personal and the individual, and between ambiguity and excessive
The workshop participants were selected on the basis of their submitted
synopses by a commission that included representatives from public
broadcasting companies. One of the public broadcasters will broadcast
the winning documentary.
Return to Homs and the IDFA Bertha Fund
In her opening speech, Ally Derks explored the history and achievements of the IDFA Bertha Fund
which was set up as the Jan Vrijman Fund in 1998 and has ever since
been supporting documentary projects in developing countries. Derks
emphasized the importance of the fund for the development of authentic
and independent voices in the countries concerned.
Peter Wintonick Special Jury Award for First Appearance
Ally Derks also talked about the death last Monday of Canadian filmmaker
and IDFA talkshow host Peter Wintonick. She announced the presentation
of an extra award in his memory: the Peter Wintonick Special Jury Award
for First Appearance, a sum of the €2,500. Throughout his career, Peter
Wintonick was committed to guiding young filmmakers. This encouragement
award is IDFA’s tribute to his work and his spirited enthusiasm.
Jan Röfekamp, sales agent at Canada’s Films Transit provided the financial support for the award.