The votes are in and the winner announced. This year, during the 19th edition of Sheffield Doc/Fest, Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi take home the Audience Award for their documentary 5 Broken Cameras.
“Raw and important,” the verdict sounded. After having received a standing ovation during its screening at the festival it might not come as a surprise that the audience has voted the documentary 5 Broken Cameras by Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi as their favourite film.
Hussain Currimbhoy, programmer at the festival says: “5 Broken Cameras is a very well deserved win. It’s great that such a raw and important film is recognised by our audiences. I hope the film’s message of peaceful protest reaches even more audiences in festivals and cinemas around the world.”
In second place, just one point behind, came the festival’s opening film Searching for Sugar Man, which is directed by Malik Bendjelloul and produced by Simon Chinn and John Battsek. Both titles are part funded via MeetMarket, Doc/Fest’s own pitching forum.
For the first time this year, audiences also voted for their favourite short. This award was given to the Australian Summer De Roche for The Globe Collector.
5 Broken Cameras synopsis
The film tells the story of Palestinian farm laborer, Emad, who has five video cameras. Each of them tells a different part of the story of his village’s resistance to Israeli oppression.
Emad lives just west of the city of Ramallah in the West Bank. Using the first camera, he recorded how the bulldozers came to rip the olive trees out of the ground in 2005. Here, a wall was built directly through his fellow villagers’ land to separate the advancing Jewish settlements from the Palestinians. In the first days of resistance to the Jewish colonists and the ever-present Israeli soldiers, Emad’s son Gibreel was born.
Scenes shift from the infant growing into a precocious preschooler to the many peaceful acts of protest, and the steady progress of the construction of the dividing wall. Sympathizers from all over the world, including from Israel, provide help as resistance develops, but when the situation intensifies, people are arrested and villagers are killed. Emad keeps on filming despite pleas from his wife, who fears reprisals…
In November last year the film already received both the Special Jury Award and the Audience Award from Amsterdam-based documentary festival IDFA and took home the World Cinema Directing Award at Sundance in January.
Sheffield Doc/Fest, which closed on Sunday, this year welcomed a record 2657 delegates from over 60 countries.
During the awards ceremony on the festival’s last day Matthew Acker was awarded the Special Jury Award for his film Marina Abramović: The Artist is Present.
For more information on 5 Broken Cameras and screening info, please check out the film’s website.