For weeks we’ve been biting our nails in anticipation … and at last it’s official… the 16th Belfast Film Festival award winners are announced:
10th Maysles Brothers Documentary Award Winner
Directed by Marc Serena & Pablo García Pérez de Lara
Judges Statement, 23 April 2016
The 10th Maysles Brothers Documentary competition programme offered a variety of films that offered unique insights into the world around us and did so with a variety of fresh approaches to the cinema verite form.
This year’s winner of the Maysles Brothers Award is one that held fast and true to telling an inspiring and authentic story that didnt exploit or intervene in its subject and left the people and community it followed with a public voice louder than the boundaries of their island life. It is a film that caused us to reflect on our lives in a noisey and confusing developed world and celebrate in the power of individuals and the solidarity of community, no matter how isolated, to remain human in its diversity.
Full of colour, life, music and carnival, the winning film Tchindas by Pablo Garcia and Marc Serenas has a lot to teach us about the heroism of transgender lives and the contribution they offer to their community in Sao Vicente in the Cape Verde islands when welcomed, championed and celebrated by their neighbours young and old.
Audience Award Winner
Directed by Rachael Moriarty & Peter Murphy
Black Owl Award Winner
Directed by Lucile Hadžihalilovic
Outstanding Contribution to Cinema Award
Arguably the greatest living British filmmaker, Terence Davies (b.1945) is a member of the distinctive generation of British Film Institute-nurtured directors whose ranks notably include Derek Jarman, Sally Potter and Peter Greenaway. Davies first established himself with three celebrated shorts, known collectively as The Terence Davies Trilogy’. Like his trilogy, subsequent features ‘Distant Voices, Still Lives’ and ‘The Long Day Closes ‘are set in postwar England.
In Davies films, escape is provided by the radio, cinema and music. His portraits of postwar Britain reveal him as an artist deeply grounded in a milieu as specific
as Faulkner’s Mississippi or John Waters’ Baltimore. Davies has spoken of “the British genius at creating the dismal,” but his films show something else: the ability to make glowing poetry from the dismal.
Belfast Film Festival proudly presented Terence Davies with the 2016 Outstanding Contribution to Cinema Award.