‘For Sama’ and ‘The Cordillera of Dreams’ Share L‘Œil d’or at Cannes

For Sama

By Pat Mullen

It’s a tie! This year’s L‘Œil d’or at Cannes goes to For Sama, directed by Waad al-Kateab and Edward Watts, and The Cordillera of Dreams by Patricio Guzmán. Now in its fifth year, L‘Œil d’or is awarded at Cannes annually by LaScam, the French civil society for multimedia authors, to honour documentary at the festival.

For Sama is a powerful feat of citizen journalism as al-Kateab offers firsthand accounts of the revolution in Syria as she juggles her duty to her country with her responsibilities to her daughter. The film previously screened at Hot Docs where it received a special jury prize for international documentary after scoring both the jury prize and audience award at SXSW. Read our interview with For Sama directors Waad al-Kateab and Edward Watts here.

Guzmán’s The Cordillera of Dreams sees the 77-year-old filmmaker explore his nation’s history after leaving Chile 40 years ago. The doc master is still going strong after a recent hot streak that includes The Pearl Button and Nostalgia for the Light. The Cordillera of Dreams had its world premiere at Cannes.

The jury was led by filmmaker Yolande Zauberman with the winners determined from the 18 documentaries screening in various programmes at Cannes. Previous winners of the L‘Œil d’or include Stefano Savona’s Samouni Road, Agnès Varda and JR’s Faces Places, and Eryk Rocha’s Cinema Novo.