‘In a Whisper’ Tops IDFA 2019 Winners

In a Whisper

By Pat Mullen

In a Whisper topped the list of winners at this year’s International Documentary Festival Amsterdam (IDFA). The Spanish/French/Swiss/Cuban co-production directed by Heidi Hassan and Patricia Pérez Fernández took the festival’s top prize for best international feature. In a Whisper is a personal reflection on the filmmakers’ Cuban roots and sense of alienation that developed as they moved around the world and immersed themselves with new perspectives. Of the film, the jury remarked, “A refreshing expression of womanhood; an ode to loss; a celebration of friendship, will, and vulnerability; a reclaiming of hope and passion; and a piercingly honest cinematic dialogue are all embodied in this magical, original, and risk-taking cinematic endeavor.”

On the Canadian front, Vincent Morissett won the IDFA DocLab Award for Immersive Non-Fiction for Vast Body 22. The body-bending immersive experience that uses mixed images of motion to play upon corporeality and identity.

The complete list of IDFA winners is as follows:

IDFA Award for Best Feature-Length Documentary: In a Whisper – Heidi Hassan and Patricia Pérez Fernández

IDFA Award for Best Directing: Sunless Shadows – Mehrdad Oskouei

IDFA Award for Best Editing: Punks – Sander Vos

IDFA Award for Best Cinematography: Punks – Maasja Ooms

IDFA Award for Best First Appearance: Solidarity – Lucy Parker

FIPRESCI Award for First Appearance: Aswang – Alyx Ayn Arumpac

IDFA Award for Best Mid-Length Documentary: Anticlockwise – Jalal Vafaei
(special mention: Mother-Child – Andrea Testa)

IDFA Award for Best Short Documentary: Up at Night – Nelson Makengo
(special mention: Mizuko – Katelyn Rebelo and Kira Dane)

IDFA DocLab Award for Digital Storytelling: The Waiting Room VR – Victoria Mapplebeck

Special Jury Award for Creative Technology: In the Event of Moon Disaster – Francesca Panetta and Halsey Burgund

IDFA DocLab Award for Immersive Non-Fiction: Vast Body 22 – Vincent Morisset

IDFA Award for Best Dutch Documentary: Sidik and the Panther –Reber Dosky
(special mention: Punks – Maasja Ooms)

IDFA Award for Best Student Documentary: Saudade – Denize Galiao
(special mention: Summerwear – Moritz Schulz)

IDFA Award for Best Children’s Documentary: Asho – Jafar Najafi
(special mention: Foreplay – Anne van Campenhout)

Beeld en Geluid IDFA ReFrame Award for Creative Use of Archive: Letter to the Editor – Alan Berliner
(special mention: Marshawn Lynch: A History – David Shields)

Lifetime Achievement Award: Jørgen Leth

Visit the POV IDFA Hub for more coverage from this year’s festival.