The last prizes of the 47th Film Fest Ghent have been given. The audience cast their vote and picked the documentary For Sama (North Sea Port Audience Award) and Drunk (Canvas Audience Award) as their favourites.
North Sea Port Audience Award
The audience always have the final say at Film Fest Ghent. Each year, the visitors of the festival chose the winner of the North Sea Port Audience Award. After each screening they can cast their vote. After a tight race, the harrowing documentary For Sama by Waad al-Kateab was crowned the winner. The prize comes with a distribution grant of 5,500 euros for Belgian distributor MOOOV, together with a media campaign with a value of 12,000 euros.
For Sama tells the story of citizen jounalist who, in 2011, started documenting the escalating conflict in Syria. While everything around her is being bombed, she keeps filming: her camera als the ultimate weapon against the violence of war. Meanwhile, she marries a doctor with whom she gets her first child in 2016: Sama. More than just a report on war, al Kateab's bone-chilling wake-up call is a devasting diary that shows human suffering and the everlasting warmth and love of a mother for her child. Equally shocking as intimate, the film moved audiences around the world. On 20 October, For Sama was shown at Film Fest Ghent in the presence of war journalist Rudi Vranckx who was caught by "how a testimony can portray a reality that is endlessly more harrowing than any story of fiction".
Canvas Audience Award
Televison channel Canvas also hands out an award at the festival. This year's Canvas Audience Award goes to the opening film Drunk by Thomas Vinterberg. The Danish drinking buddies, led by Mads Mikkelsen, knew how to win the audiences over. The prize comes with a acquisition of the film by Canvas, worth 12,500 euros.
Drunk opened the 47th edition of Film Fest Ghent and has as intriguing premise. After coming across a theory of a Norwegian psychiatrist that the blood-alcohol content of all human beings is always too low, four male high-school teachers start to experiment with binge-drinking. Surprisingly, they all become more open and creative. Even marriages are on the verge of being saved, until this tragicomedy descends into a dark, ironic portrait of debauchery.
Both For Sama (distribution by MOOOV) and Drunk (distribution by September Film) will be released on 28 October in Belgian theatres.