11th WATCH DOCS Award Presented

The 2011 Watch Docs competition featured the most outstanding human rights documentaries produced in the years 2010/ 2011. Nineteen films, chosen out of 1.200 submissions from all over the world, contended for this year’s Watch Docs award. The international jury – Klara Grunning-Harris, Hana Kulhankova, Marc Isaacs, and Paweł Łoziński, decided to award “Special Flight” by Fernand Melgar for the best movie of the festival. Concomitantly, the jury gave two Special Mentions for “The Colaborator and his Family” by Ruthie Shatz and Adi Barash as well as “Pit no 8” by Marianna Kaat. “Belorussian Dream” by Ekatarina Kibalchich received the Audience Award of this year’s Watch Docs Festival.

Jury’s verdict:

This year’s WATCH DOCS Award goes to a film that takes the viewer inside a closed institution inside a country more usually associated with great wealth and natural beauty. This institution is a place where Europe’s unwanted immigrants wait for the inevitable – so called “special flight” home.

With great humanity and a deep respect, the filmmaker observes the meeting of two worlds, that of the detained immigrants and the staff whose job it is to run the detention center.

The Jury members were greatly impressed by the film’s intimacy, its cinematic qualities, but most of all its expose of a cruel and unjust system not just confined to Switzerland.


“The Collaborator and his Family”

“Pit no.8”

The Jury would like to give a special mention to two films.

Firstly, “The Collaborator and his Family” for its ability to portray some of the complexities of the Israeli-Palestinian through the unique microcosm of one family.

And secondly, to “Pit no.8”, a film about three Ukrainian children, whose childhood is slipping away before our eyes, but in whom we still see the spirit of resilience.