Academia Film Olomouc
April 17 - 22, 2012
Olomouc, Czech Republic
AFO 47 - Here's an overview of winners and selected jury statements:
The Best World Science Documentary Film Award + Student Jury Award:
Un Homme presque parfait (dir. Cécile Denjean)
The film we selected is compelling on several accounts. The jury was particularly struck by the fact that it reaches out to several spheres of human activity. Using personal testimonies of the pioneers in the field the film addresses a most topical theme. It tries to present it in the broadest context – thus, apart from outlining current research it also does not shrink from presenting possible implications, be they implications concerning areas that the phenomenon had not thus far affected, or the future that lies ahead. Unless the viewer has already formed a strong opinion, while watching the film he or she will certainly oscillate between utopian and dystopic vision. It keeping with the theme of this year´s Academia film Olomouc, the film is a point of intersection between cinema and science, popularizing both. As a student jury, we have both the opportunity and the duty to take into account both aspects. We would like to make a special mention of the film The Fabric of the Cosmos – What Is Space? However, we believe that the most remarkable film shown this year is the winning film, although it is less technically sophisticated. We recognize the feat of organizational efforts the producers have achieved, as well as the broad social relevance of the film.
RWE Prize to the Best Czech Science Documentary Film:
Non-Leaving (dir. Viktor Polesný)
Non-leaving is a perceptive double portrait of two Czech top-surgeons – cardiac surgeon Jan Pirk, and neurosurgeon Vladimír Beneš. The film offers an intimate insight into their professional as well as private lives.
Avoiding pathos, it shows crucial moments that decide the lives of their patients. In a time dominated by material and consumerist values, films like Non-leaving convey the much needed message of the strength of humanity and the dedication to honest work.
Vesmír Magazine Award for the Best Czech Science Documentary Film in the Sphere of Natural Sciences:
FOOD, Inc. (dir. Lukáš Kokeš)
Both generally known and generally ignored – the big issue of “food connections” concerns everyone and almost everything around us: the senseless transportation from one end of the earth to another, the greed and almost unlimited power of chain stores, the plummeting quality of food, advertisement based on lies and falsehood, misinformation regarding the content of attractive-looking food products, etc. The film explores all these aspects in a simple and clear manner, giving a platform to well-chosen specialists, offering a glimpse behind the scenes of food production, expounding on the situation in neighbouring countries. All these merits deserve recognition – one may only hope that we shall soon see a sequel of the present film.
Dějiny a Současnost Magazine Award for the Best Czech Science Documentary Film in the Sphere of Social Sciences and Humanities:
Jan Balabán (dir. Petra Všelichová)
Petra Všelichová´s film Jan Balabán is composed exclusively of footage and audio recordings of interviews with Jan Balabán and his readings. The director was wise to put her stakes on the charisma of the Ostrava-born writer, who died prematurely in 2010. Balabán´s reflections on human existence, his own life and his writing as well as the industrial setting of Ostrava present a subjective perspective on the regional centre as, in a philosophical sense, a living space endowed with memory. Bleak images of this urban landscape which nothing can render more hospitable provide an accompaniment to Balabán´s profound contemplations, at times almost confessional in nature. One is made to feel that human life is possible even here and that culture is not necessarily the product of its surroundings – its essence springing as it does from the desire and faith in one´s heart.
The Substance: Albert Hofmann‘s LSD (dir. Martin Witz)
Award for Contribution to Popularization of Science: