The jury for Balkan Documentary Competition was comprised of Marta Andreu, Spain (Coordinator DocMontevideo), Srdjan Keċa, Serbia (filmmaker, Letter to Dad, Mirage) and Cinta Peleja, Portugal (Festival director DocLisboa).
[from DokuFest's press release]: Festival’s flagship award for Best Balkan Documentary went to the film Sofia's Last Ambulance by Ilian Metev. A story of one of only 12 ambulances serving Bulgarian city of Sofia was so captivating and here’s what jury noted about it: “For being an amazing film in its sharp yet peaceful gaze at the characters it portrays with intimacy, that powerfully succeeds to represent the reality that surrounds them. The filmmaker uses with great ability the cinema's potential to articulate what is in the frame with what is not shown, to express the essence of human being in relation to the world and its meaning”.
The Same jury also awarded Croatian filmmaker Dana Budisavljevic with Best Balkan Newcomer award for her film Family Meals. The award is handed on behalf of the Balkan Documentary Center and is sponsored by the Foreign Ministry of Bulgaria. Below is what jury noted about the film: “The jury considers that the director's cinematographic approach reflects a way of looking at reality that promises a personal voice, which should be encouraged”.
Poslednata lineika na Sofia , Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, 75 min, Beta SP, Digi Beta, DVD, Personal View, Portrait, Social Issues, Society
In a city where 13 ambulances struggle to serve a burgeoning population of several million, 47-year old Krassi Yordanov is our unlikely hero: chain-smoking and saving lives in a non-stop 48-hour shift. Krassi is the emergency doctor on one of Sofia’s last ambulances and today is the worst day of his life. This is a film about the regular working day of Dr. Krassi, nurse Mila and driver Plamen, a team working on an ambulance in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria. Struggling against an avalanche of absurdities in a crumbling medical system and scarcely earning enough to make a living, these three are simply trying to do what they do best – save lives.
Nije ti život pjesma Havaja , Croatia, 2012, 49 min, Digi Beta, HD, Creative, Personal View, Society
Do you remember when was the last time you talked to your parents? What did you talk about? Did you go a step beyond weather forecast and daily politics? Can a conversation about buried family secrets help you eat without cramps in your stomach? Can a failed birthday cake help you embrace the past? A birthday celebration brings together an ordinary four member family five years after their last gathering. They start questioning what made them turn away from each other. Through the ritual of family meals, the film unveils how important it is to feel accepted by our loved ones.