Documentary returns to spotlight at Namur

Article published on Oct. 8, 2008
Article published on Oct. 8, 2008
The Namur International Francophone Film Festival closed on October 3 with a prize list that was both coherent and surprising. The 11 awards were shared among only seven features, as the prize-winners were unanimously lauded by the different juries and audiences. The major surprise was the winner of the Golden Bayard for Best Film.
A year after the FIFF removed its documentary competition – which didn’t fail to provoke a reaction from film professionals – the documentary Puisque nous sommes nés (“Because We Were Born”), by Jean-Pierre Duret and Andrea Santana, was honoured by the official jury (presided by Abderrahmane Sissako). The title also scooped the SCAM and Namur Region Audience Award.

The western-style film is deeply anchored in reality. It also plays on the boundaries of fiction, as do other titles in competition, such as The Class [trailer, film focus], God’s Offices [trailer], and especially Samuel Collardey’s L’Apprenti (“The Apprentice”).

Winner of the Venice sidebar Critics’ Week, L’Apprenti picked up the Jury Prize and the Golden Bayard for Best Debut Film, presented by a jury of young Francophones.

Puisque nous sommes nés and L’Apprenti centre on young protagonists whose future unfolds in an environment closely observed by the directors, who alternate between narrative devices and documentary insights. Both films will receive €7,500 for their future Belgian distributors, which should enable their release on Belgian screens.

Another double prize-winner is FIFF regular Lyes Salem, who presented his debut feature, Mascarades. The film has won acclaim at recent festivals, winning the Grand Prize at the 1st Angoulême Francophone Film Festival last month. At Namur, it scooped the Youth Jury Prize and the City of Namur Audience Award.

Aurore Engelen