Here are the nominees for the Doc Alliance Award 2020

The Doc Alliance network presents this year’s seven nominees to the Doc Alliance Award, selected by each festival-member: Doclisboa (Portugal), CPH:DOX (Denmark), Docs Against Gravity (Poland), FID Marseille (France), Jihlava IDFF (Czech Republic), DOK Leipzig (Germany) and Visions du Rèel (Switzerland). 

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Doc Alliance Selection is held this year in December and the Award will be announced online instead of the usual Doc Brunch ceremony at Marché du Film of the Canned Film Festival. Just like in previous editions, the seven festivales nominated a first or second European feature film to run to the Award, which consists in 5,000,00 Euros for a next film. 

For this year’s Doc Alliance Selection, Doclisboa nominated Ghosts: Long Way Home, by Tiago Siopa, produced by Primeira Idade. In this film, the director dives in his family universe, in this home town, searching and revealing the ghosts and family superstitions. Ghosts: Long Way Home was part of Arché – Space for Creative Development of Apordoc in 2018, under the tutorship of Andrés Duque where he won the RTP Award for Best Project. The film premiered worldwide in Doclisboa 2019, in the Portuguese competition and had its international premiere in Jihlava Documentary Film Festival 2020 where it won the First Lights Competition. 

The Doc Alliance jury is composed by 7 film critics, also nominated by the festival-members. Doclisboa invited Cláudia Marques Santos, film critic of Visão magazine, to be part of the jury this year. 

The winner will be announced in an online event on December 14th at 5 pm (Lisbon time), which will be attended by the directors of the seven festivals, the nominees and the juries. The event will be held on Zoom Meetings and streamed on Facebook

Doc Alliance is an international network that gathers seven European documentary film festivals and to which Doclisboa has joined in 2013.


Doc Alliance Selection 2020 Nominees

Nominated by Doclisboa:

Fantasmas: Caminho Longo Para Casa / Ghosts: Long Way Home
By Tiago Siopa
Prod: Primeira Idade, Portugal, 2019
After a spell cast by Grandma Faraway, the oldest son of a small family encounters the ghost of his late Grandma Maria still living in her old house, and they chat as they used to.


Nominated by CPH:DOX:

Undertrykkelsens sang / Songs of Repression
By Marianne Hougen-Moraga & Estephan Wagner
Prod: Final Cut for Real, Denmark, 2020
At the foot of the Andes Mountains in Chile lies an idyllic German colony called Villa Baviera. However, the beauty of the place – formerly known as Colonia Dignidad – hides a grim past. Systematic child-abuse, medical experiments, torture chambers and mass graves are part of its history. Today, 120 inhabitants still live their lives in the colony where a disturbing blend of religious fanaticism and extreme conservatism still holds sway. Songs of Repression explores the strategies that the residents employ to deal with their traumas today.


Nominated by Docs Against Gravity:

Lekcja miłości / Lessons of Love
By Małgorzata Goliszewska, Kasia Mateja
Prod: Widok, Poland, 2019
Free-spirited Jola, after escaping from a marital nightmare is letting loose with her girlfriends and finds herself thrust into a new romance at a latino dancing class. The drama evolves when the conservative powers of her generation try to justify her abusive husband. A highly cinematic and joyful journey into a woman’s battle to reinvent herself in her best age of life, when she is 69.


Nominated by FIDMarseille:

Chanson triste / Sad Song
By Louise Narboni
Prod: Mélodrama, France, 2019
For a year, Parisian baroque singer Elodie Fonnard has taken in and taken care of Ahmad, a young refugee who has come to France to save his own life. Before Louise Narboni’s camera, Elodie and Ahmad re-enact their life together.


Nominated by Jihlava IDFF:

Vlci na hranicích / Wolves on the Borders
By Martin Páv
Prod: Frame Films, Czech Republic, 2019
After more than two hundred years, wolves began reappearing in the forests of the Broumov region. Some locals welcome their return. They believe they can restore the natural balance and mitigate the effects of the catastrophic drought. Sheep and livestock farmers, on the other hand, see these wild animals as a threat to their livelihoods. Martin Páv stands as an impartial observer in the middle of an increasingly heated dispute.


Nominated by DOK Leipzig:

Never Whistle Alone
By Marco Ferrari
Prod: Candy Glass, Basemen, VPRO, Italy, 2019
Never Whistle Alone is a collective story told by seven Italian whistleblowers. The film is not a reportage on their cases. It wants instead to reveal a discriminatory practice that is rooted into our working culture: the people who report white-collar crimes, instead of being appreciated, are treated like traitors and, ultimately, they become victims of their own organizations.” – Marco Ferrari


Nominated by Visions du Réel:

El father como sí mismo / El Father Plays Himself 
By Mo Scarpelli
Prod: Rake Films, Ardimages, La Faena Films, Venezuela/United Kingdom/Italy/USA, 2020
While Jorge left Venezuela as a child, his father remained there. In a country that he struggles to recognise, the son is now directing a fictional film about the troubled past of this genitor in the illegal goldmines of the Amazonian jungle. With determination, El Father Plays Himself draws a portrait of a complex filial relationship.