7 December 2019 The Irish Film & Television Network
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The Inaugural Docs Ireland Festival Announces Winners at Closing Night Gala
17 Jun 2019 : News Desk
Docs Ireland 2019
Ireland's First All-Ireland Documentary Film Festival ran from Wednesday, 12th June in Belfast, closing on Sunday 16th June with the festival awards and a screening of Garry Keane and Andrew Mconnell’s ‘Gaza’.

After a successful run for the new all-Ireland, industry-focused, documentary festival, the award-winners were announced on Sunday 16th June at the Closing Night Gala. Steven Eastwood’s ‘Island’ won the Maysles Brother award for Best Observational Documentary, whilst Best Irish Short documentary went to Anna Rodgers’ ‘Strong at the Broken Places’.

Elsewhere, veteran documentarian Margo Harkin was honoured by Mark Cousins with the award for Outstanding Contribution to Irish Documentary, whilst the Shell Shock award for Outstanding Contribution to Music Documentary was given to legendary British film director, DJ and musician Don Letts.    

Other highlights of the festival included a discussion with Oscar-winning filmmaker and director of ‘No Stone Unturned’, Alex Gibney. Gibney took part in an event discussing the freedom of the press with Trevor Birney, Barry McCaffrey and Seán Murray in the Ulster Museum on Wednesday June 12th. Gibney also discussed his impressive catalogue of work, what drives him to be a filmmaker and his new film ‘The Inventor’, which screened at the festival.

The new festival also hosted a marketplace, DocMarket, with a series of industry events, masterclasses and pitching sessions for new and emerging filmmakers, giving them the chance to meet with the biggest decision-makers in the industry to pitch ideas and learn about the business side of filmmaking.

The festival was attended by representatives of some of the biggest names in the industry including Dogwoof, BBC Storyville, The Kennedy Marshall Company TG4, Channel 4, CAT&Docs, USA PBS, RTÉ, Northern Ireland Screen and Screen Ireland and a host of other investors, who engaged with filmmakers.

Other screenings at the festival included:

For Sama - Winner of the Prix L’Œil d’Or for Best Documentary at this year’s Cannes Film Festival this stunning documentary tells the story of Waad al-Kateab’s life through five years of the uprising in Aleppo, Syria as she falls in love, gets married and gives birth to Sama, all while cataclysmic conflict rises around her. Waad al-Kateab was in attendance at the screening.

Diego Maradona - Directed by one of the world’s hottest documentary filmmakers today, Asif Kapadia, this documentary focuses on the much-loved but controversial footballer. It includes never seen before footage from Maradona’s personal archive.

Framing John DeLorean – A deep portrait of the controversial businessman with Alec Baldwin playing John DeLorean in re-enactments of key scenes in his life.

The Silence of Others – This documentary reveals the epic struggle of the victims of General Franco and his 40-year dictatorship of Spain, and who continue to seek justice to this day.

Meeting Gorbachev – Werner Herzog and André Singer’s riveting documentary, filled with unforgettable archive materials and based on three long interviews, provides incredible access to, arguably, the world’s greatest living politician.

Closing Night Gala: – Garry Keane’s ‘Gaza’ closed the festival, in what is an elegantly shot and masterfully crafted portrait of Palestinian life, offering a rare chance to be immersed in the heart of Gaza.

Click here for more information about the festival.

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