14 April 2024 The Irish Film & Television Network
The Flats wins top prize at the CPH:DOX film festival
26 Mar 2024 : New Desk
The Flats
Director Alessandra Celesia was awarded the top prize at the CPH:DOX film festival, for feature documentary The Flats. This is the first time an Irish-produced film has won the a prize at the festival.

The Flats was co-produced by Jeremiah Cullinane of Dublin’s Planet Korda Pictures, as well as by their partners, Films de Force Majeure in Marseille, Thank You & Good Night Productions in Brussels, and Dumbworld in Belfast. Following the film’s world premiere at the CPH:DOX film festival, Italian director Alessandra Celesia accepted the festival’s Dox:Award. Not only is The Flats the first Irish film to win the top prize at the festival, it is the first Irish film to win any film at the festival.

The feature documentary tells the story of Joe, his neighbours Jolene and Angie, and other residents of the tower blocks in the ‘difficult’ Belfast neighbourhood of New Lodge, a nationalist hotspot during the Troubles. In order to face up to the traumatic experiences facing them, the protagonists engage in a process of revisiting the collective memories that shaped their lives and the district they live in.

The Flats was supported by Screen Ireland, by Eurimages, and by a number of other funding agencies in France, Belgium, and the UK. The film can be seen at the upcoming Galway Film Fleadh, in July, and at the IFI Doc Fest, in Dublin, in September, before going on general release.

Handing out the award to the Italian director, the jury said: “Our main award recognises not only creative and conceptual daring, but a filmmaker with the humility to realise when the story outgrows its framework, and the confidence to follow where it, and its fantastically vivid characters lead.”

“We live in a world of divisions, borders and locked gates. Coming like a conversation shouted through one of those locked gates, our winning film is a collective portrait of several proud, funny, resourceful individuals, who would be willing to die for their community but who choose each day the harder, braver and more hopeful option of living for it instead. The Dox:Award goes to Alessandra Celesia for the witty, multi-layered, profound and provocative The Flats.”

The Flats’ theatrical release date is yet to be announced.

IFTA Q&A Series: Patricia Kelly on Directing
IFTA Q&A Series: Damien Lynch on Sound Design
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