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The winners of the various competitions at Tempo Documentary Festival’s twenty-fourth edition have now been chosen. On Saturday evening, the award winners in Tempo’s seven competition categories received their awards at a ceremony at Teater Tre in Stockholm. During the evening, it was also announced who received the feminist Anna award presented by WIFT. All Tempo’s winning films are once again available via Draken Film from 10.00 – 23.59 on Sunday 12 March.

Below are the names of the winners and those who received an honourable mention, as well as the jury’s justification for the respective prizes. The jury groups are presented HERE (in Swedish).

Tempo Documentary Award is one of Sweden’s largest documentary film competitions. The prize of SEK 75,000 goes to the film’s director, who also receives a check from Dagsljus for SEK 50,000. The competition is organised with the support of the Swedish Film Institute.

How to Save a Dead Friend by Marusya Syroechkovskaya
The jury’s justification: A brave and self-revealing story, which with strong artistic sharpness tells us about a society without future prospects, but above all about the love of two young people; where both death, desperation and the strong will to live are in focus. A shocking portrayal of suburban life in today’s Russia.

The Stefan Jarl International Documentary Award is for the best international documentary. The prize is EUR 3,000. The competition is organised with the support of the Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation.

Anhell69 by Theo Montoya (photo)

The jury’s justification: We were engulfed by this film’s cinematic style, mysterious energy, beautiful landscape and heart-breaking dreams of a non-future. The sensitive storytelling about freedom-seekers and the raw realism captivated and hypnotised us for 90 minutes. This well-crafted and unique film denounces labels and creates worlds where people live side by side with ghosts, while embracing the present. The only certain thing in this violent city is that death is always a neighbour. Is it poetic irony that a film for non-believers made us believe in cinema?

Honourable mention:
Manifesto by Angie Vinchito

The jury’s justification: Here there is no filming with planned formats or regular structures. This is just today’s youth wanting to show and share some urgent experiences and to reach out for anyone to hear. With sensitive skill, respect and bravery, this director has collected videos and sewn together an unfiltered depiction of one day in the life. With its raw light and darkness, the film amplifies the voices of many individuals, and shows the world the traumatic realism of being young today and that the people who were supposed to protect them have let them down. This collective film tells us they are not alone and we are invited to listen. 

Tempo Short Award is the competition for the best documentary in short format. The prize of SEK 25,000 goes to the film’s director. The competition is organised with the support of the Swedish Film Institute.

Gösta Petter-land by Christer Wahlberg

The jury’s justification: The award goes to a creatively orchestrated film with an ambitious craft. This unconventional story is a true cinematic journey into the children’s inner world. A challenging portrayal of growing up that is both relatable and harrowing. The film succeeds in an unusual way in speaking to both adults and children, and can open a door to documentary film for a younger generation. A director who dares to go to an unexpected place – we are curious to see what comes next.

Honourable mention:
Leila by Fariba Haidari

The jury’s justification: A touching film about a strong destiny that you want to follow. It is about being the victim of an oppressive system but refusing to let go of power over your own life. Through this moving portrait of a unique character who, against all odds, has chosen to be themselves, the director also invites us to challenge our notions of life as a transgender person in Afghanistan.

New Doc is the competition for unestablished Swedish documentary film directors and the prize of SEK 50,000 is for an upcoming film project. The prize is awarded in collaboration with BoostHBG, Film Stockholm AB, Film i Dalarna, Film i Öst, Förvaltningen för kulturutveckling/Västra Götalandsregionen/FilmCloud, Filmregion Sydost, Region Uppsala, Region Gävleborg, Region Västmanland, Region Värmland, Film på Gotland, Kultur i Halland – Film and Film i Sörmland.

Om sorg by Emelie Löfgren

With great sensitivity and sharpness, Om sorg creates a place where lives criss-crossed by grief can exist on their own terms. Respectfully, beautifully and with care for both the people in the film and the viewer, a protected space is established that enables sustainable approaches to an infinitely difficult subject. Om sorg is a film to learn from, rest in and return to many times.

This prize is awarded to the short film, among the competition films in the Tempo Short Award, which has the most thoughtful and creative soundscape. The prize consists of SEK 60,000 to be used in Momento Studio, corresponding to about two weeks in the studio with a sound designer.

I Think of Silences When I Think of You by Jonelle Twum

The jury’s justification: In this work, she has dared to work with sound, silences and voice, not only as a telling voice but as a kind of materiality in what a voice can do. Not only in the words they say but also in its rhythm, intonations and moods, creating a portrait that both weaves in the silences and a person who does not speak or perhaps speaks. It is a collaboration where the sound image, the visuals and the subtitles come to their full effect. In this film, it is through the small that you manage to tell the big and it is clear that this is a choice made by the director at an early stage.

In Short Dox Radio, ten radio documentaries of a maximum three minutes’ length compete for SEK 5,000. The winning documentary will also take part in the Nordic short dox competition in Sweden later this year. The prize is a collaboration with the production company Munck, which offers studio time and a producer to help create the winner’s next audio documentary. The award was founded by Bengt Bok, professor of radio production at Stockholms Dramatiska Högskola.

Hej jag har lite bråttom by Rasmus Malm

The jury’s justification: The award goes to a contribution that, with its strong presence and playful storytelling, takes us on a journey through ongoing life and the drama of everyday life. With an eye for both children and adults, the contribution succeeds in capturing the elusive in the passage of time.

Honourable mention:
Hjärtat by Teresa Kristoffersson

The jury’s justification: In a simple, stripped-down and fine-tuned way, the contribution succeeds in portraying one of life’s most difficult moments. This story goes straight to the heart.

Tempo Pitch is the competition for new documentary film ideas. The prize consists of SEK 90,000 in development funds. The competition is arranged in collaboration with Film Stockholm, SVT Dokumentär and the Swedish Film Institute.

Smugglaren by Sylvelin Måkestad

The jury’s justification: A project that with warmth, nerve and respect takes us on an external and internal journey with hope for reconciliation. As a personal story it approaches a collective memory and inherited trauma with a strong connection to today’s political situation. A project that touches and engages through a strong and surprising character.

During the evening, one more prize were awarded:

The award was founded in 2014 by WIFT (Women in Film and Television) and UN Women Sweden with the aim of increasing knowledge of the UN Convention on Women and how it is important to a film industry where women are given equal opportunities to tell their stories. The prize is SEK 100,000.

Lykke Post-Partum by Alexe Landgren and Karen Helen Haugaard

Justification of the jury: The 2023 Anna award winner highlights the importance of the right healthcare during pregnancy, childbirth, aftercare and breastfeeding. This is illustrated by the main character’s postpartum depression, which goes untreated, which tears the family apart, creates strong feelings of guilt and makes it difficult for the mother to bond with the newborn child. Furthermore, the film illustrates the parents’ joint responsibility for the child’s upbringing and as parents.

Honourable mention:
Phantom Pain of Rojava by Maryam Ebrahimi

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