Observer — competition of documentaries made in the spirit of Direct Cinema

The winners of Observer competition:

Special Diploma by the Jury goes to #YA by Ygor Gama and Florencia Rovlich ― for artistically convincing energy of protest, shown by purely cinematographic means.

Special Diploma by the Jury goes to Better Bodies by Ragnar Bragason ― for purity of genre and humorous and tactful study of the characters’ microcosm.

The Jury Prize and $500 goes to Behemoth - Or The Game Of God by Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese ― for radical investigation of humanity with a scalpel-like camera and powerful soundtrack-anesthetic, turning a surgical procedure into artistic experience.

The Audience Prize and $250 goes to 9 days – From My Window in Aleppo
by Issa Touma, Floor van der Meulen & Thomas Vroege.

We would like to thank our jury: Maxim Efros, Edgar Bartenev, Vladimir Nepevny, as well as all the filmmakers-participants: Ygor Gama, Florencia Rovlich, Issa Touma, Floor van der Meulen, Thomas Vroege, Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese, Ragnar Bragason, Mark Chapman, Jason Keener, Jessica Hutchison, Sean Clark, Igor ElukovJessica Bishopp, Isabella Olaguera, Gabrielle ProvostNatasha Kasyanova, Randa Maroufi and Antoine Camard.

The screenings took place in St. Petersburg on the 16th and 17th of April at Fotografika Academy. Photos here.

Films in competition:

by Ygor Gama, Florencia Rovlich

First it’s paint bombs, followed hard by riots.
Tweets proclaim what is to be done. (...)

9 days From My Window in Aleppo
by Issa Touma, Floor van der Meulen & Thomas Vroege

The first nine days of the rapidly changing uprising in Aleppo, observations recorded by the renowned Syrian photographer Issa Touma from his window in the old city. (...)

Behemoth - Or The Game Of God
by Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese

An itinerant preacher declares to people, their God is in the coffin he is dragging along. (...)

Better Bodies
by Ragnar Bragason

A film exploring the relationship between masculinity, the body and progress.


by Mark Chapman

Camrex House is a notorious homeless hostel that for 40 years has upheld a fearsome reputation.  (...)

Collinsville Trade Day, 1988
by Jason Keener

In 1988, my Paw Paw Charles took his video camcorder to Collinsville Trade Day to document the popular outdoor market for posterity.  (...)

I Look At Diamonds For A Living
by Jessica Hutchison

On the busy city streets of Melbourne, an astronomer – striving to enlighten people to the wonders of the universe.  (...)

by Sean Clark

In the wee hours of the morning, America's largest mall opens its doors almost exclusively to a small group of walkers. (...)

by Igor Elukov

A film about quiet life, snow and wind. (...)

Platform 1
by Jessica Bishopp

Through the hatch of a cafe kiosk at the train station on platform 1, the film unearths the treasures of the everyday. (...)

Shoes Get Shined
by Isabella Olaguera

A high school navy JROTC student, Stefan Olaguera, expresses his passion for shining shoes. (...)

The Acadian Girl
by Gabrielle Provost

During the summer fireworks in Montreal, a young girl walks around hoping to sell her load of cotton candies. (...)

The Goods
by Natasha Kasyanova

Life in the village revolves around the grocery store. All roads here lead to «The Goods». (...)

The Park
by Randa Maroufi

A slow meandering camera in an abandoned amusement park in the heart of Casablanca.  (...)

by Antoine Camard

Through this intimate portrait, a picture of being youth in Russia. (...)