VISIONS DU REEL 2020: And the winners are…

VISIONS DU REEL 2020: And the winners are…

The Visions du Réel 2020 winning films are as follows:



Contemporary documentary filmmaking through a selection of original and singular feature films.



Punta Sacra by Francesca Mazzoleni (Italy) 

The last representatives of a resilient community who built their own houses. Kids and mothers living in a no man’s land, a female universe looking for happiness in front of a sea they belong to, affirming their rights to live in an abandoned place they love. 



Anerca, Breath of Life by Markku Lehmuskallio and Johannes Lehmuskallio (Finland) 

A film by a father and his son, a history of conquests and land exploitation we never heard of. A film where ethnography is looking for a new mesmerizing language, giving us the complexity of reality. 


Special Mention

The Silhouettes by Afsaneh Salari (Iran, Philippines) 

A balanced, delicate and moving portrait of a second generation migrant, divided between the nostalgy from a motherland you never knew and a land that is still not yours. 


El Father Plays Himself by Mo Scarpelli (Venezuela, United Kingdom, Italy, United States)

An intense hybrid film on an hybrid film, the process of filmmaking as a life process. 


INTER-RELIGIOUS AWARD (CHF 5’000): Feature film that sheds light on issues dealing with meaning and sense of direction in life.

Off the Road by José Permar (Mexico, United States) 

The director takes a head-on approach, sometimes with the skill of a racing driver, to tackle all the issues faced by changing societies: the roots that define the identities of people and communities, the relationships between generations as well as men and women, the different social, economic and political categories, and the desert environment of Mexico’s Baja California, which plays host every year to a car race watched by thousands of fans.  




An international competition dedicated to new vocabularies and expressions, to research and to narrative and formal experimentation (medium length and feature films). 


SESTERCE D’OR CANTON DE VAUD (CHF 10’000): Best medium length or feature film 

The Other One by Francisco Bermejo (Chile) 

In its stark simplicity, this Beckettian account of living with one’s ghosts is a splendid essay in aloneness, a tour-de-force for one man, and one of the most affectionate portraits of what it means to live with a mental illness that we have recently come upon. 


JURY PRIZE SOCIÉTÉ DES HÔTELIERS DE LA CÔTE (CHF 5’000): Most Innovative Medium-length or feature film 

Pyrale by Roxanne Gaucherand (France) 

Like an eerie mirror to our present time, we felt enwrapped by the intoxicating beauty of imperceptible danger of this touching account of falling in love in times when nature threatens to change everything we knew before. 


Special Mention 

The Disqualified by Hamza Ouni (Tunisia, France, Qatar)

We would like to bring forth the extraordinary commitment of one filmmaker who has followed his character for the course of 12 years, in a rollercoaster of emotions and sometimes painful life events. This dedication and resilience are humbling and worth highlighting. 




A competition dedicated to feature and medium length films (co) produced by Switzerland. 


SESTERCE D’OR SRG SSR (CHF 15’000): Best medium length or feature film 

Sapelo by Nick Brandestini (Switzerland)

We were deeply moved by the dedication of the older generation living in this magical place to preserve a community, to maintain values and try to protect its children from the hardships of a world threatening their way of living. 


JURY PRIZE SSA/SUISSIMAGE (CHF 10’000): Most innovative feature film 

Cows on the Roof by Aldo Gugolz (Switzerland)

For its truthful and touching portrait of a man deeply wounded by the sense of guilt, struggling with his inner self and with the difficulties of a hard life in the mountain landscape of the Swiss Alps, a compelling tale of human redemption through love and work. 


Special Mention 

Privé by Raphaël Holzer (Switzerland) 

An imaginative film that transforms the touching relationship between a son and his ageing father into a subtle investigation into the realms of fictional documentary. 




Contemporary documentary filmmaking through a selection of original and singular medium length and short films. 


SESTERCE D’ARGENT (CHF 10’000): Best medium length film 

Jungle by Louise Mootz (France) 

This film follows a group of women, friends and artists through their everyday joys and struggles with an impressive intimacy. A group who lives by their own norms and represents their own image of gender and culture by denying the usual societal gaze. 


JURY PRIZE CLINIQUE DE GENOLIER (CHF 5’000): Most innovative medium length film 

An Ordinary Country by Tomasz Wolski (Poland) 

For the film’s exceptional ability to unleash new layers of meaning and rethink the gaze contained in images originally recorded in secret and to stay secret, which the filmmaker manages to transform without making them lose their importance as documents of an era, and in the process reminding us of the consequences of citizen surveillance that, today, is exercised more than ever in History. 


Special Mention 

Trouble Sleep by Alain Kassanda (Nigeria, France) 

The jury wishes to give a Special Mention to a film that observes the everyday life with the poetry of a choreography where the street life creates a microcosm of the society. 



My Own Landscapes by Antoine Chapon (France)

This jury wishes to award a film that is born of an exceptional ability to make poetry out of images usually used to train people for war. We go into the head and feelings of someone who confines himself to heal the traumas caused by a war simulator. 


Special Mention 

Bella by Thelyia Petraki (Greece) 

For its mastery in playing with time and memories, creating an archive of intimate images that are nostalgic and political. 


YOUTH JURY PRIZE MÉMOIRE VIVE (CHF 2’500): Most innovative short film 

On Hold by Laura Rantanen (Finland) 

For the originality of its cinematographic apparatus, because it deals with various current and important subjects, and for its touching aspect which succeeds in transmitting multiple emotions. 




Feature films that have already wowed audiences at other festivals or that shall mark the coming year. 



Mirror, Mirror on the Wall by Sascha Schöberl

The life of Dr Han has become a permanent quest for perfection. From the livestreamed operating theatre to art fairs via fashion shows, the famous Chinese plastic surgeon has only one aim: beauty. Through the implacable portrait of this character, the film questions beauty as a simultaneously essential yet vain element of society in the era of selfies.




A section dedicated to first short films or student films. The invited filmmakers present their films as part of the Festival’s official selection and participate in a specially developed programme of industry-related professional activities. 


IDFA TALENT AWARD: Invitation to IDFA’s next edition to participate in a tailor-made programme within the IDFA Industry and training activities (travel & accommodation included). 

The Golden Buttons by Alex Evstigneev (Russia) 

A film of great creativity, in which images and sounds are beautifully arranged, offering an invitation to imagine the inner world of its young subjects. 


TËNK AWARD: Purchase of distribution rights and an editing residency at the Village documentaire of Lussas (Ardèche–France) for the filmmaker of the awarded film 

Without You, Without Me by Adèle Shaykhulova (France, Russia) 

Beneath an apparent simplicity, this is a film that succeeds in talking of love, family and mourning in a very contemporary way, namely in a world where, by being everywhere, perhaps we are actually nowhere. 



Mat and Her Mates by Pauline Pénichout (France) 

This year, the Slon Residency award is awarded to a film which touched us with its proximity to the characters, for the way in which the director manages to enter the intimacy of the subject while keeping a humble attitude, a presence–absence that brings her protagonists to the forefront.