“Special Jury Prize” for FORGETTING DAD – Yippee!
December 1, 2008 by rickfilms
Rick Minnich with daughter Elisabeth and sales agent Jan Röfekamp
Saturday, Nov. 29, 2008: Just as I was recovering from the disappointment of not being nominated for the Joris Ivens Prize (the main prize at IDFA), it was announced that the Joris Ivens jury had a special prize to give out – the “Joris Ivens Competition Special Jury Prize.” As soon as jury member Bianca Stigter began reading the description of the winning film, I knew it was “Forgetting Dad.” What a thrill! Suddenly I felt hands on my shoulders, and turned around to find our sales agent Jan Röfekamp smiling down at me.
Here’s what the jury had to say about “Forgetting Dad”:
“In this documentary home movies show us an ordinary happy family in twentieth century America. However, not all is as it seems. The father in the movies is still alive but he does not remember anything. Or does he? Rick Minnich made a documentary about his own father, who says he lost his memory after a car accident but the doctors cannot find anything wrong with him and the members of the family are not convinced either. Memory loss might be an act of will.
In the risky genre of the personal documentary Rick Minnich and Matthew Sweetwood managed to do everything right. The structure gives the film a beautiful sense of suspense. The notion of the possibility to escape from your own life permeates the film and makes the movie not only touching but also exhilarating.”
Let’s hope the prize helps spread the word about “Forgetting Dad.” Many, many thanks to the jury for this wonderful prize!
Oh, by the way, “Burma VJ – Reporting From a Closed Country” won both the Joris Ivens Prize and the Movies That Matter Human Rights Award. It’s a chilling tale about the video reporters who have been risking their lives to report from Burma over the past years in order to show the world what atrocities the military dictatorship there has been committing for the past three decades. My hat’s off to director Anders Østergaard and all the Burmese VJs who contributed to this very powerful film. I hope the prizes help spread the news about the very sad state of affairs in Burma, where the military didn’t even flinch at imprisoning and killing many of the Buddhist monks who took to the streets in protest last year.
See photos of all the prize winners at: http://www.idfa.nl/en/news/latestnews/winners-idfa-2008-announced.aspx
On behalf of the entire crew from “Forgetting Dad,” I would like to thank all the wonderful staff and volunteers at IDFA as well as all the interested movie-goers for a very memorable week. Once again, IDFA proved why it is the biggest and best documentary film festival in the world!