DocPoint – Helsinki Documentary Film Festival, organised for the 19th time last week, set a new record: in seven days around 32 000 people attended the festival. The event ended on Sunday and its most watched film was KELET, directed by Susani Mahadura, which also won the Audience Award sponsored by Angel Films. The critic Nick Holdsworth handed the Critic’s Choice Award to the festival’s opening film LADY TIME.
Around 230 screenings took place during the festival week with a total of over 100 films. One in four screenings was sold out. DOKKINO, the annual, nationwide documentary film screening tour for children and youth gathered an audience of 2000 people in four days. DocPoint last broke its record in 2017, when more than 31 000 documentary film fans attended the festival.
The most watched film of this year’s DocPoint was KELET, the portrait of a trans woman of colour directed by Susani Mahadura. Among other popular films were THE CAVE (dir. Feras Fayyad), nominated for an Oscar for Best Documentary Feature, CITIZEN K (dir. Alex Gibney), which portrays Mikhail Khodorkovsky, and THE KINGMAKER (dir. Lauren Greenfield), a documentary about Imelda Marcos. A record 51 percent of the international DocPoint programme and 88 percent of the Finnish selection were directed by women alone or as members of a pair of directors.
“I am delighted and proud of DocPoint’s wise, enthusiastic, and enlightened audience”, the festival’s artistic director Kati Juurus rejoices. “It’s especially amazing that KELET, a celebration of diversity and tolerance, was among the most popular films of this year’s festival, as well as THE CAVE, a film about an underground hospital in Syria and its courageous leader, doctor Amani Ballour. It is one of the most important films of the past few years.”
The British film critic and journalist Nick Holdsworth, writing for Modern Times Review, selected the opening film of the festival LADY TIME (dir. Elina Talvensaari) for the Critic’s Choice Award. Holdsworth says: “This is a poetic, lyrical and poignant film about time and loneliness. This is a subtle and compulsive film that quietly draws you into a lost world…”
DocPoint – Helsinki Documentary Film Festival will celebrate its 20th birthday next year from February 1st to 7th, 2021.