DocPoint – Helsinki Documentary Film Festival awarded the best National and International documentary films of the year. Maija Hirvonen’s NEUROTYPES won the National Competition and Yousef Srouji’s THREE PROMISES won the International Competition. Both DocPoint Awards are worth €5,000. The prizes were awarded on Saturday, 3 February at the awards ceremony in Helsinki’s Kinopalatsi. The Aho & Soldan Lifetime Achievement Award for Anu Kuivalainen was presented on the same occasion.
Maija Hirvonen’s NEUROTYPES, about courageous activist Aida, won the National Competition. The jury commented: “For a beautiful, intimate and discreet portrayal of Aida, a strong and inspirational character, and for successfully establishing a safe space for the characters to truthfully express themselves, we give the Docpoint Award for Best Finnish Documentary Film to NEUROTYPES by Maija Hirvonen. We hope that the award will help with the ongoing political fight in which they are involved.”
In addition, the jury gave a special mention to THE GAMER by Petri Luukkainen and Jesse Jokinen. ”THE GAMER is a skillfully made film with strong elements of character and narrative, giving an insight to the challenging world in which teenagers currently inhabit. We really appreciated the film’s creative approach to displaying gestures that capture the tension of both Verneri “Bona” Junkala and the society that is presented.”
The National Competition Jury consists of the International Programme Coordinator of the Thessaloniki Documentary Festival, Angeliki Petrou, Docs Ireland Head Programmer Stuart Sloan, and the Artistic Director of the International Documentary Exhibition of Bogotá, Maria Luna Rassa.
THREE PROMISES by Yousef Srouji won the International Competition. In this gripping documentary, the director returns to the West Bank of the early 2000s, where everyday life is dominated by the Israeli army’s reprisals against the Palestinian uprising, through home movies shot by his mother. “We were powerfully moved by a universally relatable story that displays a talented and subtly sophisticated use of archive material to offer clear insight into a recent moment of history. It is a film imbued with one woman´s vision and foresight to document their family, but at its heart it is also a unique intergenerational collaboration between mother and child that emphasises the need to preserve love, family and community under the most difficult of circumstances, “ commented the jury.
The International Competition Jury includes film producer and Industry Markets Manager at IDFA, Selin Murat, film producer, programmer, and founder of the production company Everything Was Decided in Movement, Rohan Berry Crickmar, and director and screenwriter Suvi West, who was awarded as director of the year in 2023 and has also won the State Award for Public Information.