The 12th Sole Luna Festival, purely for documentaries, came to an end with the awards ceremony on July 9th in Palermo.
23 feature-length documentaries and 8 short ones took part in the festival this year in the 3 official competitions.
Among them, Nima Sarvestani’s “Prison sisters” (Sweden / Iran) won over the international jury and was awarded Best Documentary. It follows a young Afghan woman, Sara, as she comes out of prison and takes refuge in Sweden because her uncle, to satisfy the family honour, wants to murder her. In Sweden she learns that her cell mate, who had remained in Afghanistan, was first reported missing, then stoned. Sara goes back to Afghanistan in search of the truth.
The jury also gave “Mentions” to several films: Mention for best director went to “Who’s Gonna Love Me Now?” by Tomer and Barak Heymann (Israel), a portrait of an HIV-positive man torn between his work in the London Gay Men’s Chorus and his desire to reconnect with his Orthodox Jewish family in Israel.
“69 minutes of 86 days”, the first film by Egil Haskjold Larsen (Norway), won the Mention for best editing. The film is a poignant look at the tragedy of migrants, seen through the eyes of a 3-year-old Syrian girl fleeing her war-torn country for Europe.
Finally, the Sole Luna Award, given to a film particularly relevant for the way it builds bridges between cultures, went to Eli Roland Sachs’ “Brother Jakob” (Germany). The director filmed his brother’s conversion to Islam, from his epiphany in the Moroccan mountains after coming across an English edition of the Koran, to his swift radicalisation.