Winning films DOCVILLE 2021

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DOCVILLE 2021 zit erop!

On Saturday 19th June, the 17th edition of DOCVILLE was festively concluded with the presentation of the DOCVILLE Awards and the Belgian premiere of Rodney Ascher's A Glitch in the Matrix.

It remained uncertain for a long time when the festival could continue. DOCVILLE resolutely opted for the real cinema experience and therefore postponed its start date time again and again. Wednesday 9 June it was finally time: the day the cinemas reopened, DOCVILLE 2021 started, a 100% physical edition and the very first film festival of the year. Despite the limited seating capacity and other corona measures in force, the downright tropical temperatures and the European Football Championship, DOCVILLE 2021 was again a bull's-eye. As expected, the need for physical events turned out to be very great and the loyal DOCVILLE visitors came in large numbers to Leuven to attend the many premieres, debates, after-talks and events. A striking trend is the significant increase in the number of DOCVILLE festival pass holders. This group of documentary film fans was bigger than ever in 2021.

DOCVILLE Awards 2021


Holgut by Liesbeth De Ceulaer took home the Jury Prize for Best Belgian Documentary donated by Sabam for Culture. This is the third time that De Ceulaer has won an award at DOCVILLE. In 2013 she won with Behind the Redwood Curtain and last year with co-directors Sofie Benoot and Isabelle Tollenaere with Victoria. The judges were unanimously the most absorbed by the tundra, the melting permafrost and the exposed skeletons of the visually and substantive layered, imaginative Holgut. According to the jury, Liesbeth De Ceulaer created a real cinema experience that leaves no one indifferent.

Some Kind of Heaven

Some Kind of Heaven by Lance Oppenheim won the Jury Prize in the International Competition and received a purchase award from Canvas. This jury prize is Academy Award Qualifying, so the film is directly on the long list of The Academy Awards 2022. The jury found that the young American filmmaker with a pronounced artistic vision and a striking stylistic mastery portrayed a surrealistic world. "Some Kind of Heaven is a film that is well made and structured in all areas. With humor and intelligence, the maker goes ahead and touches on important themes", according to the jury.


President from Camilla Nielsson won the Jury Prize in the ConScience Competition. The jury was surprised by the filmmaker's ability to take the viewer fully into the Zimbabwean election process, despite the difficult subject, and simply touch you.

The Jump

The Jump from Giedre Zickyte won the DOCVILLE Audience Award.

ESA New Worlds Film Competition

The European Space Agency (ESA) challenged filmmakers to come up with a good concept for a short film about European space exploration. From the many submissions, 10 candidates were selected to pitch their documentary idea at DOCVILLE. During the award ceremony, it was announced that Jennifer Rainsford with The Heart of an Astronaut (Sweden) and Mathijs Vleugels with Planet of Dreamers (Belgium) are the two finalists for DOCVILLE in the documentary category.

Not only do they gain access to the expertise of ESA professionals, but also €5,000 each in development aid and advance to the final.