DOK Leipzig 2014: Hamza Ouni receives Leipzig Media Foundation's "Talent Dove"
Leipzig, 1 November, 2014. The international jury for young cinema at the 57th International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film chose to honor Hamza Ouni (Tunisia/United Arab Emirates) and his film "El Gort" with the Sparkasse Leipzig Media Foundation's "Talent Dove" in 2014. The Media Foundation endows the "Talent Dove" with 10,000 Euros in start-up funding for the winner's next film project.
Stephan Seeger, Media Foundation's Managing Director and Head of Sparkasse Leipzig Foundations, congratulates Hamza Ouni on behalf of the Media Foundation: "His film 'El Gort' is an impressive long-term documentation of Tunisia before and after the revolution against President Ben Ali. In a story of two young men, Hamza Ouni shows us a country and the lives of its citizens in a reawakening democracy."
The jury praised the film, calling it "a raw movie full of energy, humor and anger that reveals a unique and complex picture of Tunisia today." Stephan Seeger believes the award and its endowment, sponsored by the Media Foundation since 2004, has once again achieved its goal with the selection of this year's "Talent Dove" laureate: "The focus on young documentary filmmakers reveals perspectives that we don't see as often in our European context - for example, this insight into the Arab world." He spoke highly of the jurors and the keen eye for extraordinary cinema they have demonstrated time and again when awarding the prize in past years. It's no wonder that last year's "Talent Dove" laureate, filmmaker Kaveh Bakhtiari for his film "L'Escale", was nominated for the European Film Award just two days after his victory in Leipzig. The laureate in 2008, Ilian Metev, even went on to win the "France 4 Visionary Award" in Cannes.
About the film:
"El Gort" portrays the lives of two young men in the Tunisian city of El M'hamdia. Day after day, they work loading heavy hay bales onto trucks. Hamza Ouni, born 1975 in Tunisia, visits them over several years - before and after the Tunisian revolution - and asks his home country how the profound political changes have changed the lives of his protagonists.