The story of farmer Niels Stokholm who tends his biodynamic farm in total harmony with nature has impressed the main jury of Pelicam 2015, consisting of former European Commissioner Dacian Cioloș, the director Farida Pacha and André Abreu de Almeida from Tara Oceans. The 84 years farmer is the protagonist of the documentary Good Things Await (Denmark, 2014) which won the main prize at the fourth edition of the International Film Festival on Environment and People. The director Phie Ambo has received an award of 1 500 euros offered by Tulcea City Hall.
“After much deliberation, the jury has decided to give this year festival’s main award to a film for its ability to highlight a universal message with a subject covered in all its complexity. Starting from a personal story full of authenticity and realism, the film raises the question whether the agricultural practices still allow the civilization to feed itself in harmony with nature”, has explained Dacian Cioloș.
Niels Stokholm is one of the most idealistic farmers in Denmark. He runs a biodynamic farm together with his wife, Rita, and from their farm, Thorshøjgaard, they deliver products to some of the best restaurants in the world. But not everyone is passionate about Thorshøjgaard and the holistic methods used. Authorities and bureaucracy threaten to shut down the farm. The director Phie Ambo follows their fight to ensure they are not the last ones to do agriculture this way, but among the first.
Tulcea City Hall has offered the main prize. “As a citizen, but also as a representative of the City Hall, I am already waiting for the fifth edition of the Pelicam International Festival. The films and related events have brought significant informational and educational benefits; the citizens have seen the work of people from other countries, from other parts of the world, but also these people’s attitude towards nature. For Tulcea, this event is one which promotes our city, an event that draws attention on this beautiful land, the Danube Delta, its values and potential. For Tulcea, this festival brings also a revival of cinema since, unfortunately, there are no cinemas in Tulcea, for years.“ has said Ștefana Zibileanu, the director of the Department for Social Assistance and Protection from Tulcea City Hall.
The film Tristia: A Black Sea Odyssey (Germany, 2014) has won the Black Sea Docs award, given by the jury consisting of Peter O’Brien, a member of the Board of Directors for the Washington Environmental Film Festival, photo-journalist Petruț Călinescu and director Dan Curean. They have valued the humorously portrayal of the relationships between people around the Black Sea. The producer Gerd Haag went on stage to receive their award consisting of post-production services worth 3 000 euros, offered by Cinelab and 500 euros offered by the Les Herbes Folles association, the organizer of the festival.
In Tristia: A Black Sea Odyssey, the director Stanislaw Mucha takes us on an extraordinary journey of 5 000 kilometres, along the coasts of seven countries. The landscapes spread from Crimea to the Caucasus, from the north coast of Turkey to the Danube Delta. Tristia captures the collision between mythic images that seem to have survived the passage of time, and multicultural changes after the communist period.
The Black Sea Docs jury has awarded a special mention to the film Hey Neighbour! (Turkey, 2014) which shows the effects of urban transformation in Istanbul, where tall glass buildings are “burying” old houses from the neighbourhood. The director Bingöl Elmas took the stage to receive the mention.
From the short films entered in the competition, the jury made up from climber Alex Găvan, journalist Andra Matzal and director Tom Wilson, has chosen the film Silent River (Mexico, 2014). The directors Jason Jaacks and Steve Fisher have followed the story of a young woman and her family who are struggling to save the river Santiago, also known as the “River of Death”, passing through the outskirts of Guadalajara. For 40 years, the waste from one of the largest industrial corridors in Mexico was thrown in Santiago. The award consists of 500 euros offered by the National Centre of Cinematography.
The jury of the short film section also awarded a special prize to the film Wild Boar (Netherlands, 2013); for “a perfectly done film which explores the grey areas of the relationship between humans and the other species with which they share their environment, in a society where the collective mind sees nature as a hindrance to economic development.” has been the jury’s motivation. The director Willem Baptist took the stage to pick up the mention.
Six pupils from Tulcea, coordinated by Roșia Montană activist Tică Darie have designated the winner for the Fresh Perspectives section. This is the film Seeds of Time (USA, 2014), the story of agriculture pioneer Cary Fowler who is in a fight against time to protect the future of our food. The seeds banks of the world are crumbling, the crop failures generate famine and riots, and the accelerated effects of climate change affect farmers globally. The director Sandy McLeod has won 500 euros offered by ViaSat.
This year’s festival has had more than 5 000 participants at the film screenings, workshops, photo exhibition, concert, discussions and parties. Pelicam 2015 was held in four spaces from Tulcea: the Cultural Centre Jean Bart, the Art Museum, the Civic Square and Avramide House.