Traditionally awarded to the year’s best film, the Doc Alliance Award is a way of looking back on the past year in documentary cinema. Under normal circumstances, the winner would have been announced during a live ceremony at Cannes Film Festival. But 2020 was different, and on Monday, 14 December during an online, live-streamed ceremony, it was announced that director Tiago Siopa would take home the award for his debut film Ghosts: Long Way Home.
The winner was decided by a nominated seven-member jury:
- Tomáš Stejskal, Czech Republic
- Oscar Pedersen, Denmark
- Antoine Thirion, France
- Claudia Euen, Germany
- Cláudia Marques Santos, Portugal
- Marcin Stachowicz, Poland
- Antoine Duplan, Switzerland
Portugal, 2019, 116 min
Picturesque Portuguese countryside is rich in legends about supernatural creatures, souls and witches who guide the locals through their everyday lives, helping them resist the hectic pace of modernity. The author meets the ghost of his late grandmother Marie, who tells him about his family history and mysterious stories imbued with rural superstitions and spirituality. Vivid, sunny images of rural idyll and seemingly real-life dialogues blur the line between a documentary ethnographic study, a family archive and a live-action film about unexplored Portuguese mythology and its thriving tradition.