A film about a remote but beautiful area of post-Soviet Russia, On The Edge Of Time: Male Domains In The Caucasus, was awarded the grand prize at this year's Taiwan International Documentary Festival (TIDF), which was held in Taipei from December 5-15.
Produced by Germany's Applause Film Media, the 90-minute film is directed by Stefan Tolz who spent two years in the mountainous region, located between Russia, Turkey and Iran.
Meanwhile, the festival's merit prizes were awarded to two films about the process of searching: Love Inventory, directed by Israel's David Fisher, about the search for a lost sister; and Family, from Denmark's Phie Ambo-Nielson and Sami Martin Saif, about the latter's search for the father who abandoned him as a child.
A special mention went to How High Is The Mountain, directed by Taiwan's Tang Shiang-Chu, which was recently joint winner of best documentary at the Golden Horse Awards. The film is about the return of Tang's father to mainland China after 40 years of exile.
The grand prize in the video section went to Katorga, directed by Russia's Evgeny Solomin, while merit prizes went to Paper Airplane, from China's Zhao Liang, and It Kinda Scares Me, directed by Israel's Tomer Heymann. Special mentions went to Taiwanese filmmaker Zero Chou's Poles Extremity and On Edge, directed by Finland's Maria Lappalainen.
The inaugural Taiwan award went to Tseng Wen-Chen's Spring: The Story of Hsu Chin-Yu, which also recently won best documentary at Taiwan's Golden Horse Awards, while the NETPAC award went to Sky-Blue Hometown from Korea's Kim So-Young.
The third edition of the biannual festival - organised for the first time by Taiwan's Council for Cultural Affairs - attracted a wide range of international guests including Kim Dong-Ho, director of the Pusan International Film Festival, and the Moscow International Film Festival's Kirill Razlogov. Leading Taiwanese filmmakers such as Hou Hsiao Hsien also showed their support for the event.