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Simon Lereng Wilmont’s ‘A House Made of Splinters’ Takes Top Honors at Thessaloniki Documentary Festival
Christopher Vourlias Simon Lereng Wilmont’s “A House Made of Splinters,” a tender and humane story of a children’s shelter in eastern Ukraine, earned the top prize at the Thessaloniki Documentary Festival, taking home the Golden Alexander Award at a ceremony on Sunday.The international competition jury praised Wilmont’s acclaimed documentary, which also won the best director prize at Sundance, as “an unforgettable film that shines a light on the burden carried by children for the horrors and mistakes perpetrated by the world of the adults who should be caring for them.”The jury also announced a Special Jury Award for “Young Plato,” by Declan McGrath and Neasa Ní Chianáin, calling it “a film that can only give us hope in future generations and their capacity to make the world a better place.” In handing out the awards, the jury described the prize-winning duo as “two profoundly moving and intricate films that, in many ways, struck us as companion pieces, and that deserve to be seen together.”In the Newcomers Competition for young and up-and-comings directors presenting their first or second features, the Golden Alexander “Dimitri Eipides” Award went to “Golden Land,” by Inka Achté, which the jury described as “a beautiful and moving family story of belonging in a way which changes the narrative of migration…[and] shows – in a non-didactic manner – a family’s struggles and dreams.” The Special Jury Prize went to “The Devil’s Drivers,” by Daniel Carsenty and Mohammed Abugeth.In the Film Forward Competition, which showcases the work of young and daring directors who challenge genre conventions, the Golden Alexander Film Forward Award went to “The Bride,” by Samira Guadagnuolo and Tiziano Doria, which the jury praised as a