Finnish documentary wins big in Leipzig
Kaisa’s Enchanted Forest, from director Katja Gauriloff, was awarded the Golden Dove award at DOK Leipzig in the Animated Documentary category.
The documentary fairytale is set in the land of the Skolt Sami people near the polar circle. The narrator is Kaisa Gauriloff, a storyteller and singer and the great-grandmother of the director Katja Gauriloff.
Kaisa Gauriloff’s life is approached through the story of Robert Crottet, a Swiss writer who followed an urgent call he heard in a fever dream and went to Lapland in the 1930s. Over the years, Crottet and Kaisa Gauriloff became soulmates, and Crottet wrote down the myths told by Kaisa.
“The chosen film is an exceptional visual anthropology, which, through its unique access to archival material, combined with its use of animation, music and sound design, creates a spellbinding experience for the viewer,” the jury’s statement reads.
“The unique relationship of the cinematographer of the original archival footage to the main character opens an in-depth understanding of the Sami nation of northern Finland, and a way of life that has been nearly annihilated. The main character, an illiterate old woman, is portrayed as a living extension of the land she has inhabited.”
DOK Leipzig is the world’s oldest documentary film festival. It was founded in 1955, and the programme consists of not only documentaries, but also animations and films that incorporate both documentary and animation.