The European Film Academy and EFA Productions have announced the EFA Documentary Selection, a list of 15 European documentaries recommended for a nomination for this year’s European Film Awards. Pieter-Jan De Pue’s Irish co-production The Land of the Enlightened is among the 15.

The Land of the Enlightened is an international co-production between Belgium, Ireland, the Netherlands, and Germany. Winner of the Sundance Special Jury Award for Best Cinematography, this captivating study of the next Afghan generation shocks and awes. Shooting over seven years, debut filmmaker Pieter-Jan De Pue artfully combines a child’s fantasy of the future with arresting documentary of the actual hardscrabble country that remains after decades of conflict. While a young voice narrates his impossible dream of riches and marriage, glorious 16mm footage captures his fellow gang members as they roam the valleys searching for undetonated explosives to sell or trade with other children. Some mine lapis lazuli by hand, others steal opium from passing caravans, and this informal mercenary system of lost boys controls the territory in ways the U.S. military could only admire. As the young hoodlums cheer the news of American troops withdrawing, their future—and the nation’s—is achingly uncertain. This lyrical portrait of an embattled land celebrates a primary Afghan strength: resilience.

Ten documentary festivals have recommended to the committee one film each which has had its world premiere at the respective festival’s latest edition. Chosen in co-operation with the European Documentary Network EDN, these festivals are:

•    IDFA (Netherlands)
•    CPH:DOX (Denmark)
•    Visions du Réel (Switzerland)
•    DokLeipzig (Germany)
•    Docslisboa (Portugal)
•    Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival (Greece)
•    Jihlava (Czech Republic)
•    Cinéma du Réel (France)
•    Krakow Film Festival (Poland)
•    Sheffield Doc/Fest (UK)

Based on their recommendations and the films individually submitted, the documentary committee, consisting of EFA Board Members Vanessa Henneman (Netherlands), Roberto Cicutto (Italy), and Marek Rozenbaum (Israel), documentary filmmaker Alexander Nanau (Romania) and documentary expert Paul Pauwels (European Documentary Network, Belgium) decided on the EFA Documentary Selection.

EFA Members will now vote for five documentary nominations. Based on these nominations, the EFA Members will then elect the ‘European Documentary 2016’ which will be announced during the awards ceremony on 10 December in Wroclaw, European Capital of Culture 2016.

The selected 15:

21 X NEW YORK
21 X NOWY JORK
Poland
71 min.WRITTEN & DIRECTED BY Piotr Stasik
PRODUCED BY Agnieszka Wasiak
A FAMILY AFFAIR
Netherlands / Belgium
115 min.WRITTEN & DIRECTED BY Tom Fassaert
PRODUCED BY Wout Conijn 
A GERMAN LIFE
EIN DEUTSCHES LEBEN
Austria
113 min.DIRECTED BY Christian Krönes, Olaf S. Müller, Roland Schrotthofer & Florian Weigensamer
WRITTEN BY Florian Weigensamer
PRODUCED BY Roland Schrotthofer & Christian Krönes
BECOMING ZLATAN
DEN UNGE ZLATAN
Sweden / Netherlands / Italy
95 min.DIRECTED BY Fredrik & Magnus Gertten
WRITTEN BY Jesper Osmund, Fredrik Gertten & Magnus Gertten
PRODUCED BY Margarete Jangård & Lennart Ström
DÉJÀ VU
Denmark
88 min.WRITTEN & DIRECTED BY Jon Bang Carlsen
PRODUCED BY Marianne Christensen & Jon Bang Carlsen
EUROPE, SHE LOVES
Switzerland / Germany
99 min.DIRECTED BY Jan Gassmann
PRODUCED BY Lisa Blatter, Jan Gassmann, Andreas Hörl, Florian Schneider & Maren Lüthje
FIRE AT SEA
FUOCOAMMARE
Italy / France
106 min.WRITTEN & DIRECTED BY Gianfranco Rosi
PRODUCED BY Donatella Palermo, Gianfranco Rosi, Serge Lalou, Camille Laemle, Roberto Cicutto, Paolo Del Brocco, Martine Saada & Olivier Pere
HERR VON BOHLEN
Germany
90 min.WRITTEN & DIRECTED BY André Schäfer
PRODUCED BY Jonas Niewianda
LOST AND BEAUTIFUL
BELLA E PERDUTA
Italy
87 min.DIRECTED BY Pietro Marcello
WRITTEN BY Maurizio Braucci & Pietro Marcello
PRODUCED BY Sara Fgaier & Pietro Marcello
MALLORY
Czech Republic
97 min.WRITTEN & DIRECTED BY Helena T?eštíková
PRODUCED BY Kate?ina ?erná & Pavel Strnad
MR. GAGA
Israel / Sweden / Germany / Netherlands
100 min.WRITTEN & DIRECTED BY Tomer Heymann
PRODUCED BY Barak Heymann
THE EVENT
SOBYTIE
Netherlands / Belgium
74 min.WRITTEN & DIRECTED BY Sergei Loznitsa
PRODUCED BY Sergei Loznitsa, Maria Choustova & Nicola Mazzanti
THE LAND OF THE ENLIGHTENED
Belgium / Ireland / Netherlands / Germany
87 min.DIRECTED BY Pieter-Jan De Pue
WRITTEN BY Pieter-Jan De Pue & David Dusa
PRODUCED BY Bart Van Langendonck
THE LONGEST RUN
O PIO MAKRIS DROMOS
Greece
74 min.WRITTEN & DIRECTED BY Marianna Economou
PRODUCED BY Marianna Economou & Spiros Mavrogenis
WE’LL BE ALRIGHT
BREF MANUEL DE LIBERATION
France
78 min.WRITTEN & DIRECTED BY Alexander Kuznetsov
PRODUCED BY Rebecca Houzel

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