Ring in the New Year with some of the best of the best documentary films from around the world. In these selected documentaries, we travel across South America, Central Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, exploring stories about hope, loss, superstition, humanity, and much more.


Está todo bien

67 min • Health & Science, Society • 2015

#Venezuela #PublicHealth #Medicine

Watch Esta Todo Bien – It’s All Good Streaming Online | iwonder
As the public health system collapses, a pharmacist, a trauma surgeon, a social activist, and two cancer patients confront the same questions as millions of other Venezuelans struggling to survive in a nation plunged into chaos: to protest or to acquiesce, to emigrate or to stick it out, to lose all…

For decades, Venezuela boasted one of the best public health systems in the region.

However, the economic crisis has caused near-total collapse of the health system, resulting in medicine shortages, increased infant mortality, and the reappearance of once-eradicated diseases.

In the film, we meet Venezuelans who ask themselves difficult questions—should they protest or acquiesce, emigrate or remain, lose all hope or hang onto faith?


Honeyland

85 min • Culture, Nature & Environment • 2019 • M *In Australia only

#Balkans #Honeybee #Oscars

Watch Honeyland Streaming Online | iwonder
Nestled in an isolated mountain region deep within the Balkans, Hatidze Muratova lives with her ailing mother in a village without roads, electricity or running water. She’s the last in a long line of wild beekeepers, eking out a living farming honey in small batches to be sold in the closest city –…

Deep in the Balkan Mountains, Hatidze Muratova lives with her ailing mother in a village without roads, electricity or running water.

She’s the last in a long line of wild beekeepers, eking out a living by farming honey in small batches, but her peaceful existence is thrown into upheaval by the arrival of an itinerant family.

A must-see film that made history as the first documentary to be nominated for both Best International Feature Film and Best Documentary Feature at the Oscars.


For Sama

95 min • Society, Politics & World Affairs • 2019 • NC16

#Syria #Uprising #Oscars

Watch For Sama Streaming Online | iwonder
WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT: This film contains graphic images that some viewers may find distressing. Viewer discretion is advised. A love letter from a young mother to her daughter, the film tells the story of Waad al-Kateab’s life through five years of the uprising in Aleppo, Syria as she falls in l…

The Oscar-nominated For Sama follows Waad al-Kateab’s life through 5 years of the uprising in Aleppo, Syria as she falls in love, gets married and gives birth to Sama, all while cataclysmic conflict rises around her.

Her camera captures incredible stories of loss, laughter and survival, as she faces an agonising decision whether to flee to safety or stay behind to help the innocent victims of war.


In the Shadow of the Sun

88 min • Society, Health & Science • 2012

#Tanzania #Albinism #Superstition

Watch In the Shadow of the Sun Streaming Online | iwonder
In Tanzania, witch doctors are spreading a belief that the body parts of albino people will bring wealth and good fortune. Referred to as ‘White Ghosts’ and ‘Devils’ within their communities, the superstition surrounding them has grown so strong that albinos now fear for their lives.

In Tanzania, Albino people are referred to as “White Ghosts” and “Devils”, and witch doctors spread the belief that their body parts will bring wealth and good fortune—leading to an escalation in brutal murders of people with albinism.

Filmed over 6 years, In the Shadow of the Sun tells the story of two albino men as they attempt to follow their dreams in the face of prejudice and fear.


SELECTED REVIEWS

Esta todo bien

Tuki Jencquel Introduces His Film “Está Todo Bien” (“It’s All Good”)
“The stark discrepancy between the official narrative and the reality for ordinary Venezuelans was so big that it needed to be addressed...”

Honeyland

Honeyland
Stunningly beautiful and quietly powerful, this is a portrait of a vanishing way of life and of a determined woman who’s just trying to make her way in the world.
‘Honeyland’: To Bee or Not to Bee
An award-winning documentary on a Macedonian beekeeper is an experiential wonder, a cutting critique on capitalism and a genuine must-see
Honeyland review – beekeeper’s life with a sting in the tale
In this terrific documentary shot in North Macedonia, a woman tending wild hives is rattled by her new, disruptive neighbours
“Honeyland,” Reviewed: A Gripping, Frustrating Documentary About a Beekeeper’s Fragile Isolation
Richard Brody reviews “Honeyland,” a documentary about beekeeping, by the filmmakers Tamara Kotevska and Ljubomir Stefanov.
‘Honeyland’ Review: Macedonia’s Last Beekeeper Is the Heart of Harrowing Doc About Environmental Balance
This bitter and beautiful Sundance-winning doc focuses on a single beekeeper as though our collective future hinges on her hives.
Review: ‘Honeyland’ is a heartbreaking documentary about a vanishing way of life
Tamara Kotevska and Ljubomir Stefanov’s Sundance prize-winning documentary is captivating, then devastating.
A Rare Nature Documentary That Tells a Deeply Human Story
‘Honeyland’ is both a personal tale about a lonely beekeeper in Macedonia and an epic with the aloof grandeur of ‘Planet Earth.’

For Sama

For Sama review – affecting chronicle of life in war-torn Aleppo
Syrian film-maker Waad al-Kateab documents both the city’s siege and the birth of her daughter
For Sama (2019)
A young woman is followed through five years during the revolution in Aleppo, Syria - through love, marriage and motherhood.
For Sama movie review & film summary (2019) | Roger Ebert
It is up to the world to take in every piece of For Sama, and truly grasp the human cost of the crisis.
The Horror Is Real in the Syrian Doc For Sama
The film doesn’t feel like raw footage — it has been carefully shaped, with a bit of movie-­ish suspense during the final hours.

In the Shadow of the Sun

In the Shadow of the Sun (2012)
Josephat and Vedastus pursue their dreams in the face of prejudice about their albinism.
In the Shadow of the Sun (2012) - IMDb
In the Shadow of the Sun is a movie starring Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, Mussa, and Mizengo Pinda. Ukerewe Island, in Tanzania is home to a large community of people who live with albinism. While many albinos are killed at birth or...
In the Shadow of the Sun: IDFA Review
Harry Freeland’s British documentary examines the plight of albinos suffering discrimination and persecution in Tanzania.

SELECTED AWARDS

For Sama

Academy Awards, USA 2020

Nominee
Oscar
Best Documentary Feature
Waad Al-Kateab
Edward Watts

BAFTA Awards 2020

Winner
BAFTA Film Award
Best Documentary
Waad Al-Kateab
Edward Watts
Nominee
BAFTA Film Award
Best Film Not in the English Language
Waad Al-Kateab
Edward Watts
Outstanding British Film of the Year
Waad Al-Kateab
Edward Watts
Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director, or Producer
Waad Al-Kateab
Edward Watts

Amsterdam International Documentary Film Festival 2019

Winner
Audience Award
IDFA Audience Award
Waad Al-Kateab
Edward Watts

Critics' Choice Documentary Awards 2019

Nominee
Critics' Choice Documentary Award
Best Director
Waad Al-Kateab
Edward Watts
Best Narration
Waad Al-Kateab (Narrator/Writer)

Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival 2019

Winner
Special Jury Prize
International Feature Documentary
Waad Al-Kateab
Edward Watts

"For its unflinching lens on the horrors of war, accompanied by a tender portrait of a young family... More

Nominee
Audience Award
Best Documentary
Waad Al-Kateab
Edward Watts
-Fifth Place
Nominee
Best International Documentary
Best Documentary
Waad Al-Kateab
Edward Watts

International Documentary Association 2019

Winner
Courage Under Fire Award
Waad Al-Kateab
Winner
IDA Award
Best Feature
Waad Al-Kateab
Edward Watts
Nominee
IDA Award
Best Director
Waad Al-Kateab
Edward Watts

International Emmy Awards 2020

Winner
Emmy
Documentary
United Kingdom

Melbourne International Film Festival 2019

Nominee
People's Choice Award
Best Documentary
Waad Al-Kateab
Edward Watts
-Fifth Place

Sheffield International Documentary Festival 2019

Winner
Audience Award
Best Documentary
Waad Al-Kateab
Edward Watts
Winner
Grand Jury Award
Special Mention
Waad Al-Kateab
Edward Watts
Nominee
Grand Jury Award
Best Documentary
Waad Al-Kateab
Edward Watts

SXSW Film Festival 2019

Winner
Audience Award
Documentary Feature
Waad Al-Kateab
Edward Watts
Winner
SXSW Grand Jury Award
Documentary Feature
Waad Al-Kateab
Edward Watts
Honeyland

Academy Awards, USA 2020

Nominee
Oscar
Best Documentary Feature
Ljubomir Stefanov
Tamara Kotevska
Atanas Georgiev
Best International Feature Film
North Macedonia

Critics' Choice Documentary Awards 2019

Winner
Critics' Choice Documentary Award
Most Compelling Living Subject of a Documentary
Hatidze Muratova
Best First Documentary Feature
Tamara Kotevska (director)
Ljubomir Stefanov (director)
Neon
Nominee
Critics' Choice Documentary Award
Best Documentary
Best Science/Nature Documentary
Best Cinematography
Fejmi Daut
Samir Ljuma

DocAviv Film Festival 2019

Winner
Best International Film
The International Competition
Tamara Kotevska
Ljubomir Stefanov

"The Jury decided unanimously to award a film which depicts a community living on the margins of ... More

International Documentary Association 2019

Winner
Creative Recognition Award
Best Cinematography
Fejmi Daut
Samir Ljuma
Winner
Pare Lorentz Award
Tamara Kotevska
Ljubomir Stefanov
Atanas Georgiev
Nominee
IDA Award
Best Director
Tamara Kotevska
Ljubomir Stefanov
Best Feature
Tamara Kotevska
Ljubomir Stefanov
Atanas Georgiev

Sundance Film Festival 2019

Winner
Cinematography Award
World Cinema - Documentary
Fejmi Daut
Samir Ljuma
Winner
Grand Jury Prize
World Cinema - Documentary
Tamara Kotevska
Ljubomir Stefanov
Winner
World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award
Impact and Change
Tamara Kotevska
Ljubomir Stefanov

Sydney Film Festival 2019

Nominee
Audience Award
Best Documentary
Tamara Kotevska
Ljubomir Stefanov
-Fifth Place