This year’s award of the European Documentary Network (EDN), which honors people and organizations from Europe that have made important contributions to the field of documentary film, was presented to Caspar Sonnen, new media coordinator and curator of the IDFA’s (International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam) DocLab. The award was presented on Friday March 20, 2015, at the hotel Electra Palace, as part of the 17th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival, in the presence of the Festival’s director, Dimitri Eipides.
The awarded was presented on behalf of the European Documentary Network by Ove Rishøj Jensen, Web Editor & Film Consultant of the EDN. He noted:
“During the last 10 years, some may have thought that our choices for this award were conservative, since we were honoring initiatives that were of a more traditional framework of TV or cinema, and directors that were already of a certain age. But this is changing at this year’s 11th awarding of the European Documentary Network. That’s not to say that the person we’re honoring tonight hasn’t already contributed a lot. Quite the contrary. We believe that this year’s honoree is a person who will have a major impact on how we understand documentaries in the future, as an art form, as a means of personal expression and as a medium that can bring change”.
Ove Rishøj Jensen noted that the passion of this year’s honoree, Caspar Sonnen is rooted in his love of cinema and the forefathers of the documentary film genre, and added “We are honoring him for his devotion to interactive documentary, through which he has contributed dynamically to the formation of the European documentary culture, bringing inspiration from many different areas, apart from the traditional world of documentary film. For many Caspar Sonnen has been a guide into the interactive world of documentary storytelling. Through his work he has made it possible for many documentarians, coming from the classic linear way of telling documentary stories, to understand the interactive possibilities and opportunities now at our hands, just like his hero, the documentary pioneer Dziga Vertov did 100 years ago”.
Ove Rishøj Jensen also said: “We are honouring Caspar Sonnen because for many he has been and will continue to be, a pioneer in showing us the first steps into the world of interactive documentary. Curating interactive projects, consulting interactive storytellers and on numerous occasions bridging documentary storytelling to art, activism, publishing, music and journalism into cutting edge inspirational events. Caspar has created a large number of eye-opening moments for many in the documentary sector”.
Accepting the award, Caspar Sonnen noted: “I’m usually behind the scenes, organizing documentary festivals and presenting others with awards. I would like to thank the organizers of the European Documentary Network for this honor.”