VOIR DU PAYS honoured

At the end of the 30th anniversary of the International Women's Film Festival in Dortmund, the French competition entry VOIR DU PAYS (The Stopover) by Delphine and Muriel Coulin was declared winner of the International Feature Film Competition for Women Directors at the award ceremony at Dortmunder U.

Endowed with € 15,000, the prize will be divided between the directors (€ 5,000) and the German distributor (€ 10,000), which will promote the film's distribution in Germany. VOIR DU PAYS is the story of two women soldiers Aurore (Ariane Labed) and Marine (Soko) who spend three days with their unit in a five-star hotel in Cyprus after returning from a mission in Afghanistan. Surrounded by holiday-makers, the soldiers are supposed to relax and unwind, or in military jargon "decompress" – in order to "forget the war".

VOIR DU PAYS does not yet have a German distributor.

In its statement, the jury explained: "From the very beginning the tension in this film is gripping and accumulating. The characters, all in their own way, fight with inner demons that we as an audience will never be able to fully comprehend, yet their struggle gets under our skin. VOIR DU PAYS gives us an insight into a relevant topic, a world known to most of us only from the outside. Yet a world that is concerning us all more and more. Its unique and flawless cinematic narration represents an authentic and conceptual power in story telling."

This year's jury members included Dutch actress and screenwriter Marnie Blok, director of Taiwan's Women Make Waves Film Festival Pecha Lo, and film editor and script advisor Gesa Marten. Dortmund city councillor Diane Jägers presented the prize to the two actors Ariane Labed (who played the lead in the 2011 IWFF award-winning film ATTENBERG) and Ginger Romàn, who introduced the film in Dortmund.

Director Delphine Coulin already received a special mention for her debut 17 GIRLS at the 2012 International Women's Film Festival.

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