The 2017 Adelaide Film Festival Flinders University International Best Documentary Award has gone to Taste of Cement, a film by Ziad Kalthoum that explores the nightmare of exile.
A jury comprising internationally renowned and acclaimed documentary practitioners Molly Reynolds (Australia), Eva Orner (Australia) and film curator and programmer Hania Mroué (Lebanon) chose the film for its audacity, ambition and heart.
Taste of Cement focuses on the lives of Syrian construction workers in Beirut.
Virtually imprisoned on the site of a skyscraper and with extremely limited access to news from home, these refugee labourers are contributing to a majestic rebuild of a foreign city while their own houses and cities are being obliterated.
Without any traditional talking head interviews, exiled Syrian filmmaker Ziad Kalthoum has created a poetic, dream-like documentary about almost unimaginable hardship.
Now in its second year, the Flinders University International Best Documentary Award recognises the authenticity, curiosity and fearlessness of truth on screen and in 2017 was marked by two world premieres and four Australian premieres among the ten films in competition.
For more information on Flinders’ role in the 2017 Adelaide Film Festival see New films from punk to F*!#ing Adelaide.
To look back at last year’s winner of the Flinders University International Best Documentary Award, see ‘Speed Sisters’ drives away with Flinders Documentary Award.