Danish doc award to Mira Jargil and Christian Sønderby Jepsen

DOC AWARD. The directing duo of Mira Jargil and Christian Sønderby Jepsen were honoured Monday with the Roos Award, the highest honour in Danish documentary filmmaking, for their ability to portray life’s variety with "dramaturgical tightness and visual abundance", the award committee says.

The filmmaking duo of Mira Jargil and Christian Sønderby Jepsen, who are also partners in life, are receiving this year’s Roos Award – for the films they have made together and for being distinguished cinematic artists in their own right.

The Roos Award is presented annually in recognition of an outstanding achievement in Danish documentary filmmaking. The awards ceremony took place on Monday, 8 October, during the annual inspirational seminar for the Danish documentary community, DOKDAG, at the Danish Film Institute.

In their filmographies, titles like 'Side by Side' (2009), 'The Time We Have' (2011), 'The Will' (2011), 'Dreaming of a Family' (2013), 'Till Death Do Us Part' (2015) and 'Natural Disorder' (2015) testify to the two directors’ ability to portray human life in all its complexity, pain and beauty.

The art of portraying people with wonder and tenderness 

The award committee consists of film editor and last year’s Roos Award-winner Anders Villadsen, CEO of the Danish Film Institute Claus Ladegaard and head of the DFI’s documentary unit Ane Mandrup. Explaining its choice, the committee said:

"For the directors Mira Jargil and Christian Sønderby Jepsen, story material is right at hand. In little events and close relations, they masterfully unfold universal stories of life, love and people struggling to live the life they want.

"Their character-driven stories successfully combine an insistent dwelling on the most intimate, vulnerable situations with a dramaturgical tightness and visual abundance to equal Hollywood and Netflix.

"They seek out people in existential dilemmas and portray them at such close range and with such authenticity, respect and dignity that we, the audience, are swept along on their journey, sharing their tenderness and wonder at life’s variety and the human ability to face life’s great challenges."

Moviegoers can soon look forward to more films by Mira Jargil and Christian Sønderby Jepsen, produced via their joint production company, Moving Documentary – among them 'Reunited', about a mother making the heartbreaking decision to flee alone from Syria to Denmark, leaving her two children behind.

Read more on the filmmakers' company website, movingdoc.dk.

About the Roos Award

Named after documentary film pioneer Jørgen Roos and established in 1995 to honour a remarkable contribution to Danish documentary.

Past winners include Jørgen Roos, Jørgen Leth, Sami Saif, Phie Ambo, Janus Billeskov Jansen, Jon Bang Carlsen, Jesper Jargil, Anne Wivel, Tue Steen Müller, Niels Pagh Andersen, Arne Bro, Steen Møller Rasmussen, Tine Fischer, the duo Lise Lense-Møller and Anders Østergaard, Lars Skree, Eva Mulvad, Michael Noer, Adam Nielsen, Signe Byrge Sørensen, Henrik Bohn Ibsen, Dola Bonfils and Anders Villadsen.

The award ceremony took place on 8 October at the Danish Film Institute in Copenhagen during the annual industry gathering for documentary filmmakers.