The filmmaker Boris Gerrets is this year’s winner of the prestigious ASTER Award for high achievements in the European and world film art. The award will be presented to him at the opening of the 10th jubilee Int’l Film festival “AsterFest” on May 27th in Strumica, where he will be a special guest – laureate. Boris Gerrets is an internationally acclaimed documentary filmmaker and an accomplished visual artist and film-editor.
Born into a Bulgarian-German family, he grew-up in the Netherlands, Spain, Sierra Leone and Germany. He lives between London and Amsterdam. Boris Gerrets’ films are close-ups of local environments, which he describes as ‘biotopic explorations’. He delves into the anonymity of the urban space, bringing to light life on the fringes, which often remains obscure to the passing person. This leads him to unexpected encounters that drive the narrative of his films. Gerrets sees the camera as a tool that creates a social dynamic between him and his protagonists. The editing process is for Gerrets a way of stripping down and reconfiguring what has been garnered in reality, into a phenomenological space that speaks about the human condition. His role as filmmaker and the process of filmmaking is always at issue – either implicitly or explicitly – while he intentionally explores the gap between the factual event and its fictional and poetic meaning.
Gerrets’ cinematic approach contains a strong performative component and relies heavily on his multidisciplinary background in visual arts, dance and theatre. Boris Gerrets’ film, “People I Could Have Been and Maybe Am” (2010) has garnered critical acclaim worldwide, receiving more than 12 international awards in a wide-range of categories – among them: “IDFA” – Best Mid-Length Doc Award (Amsterdam, 2010), “Visions du Réel” – Best Direction Mid-Length Doc (Nyon, 2011), “Festival dei Popoli” – Best Ethno-Anthropological Film (Florence, 2011) and “TIDF” – Grand Prize International Mid-length & Short (Taipei, 2012). Gerrets has lectured and given Master Classes in Film in a number of venues internationally – most recently at “Centro de Capacitacion Cinematografica” – Mexico City (2011), “EDN Seoul” – Korea (2011), “EICTV” – Cuba (2013) and University of Edinburgh (2013). Boris Gerrets is the recipient of the “Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds” (2013), a grant awarded to him for being at the ‘cutting-edge of artistic and narrative cinema’ and for ‘his pursuit of new forms and frontiers within the documentary genre’.
The traditional Aster portrait and the Tiberiopolian film talks in honor of this year’s laureates, Boris Gerrets and Ljupka Dzundeva, will be held in the Monastery of the Holy Mother of God Eleussa on May 28th. In addition, on May 30th Gerrets will hold a master class for the young Macedonian filmmakers and the film lovers, as well as for the domestic and foreign festival guests. At the end of the festival in honor of the winners, his latest documentary “Shado’man” will be presented. It is a film about a community of friends, each facing severe physical and psychological challenges, survives on the nocturnal streets of Freetown. The film delves deep into their life, telling a story of humanity and dignity in a world those otherwise offers little consolation.