1st Prize Stories, Contemporary Issues

24 October 2020

Alexey Vasilyev, Russia


Although Sakha (also known as Yakutia), in the far northeast of the Russian Federation, extends over more than three million square kilometers, its population numbers barely 950,000 people, around 50% of whom are ethnic Sakha (Yakuts). Art has become a way of showcasing and preserving Sakha culture, traditions, and stories. Cinema has flourished there since the 1990s. Around seven to ten feature films are shot a year, by a local movie industry lightheartedly dubbed ‘Sakhawood’.

“Sakhawod was one of my favorites in the category. When you tell a story, whether in pictures or words, you’re essentially creating a world to engage and sustain our interest and belief in that world, consistently and with rhythm, throughout the entire sequence. The photographer does this very well—I find myself experiencing the atmosphere, smells, sounds, and conversations the subjects might be having.”

Kevin WY Lee, General Jury member

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Ethical Dilemmas
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