Danish film-maker Simon Lereng Wilmont’s documentary The Distant Barking of Dogs has picked up the top prize at the Thessaloniki Documentary Festival, which wrapped up on the 11th of March after almost two weeks of festivities.

The documentary received the Golden Alexander Prize for Best Documentary and comes with a €8,000 prize.

The Distant Barking of Dogs follows ten-year-old Oleg, who lives in eastern Ukraine – a war-zone that often has anti-aircraft fire and missile strikes. At school, Oleg learns about bomb shelters and what to do if there’s a landmine. While many people have left the region, Oleg stays with his grandmother, who has raised him after the death of his mother.

The jury consisted of Swedish film critic and journalist Annika Gustafsson, Sundance programmer Caroline Libresco, US director David Borenstein, Dutch sales agent-producer Jan Rofekamp and Greek director Lefteris Charitos.

Watch a trailer for the documentary below:


You can view the full list of winners at Cineuropa. 

Emma Vestrheim

Emma Vestrheim is the editor-in-chief of Cinema Scandinavia. Originally from Australia, she is now based in Bergen, Norway, and attends major Nordic film festivals to conduct interviews and review new films.