Winners in different categories were announced at the closing ceremony of the International Film Festival in Reykjavík at Háskólabíó on Saturday evening, October 8th. Guests and the audience attended the event among invited filmmakers and producers to celebrate the end of the 19th edition of the festival.
From the Talent Lab Project, the winner of the Golden Egg Award was Send the Rain, by Haley Gray, from the US. The Jury statement has mentioned, “the execution of the cinematography was the perfect example of how an idea is never big enough to fit in the form of a short film, poetic, minimalistic but epic”.
RIFF also awarded the national production with two categories. The Icelandic Student Shorts had a special mention to The One Who Went South by Steiní Kristinsson. The winner was The Paladins by Elin Palsdóttir and Jenný Jóhannesdóttir. According to the jury,
“through the veil of fantasy, they take the path from boyhood into teenage life and in doing that, they stop using imagination and accept reality.”
The Best Icelandic Short was Chasing Birds by Una Lorenzen. In this animation, the jury “was impressed with how the director managed to draw the audience into the story as well as how they managed to hold the audience’s attention with the way they created a world by using perspective to tell the story.”
Among the International Shorts, the jury chose to special mention the Domy+Ailucha: Cenas Ket! by Ico Costa from Portugal and Mozambique. The winner was Exalted Mars by Jean Sebastien Chauvin from France. The jury has agreed that “If the cinema is a space of dreams and desire, this film is very much at home in the dark. As a 21st century echo of Andy Warhol’s Sleep (and of the great, rebellious legacy of Cocteau and Jean Genet), it embodies the reveries and eroticism of the night with an extraordinary sense of atmosphere and somehow encapsulates what is so exciting about living in the city. Nocturnal in its imagery, mesmerizing in its openness, and marvellous in just about everything else, the film invites us to project our own inner movies onto the dark canvas of the cinema screen.”
RIFF has a Young People’s Jury, a special selection of students of the high school in the city, that awarded the title that draws the attention of this audience. This year the winner was Eternal Spring by Jason Loftus from Canada. In the jury’s opinion, “the movie Eternal Spring stood out from the others in the category. It compiles the experiences of those who participated in the Falun Gong hijacking and weaves them together in order to construct the film narrative. A decided storyline keeps the audience on the edge of their seats, and an emotional connection is formed between the activists and the viewers. With the use of animation, Daxiong manages to portray scenarios in a unique way that would otherwise not have been possible. The film revolves around the persecution faced by members Falun Gong and subsequently illuminates the mistreatment of other religious and minority groups in China as well as in other parts of the world.”
A Different Tomorrow Award is the category that aims to choose titles that can bring the discussion in the community and new angles on how we – together – can deal with problems that are not only local but global. The Special Mention was to Girl Gang by Susanne Meures from Germany. And the winner was A Marble Travelogue by Sean Wang. The jury said the award “goes to a film that, if it was not for the superb use and understanding of the film medium, could be a cliché, but instead forces us to wrestle with a subject matter that could be mundane if not told in a unique way. Their filmic approach forces us to question our way of life but also allows us to dream. With his superb but yet somewhat unconventional filmic language, the director examines with unusual depth the connection between different worlds, and different cultures. His use of subtle comic moments adds to the complexity of the film and manages to hypnotize us and yet leaves us at the edge of our seat scene by scene not quite knowing where he is taking us, until the final frame of the film.”
And to finalize the awards, the main prize goes to the New Visions category. Every year RIFF selects the titles from the up-and-coming directors in the current international panorama, and the jury this year had a difficult time deciding on the winner. The first Special Mention was to Sister, What Grows Where land is Sick? by Franciska Eliassen from Norway. The second Special Mention was to I Have Electric Dreams, by Valentina Maurel from Spain.
And The Golden Puffin went to the French production Rodeo by Lola Quivoron. This is her second feature, and the film impressed not only the audience but the jury as well. The jury agreed that “striking debut by a filmmaker, taking the audience on a powerful ride in search of freedom that’s original, surprising and fearless.”
All the jury members can be found on this link: https://riff.is/awards-juries-22/