Awards for 2007
The Unpolished: Pia Marais
The jury would like to commend The Unpolished for its nuanced portrayal of a young girl trying to find meaning in a society that has lost all sense of direction. Her instinctive search to better herself gives the film its emotive power. The filmmaker is also highly adept at creating a disturbing and unsettled reality assisted by the highly gifted performance of the young girl and her parents.
Love Conquers All: Chui Mui Tan
This film is a very subtle and highly sophisticated portrait of a young woman living a normal life until her relationship with a young man moves her in a direction that seems to be beyond her control. Her life-to-be is told to her half way through the film but despite this she falls into the trap that love has made for her. Classical in style and structure it is a film that speaks to the heart.
Bog of Beasts: Cláudio Assis
For its crudeness, energy, visual strength and for reminding us of the lack of options one has when born in a small isolated and desolated habitat. Without letting us ever forget the enormous power of nature's elements. Ex aequo with AFR.
AFR: Morten Hartz Kaplers
This well crafted polemical film, utilizes a conceptual approach which comments on the blurring of reality and fiction. Its complex narrative approach is exceptionally achieved through its use of montage, which provides a provocative analysis of the way society is manipulated by modern media and politics. Ex aequo with Baixio das Bestas.
Tiger Award for Short Film
Video Game: Vipin Vijay
Video Game is yet another illustration that there's more to the Cinema of India than can be contained with the received wisdom which seeks to encompass it by reference to a dualism opposing Satyajit Ray to Bollywood. Video Game shows a relentless, complex post-modern intelligence as it processes everything within its view, within its memory, within its wide range of cultural references. Its title is an index to this complexity, as it evokes not only digital game space as an aspect of the real, but the pursuit of video within the understanding of a game, replete with strategies, movements, and counter-movements. A new kind of road movie, indeed.
The Flag: Köken Ergun
It documents Turkish school children involved in a patriotic ceremony taking place on Children's Day in a giant football stadium, simply using two handheld mini DV cameras. Without further commentary, these two perspectives of the ceremony are conjoined using the basic strategy of a split screen. The result could hardly be more effective, moving and claustrophobic. We become witnesses to the indoctrination of the young in a manner that could not be more frontal. But before we cast aspersion, this film should also remind us to consider the effective though hidden strategies of indoctrination here at home.
Hinterland: Geoffrey Boulange
In Hinterland by Boulanger we are taken on a trip into the mountains with a single mother and her two sons, about 8 and 10 years of age. The walk through rocky forests with brooks and across hot meadows is shown with slow movements and large static cinemascope landscapes in which the characters need minutes to walk through from one side to the other. On the highest plateau the mother takes a nap while both her sons wander further. She awakes on the same moment that David, the oldest boy, finds a dying horse. When she arrives at the scene, the boy and the mother quarrel about what to do. The mother continues with the youngest son to find help but David stays and kills the horse by squashing its head with a large rock. Apart from the visual grandeur and classical beauty, the author brings the initiation theme and other mythical and psychological connotations of the narrative with courage and precision. The film seems to be exceptionally internally balanced and streams like a river. It is a clear step towards a long feature film and we are happy to award it with a Tiger Award for Short Film.
Prix UIP Rotterdam (European Short Film)
Amin: David Dusa
A film in which intimate camerawork and precise editing are combined to create an atmosphere that shifts fluently from naive child's play into uncomfortable realism.
Operation Filmmaker: Nina Davenport
Following the footsteps of a young aspiring filmmaker from Baghdad, director Nina Davenport is constantly challenging herself and the viewer to (re-)consider western opinions on cultural differences, the responsibility that comes with charity, the limitations of the American Dream, and the ongoing violence in Iraq.
Me: Rafa Cortés
For its intense depiction of one man's struggle to acquire an identity; its confident direction, and the well articulated, engaging performance of its lead.
Fourteen: Hiromasa Hirosue
For its insight into a psychology of generational barriers and for its bold analysis of a complex culture.
Netpac Award - Special Mention
How Is Your Fish Today?: Xiaolu Guo
A philosophical journey through reality and fiction which is audacious in its structure and beautifully weaves together music and image.
Movies That Matter Award
Arte France Cinéma Award
Prince Claus Fund Film Grant
New Arrivals Award
Tiger Award for Short Film - Special Mention
Vom Innen; von aussen: Albert Sackl
This film is clearly the product of an obsession with the idea of film as an artform in its own rite: Albert Sackl created a grand homage to Eadweard Muybridge and Edgar Marey, pioneers of the study of movement in time and space. Sackl succeeds in using the single frame function of a 16 mm. Bolex camera to dismantle the basic elements of conventional filmic time and space. He creates an alternative and overwhelming synthesis of these elements. We join the physical body of the artist on a trip that reveals dimensions of the filmic apparatus never seen before.
You Can Walk Too: Cristina Lucas
We can hardly think of You Can Walk Too by Cristina Lucas (Spain) without breaking into helpless laughter. It utterly destroys the master metaphor of condescension that has denigrated women's contributions to the arts. And it does so with elegant visual force, mastering a metaphor of dominance, reversing its power against those who have repeatedly wielded it in pursuit of mastery. Turning back the corrosive force of this form of wit, to consign it forever to The Dictionary of Received Ideas. The humour deployed here is indeed a force to be reckoned with; we look forward to encountering it again and again.