AWARDS

18th edition TIFF 2020

 

FEATURE JURY

composed by:

Alessandra Pastore (Italy), Giovanni Robbiano (Italy), Sandra Kawar (Jordan), Simeon Ventsislavov (Bulgaria)

 

awards:

 

BEST FEATURE FILM | GOLDEN OWL

 

Zana by Antoneta Kastrati | Kosovo, Albania | 2019 | 97’

 

The decision to pick the winner out of this genuinely remarkable selection was all the more difficult, especially with so many worthy contenders. ZANA is a gem coming from Kosovo and Albania where the meditation on destiny meets the burden of being a human in a preset society. The jury appreciated the perfect balance between the quality of the acting, the strength of the main character and the mature direction as debut film. It was moreover impressed by the director’s capacity to involve the spectator in such a private, human and painful story always keeping distance from easy melodrama, enriching the film with a personal but extremely delicate touch.

 

 

BEST DIRECTOR

 

Dito Tsintsadze

Inhale-Exhale | Georgia, Russia, Sweden | 2019 | 90’

 

Despite the minimal resources, far from glamour, using poor yards, rusty factories and dirty roads, as well as powerful faces, the director is able to return a vivid, somber and deep portrait of a community, of humans living at the border of the world. The bitter irony of the circumstances, a sense of decay that pervades houses, families, people hit and leave us thinking and feeling for a few desperate characters trying to survive in a world that offers them very little. A little courageous and unexpected film from a part of the world that at the same time is as near and as far from us.

 

 

BEST SCREENPLAY

 

Visar Morina

Exile | Germany, Belgium, Kosovo | 2020 | 121’

 

For the great technique of displaying very important contemporary immigrant problems in an original and powerful way.

 

 

BEST EYE ON TIFF | SILVER OWL

(debut feature film)

 

Supernova by Bartosz Kruhlik | Poland | 2019 | 75’

 

This is a film that describes the degradation and risks of social life in the current times of crisis and fear, the risk of remaining at the surface is overcome by the growing feeling that the films develops, both understanding and empathizing with all of the characters, even those that, at first sight, would be considered mean or negative. It is not easy in a debut film to reach this balance and this emotional richness through a portrait of human pain and misery that tells us that all humans share some common destiny.

 

***

 

 

LIVE ACTION, ANIMATION & STUDENT JURY

composed by:

Basil Khalil (Palestine), Maria Di Razza (Italy), Mohamed Siam (Egypt), Nazlı Eda Noyan (Turkey)

 

awards:

 

BEST SHORT FILM | GOLDEN OWL

OSCAR® qualifying Award

 

Rebel by Pier-Philippe Chevigny | Canada | 2019 | 15’ | Live Action

 

The film passes no judgement on its characters or their worldview. This film could have gone in any direction for an easy vilification of the characters, but the director chose a bold approach and a unique visual style that complimented the child’s mind-blowing performance. This is the work of a very promising filmmaker whom we all look forward to seeing a blossoming future body of work. 

 

 

BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM

 

Exam by Sonia K. Hadad | Iran | 2019 | 15’

 

A simple story that has illustrated enough about the position of women and youngsters against authority and repression. For its everlasting effect and progressive change of emotion, for its surprising cycle of events, for its lead teenager actress and her weary fatigued distinguished face that carried the story until a poignant closure.

 

 

SPECIAL MENTION

LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM

 

The Explosion of a Swimming Ring by Tommi Seitajoki | Finland | 2019 | 10’

 

This was a very bold approach to what could have been a mundane film had it been with a lesser director. Therefore we would like to acknowledge the bravery in their decision to make it a one-shot film, and their attention to detail, making it a funny, scary, thrilling and unforgettable film.

 

 

BEST SHORT ANIMATION

 

Snow Shelter by Robertas Nevecka | Lithuania | 2020 | 16’

 

A cold, claustrophobic world that seems real and scary and yet dystopic and surreal. This is beautiful and stylized animation leads us metaphorically through the difficulties and hardships of many who try to get back on their feet after difficult moments. This may be far away and years later or now and around the corner. The dramatic story, dark visual world and animation technique brings out the deep feelings, fears and gives you the chills… Leaving its mark, but also “hope”.

 

 

BEST STUDENT FILM

 

Talker by Mehrshad Ranjbar | Iran | 2020 | 13’ | Live Action

 

For its unique poetic film language, for its concise artistic choices and its great usage of its space, for how the film feeds the slow narrative force exclusively through powerful silent images to result in a beautiful mosaic of quotidien life of an old couple shot in a cinematic way.

 

***

 

 

DOCUMENTARY JURY

composed by:

Barbara Gasser (Austria), Ismet Sijarina (Kosovo), Jean Paul Pauwels (Belgium), Predrag Bambić (Serbia)

 

awards:

 

BEST DOCUMENTARY | SILVER OWL

 

Selfie by Agostino Ferrente | France, Italy | 2019 | 78’

 

An intimate and authentic portrayal of two young adults in Camorra territory shot through the lenses of borrowed smartphones. The camera phones powerfully capture the pair of friends striving for stability while being in a state of instability. Danger lurking in every corner like darkness, with fleeting moments of joy and hope as beacons of light.

 

 

SPECIAL MENTION FEATURE DOCUMENTARY

 

Summerwar by Moritz Schulz | Germany | 2019 | 78’

 

The compelling and thought-provoking story of two Ukrainian minors at a paramilitary summer camp. The director successfully balances the sensitive topic of  the children’s interest, their mixed feelings and struggles with the idea of being molded into patriotic soldiers willing to fight and die for their country.

 

 

BEST SHORT DOCUMENTARY

 

All Movements Should Kill the Wind by Yuyan Wang | France, China | 2019 | 12’

 

A documentary that uses the best tools that the cinema language has to offer to bring the viewer into an intriguing environment that leaves one thinking about the eternal struggle between mankind and nature, wondering who wins in the end, when time becomes timeless.

 

 

SPECIAL MENTION SHORT DOCUMENTARY

 

My Father the Mover by Julia Jansch | USA | 2019 | 12’

 

The uplifting story that touched our hearts and minds, for the beautiful images that stand behind our smile, and finally to the film that shows that freedom before everything else is a matter of choice.

 

***

 

 

BALKAN, IN ALBANIAN, VIDEO ART & EXPERIMENTAL JURY

composed by:

Bogdan Mureșanu (Romania), Jen Alvares (USA), Eduart Grishaj (Albania)

 

awards:

 

BEST VIDEO ART & EXPERIMENTAL

 

Dreamers by Maria Juranic | USA | 2019 | 10’

 

For interpreting the struggles of DACA immigrants and their “tossed and turned” journey through dance and choreography.

 

 

BEST BALKAN SHORT FILM

 

In Between by Ana Pasti | Romania | 2019 | 20‘ | Fiction

 

For reminding us to be kind and to support each other even when life hits hard.

 

 

SPECIAL MENTION BALKAN SHORT FILM

 

In the Room by Yeorgia M. Sotirchou | Greece | 2019 | 14’ | Fiction

 

For a wonderful cinematography in a confined space.

 

 

BEST FILM IN ALBANIAN | SILVER OWL

 

Pashka by Oltjon Lipe | Greece | 2020 | 22’ | Fiction

 

In appreciation of a multilayered story told in a masterful manner with

a focus on the nuances of father-and-son relationship.

 

 

SPECIAL MENTION IN ALBANIAN

 

Pig Taste by Elvis Lule | Albania | 2020 | 15’ | Fiction

 

For a story that s both relevant and touching for present days world.

 

***

 

 

BEST DEBUT SHORT FILM “Ron Holloway

 

Grand Adventure Railroad by Hsiao-Shan Huang | Taiwan | 2020 | 15| Animation

 

A suitable soundtrack for a beautiful play of lights and shadows, in a very intriguing black and white tale. Words are not necessary to enter the poetry of the plot.

 

***

 

 

AUDIENCE CHOICE AWARD

 

The White Sheets by Pandeli Ceco | Albania | 2020 | 5’ | Documentary

 

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