Festivalnytt

2020 AWARD WINNERS

søndag 4. oktober 2020 av Bård Ydén

JURY AWARD: BEST NARRATIVE FEATURE

One film moved us more than the others. The jury is unanimous in their decision. The language of the imagery never falters, every frame a necessity for the film as a whole. Every situation is charged with more stories, the music ties it all seamlessly together, and the actors’ credibility is the solid foundation. Through simple, yet heightened everyday situations, the desperation is tangible. Every character in a non-stop battle. The main character fights with a strong backbone and pride. She never bows down. She never stops fighting for the right to define her own identity, for a place where she belongs. And she does this with unparalleled love and empathy. She relates to the consequences, even as everything is on the line.

Can one speak of immigration politics, the paperless, caregiving for the elders, convicts, and the traumas and problems of trans persons in one and the same living room? There are so many ways to lead, and Filipino trans woman Olivia is exemplary.

The winning film is written, directed and produced by Isabel Sandoval, who also stars as the lead character in LINGUA FRANCA.

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JURY AWARD: BEST DOCUMENTARY

The issue of this year's jury award has been reported about in the past and raised a short outcry in the western world. Since then nothing has changed. This documentary portraits people in a country, where they are stripped of any basic human rights. The people in the film face death from their government, society and family because of their sexual orientation and/or identity, and the activists risk their own lives to help individuals flee the country, fighting against a government that hunts, tortures and kills them.

This film keeps the viewer in a constant alert mode, not only by showing very hard to digest scenes of the painful reality of LGBTQIA+ people in this country, but also through the acumen in storytelling and by running the action of suspense in a real and effective way. This made us comprehend to a fuller extent the constant fear and horror LGBTQIA+ people in this country endure on a daily basis. It is hard not to be moved by this film, a film that has the power to create change in the world.

The Jury Award for Best Documentary goes to WELCOME TO CHECHNYA, directed by David France.

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HONORABLE MENTION:

This film has the potential to inspire people worldwide to be passionate, insistent and patient in order to pursue their right for visibility, dignity, and fundamental human rights. It shows the honest and hard work of LGBTQIA+ activism in a city caught between eastern traditions and western trends. It portrays a dedicated and brave group of activists using their individual abilities to make change in their country and society.

It made us deeply understand the love these people have for their city and country by painting a sensitive and intelligent picture not only of the activists, but also of the city and society they live in. It shows the beauty of the city through scenes of daily life in squares where residents compete between clinging on to habits, and moving on to a new stage of human acceptance. For the activists, leaving their homeland is not an option, instead they create change in order to live in dignity.
The honorable mention goes to MARCH FOR DIGNITY, directed by John Eames.

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JURY AWARD: BEST SHORT FILM

The winning film is a stylistic, absurd comedy where everything is on point and easily relatable. It deals with a family paradox; That those who should be closest to us, also can seem like total strangers.

As the film's title suggests, the mother tries to build a bridge across this canyon by giving her son the most basic form of care; food. When this tactic fails, she goes to great and drastic lengths to protect him against the oh-so dangerous world out there. The film plays with stereotypes - gay, straight - and adopted - in a clever and casual manner, never letting go of the madness.

The Jury Award for Best Short Film goes to ARE YOU HUNGRY?, directed by Teemu Niukkanen.

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QUEER YOUTH AWARD

We chose a film that will resonate well with youths, giving them the opportunity to understand and relate to a young trans person and her reality. With humor, honesty and joy, this film shows the importance of being met with support, understanding and solidarity, no matter how thick-skinned one is. The film mixes a realistic setting with the main character's strong personality and thoughts, giving the audience the opportunity to empathize with her losses and victories.

The Queer Youth Jury Award goes to ALICE JUNIOR, directed by Gil Baroni.

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HONORABLE MENTION

We were all in agreement that this film is well made and covers an extremely important topic. Despite that the press has seemingly forgotten about this issue, does not mean that the situation has changed for the better in any way. This film is a good reminder that we must continue to support and help our fellow humans in Chechnya.

The Honorable Mention goes to WELCOME TO CHECHNYA, directed by David France.

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