The Prize winners of 2021 Festival edition
selection of 9 recent European fiction films unreleased in France
The Prix SAUVAGE is awarded to Tomas Vengris (Lithuania) for the film Motherland / Gimtine.
The story of a blind spot somewhere in eastern Europe is told with precision and consistency from a teenager’s point of view. The cinematography is impressive and the characters are portrayed without compromise. The existential topic of identity and home is told with warmth and empathy. The actors are excellent.
The Special mention is given to Javier Fernández Vázquez (Spain) for the film The Storm Was Coming / Anunciaron tormenta.
This story is set 120 years back in the past with almost no material to work with. The light is a real actor in this research for the forgotten culture of the Bubi people and the questions of colonialism. The film reveals this important story from the mist of the past and transposes it into a new reality with strong inner pictures.
The cinema students and young professionals’ Jury has awarded the Prix LUNA to
Anna Melikyan (Russia) for the film The Three / Трое.
The prize is awarded to The Three by Anna Melikyan for multiple reasons. The plot centers on the triangle between the three main protagonists, bringing the film close to everyday reality and therefore to the reality of the audience. It exposes the emptiness of the illusionary world based on money and success. The metaphysical meaning of water is explored beautifully on many levels of interpretation, but the film also deals with a wide range of topics and uses various stylistic approaches. The result is funny and romantic but with a touch of sadness. A true film d’auteur featuring great acting from the three exceptional leading actors.
selection of 9 recent European documentary films
The Prix PRESENT is awarded to André Guiomar (Portugal) for the film Our Land, Our Altar / A Nossa Terra, o Nosso Altar.
A Nossa Terra, O Nosso Altar stands out thanks to the rigour and the beauty of the director’s work. The filmmaker’s vision of the future of Aleixo — the poor neighbourhood of Porto, masterfully avoids all the clichés of the documentary approach. Neither empathic, nor effusive, it exposes the violent reality without outpouring or complacency, but through withheld lyricism which is evermore staggering. This film is an example of what can be called political cinema in which all social and economic markers are clearly stated. The director never substitutes his own feelings for those of the film protagonists. This is not a cold-hearted work, it is the film which, quoting Serge Daney, is all too well aware of the non-reciprocal nature of the documentary filming and finds its strength in respecting this distance.
The Special mention is given to Nadya Zakharova (Russia) for the film The Promenade / Набережная.
Following the change of seasons, the pandemic and the lockdowns, Nadya Zakharova films a succession of everyday episodes, capturing moments of life as if they were postcards from a river bank in a town somewhere in Russia. Despite the anecdotal, often funny, aspect of many scenes, we are able to grasp the social and political context from the snatches of passer-by conversations. The critical vision of the society present on the screen brings to mind the alienated and comic vision of Jacques Tati and the aesthetic rigour of Artur Aristakisyan, one of Zakharova’s mentors. The film also stands out in the competition selection for its length, only of 45 minutes. By awarding a special mention we wish to distinguish the singularity of this film.
Prix SAUVAGE CORTO
selection of 20 European recent short films
The Prix SAUVAGE CORTO is awarded to Knutte Wester (Sweden) for the film You Can’t Show My Face, for its research for freedom in the formal expression as well as in the content.
La Special mention is given to Fabio Serpa (Italy) for the film Cracolice, for the troubling mix of film genres which, using the fiction, delivers an important message about the reality.