Internationale Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen

Award Winners of the 66th Festival

Award winners of the 66th International Short Film Festival Oberhausen Online

13 – 18 May 2020

 

Award ceremony: Monday, 18 May 2020, 7.30 p.m., www.kurzfilmtage.de

 

Stills of award-winning films can be downloaded here: www.kurzfilmtage.de/en/press/film-stills/

 

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Awards of the International Competition

 

Prizes awarded by the International Jury

 

Members of the International Jury:

Frank Beauvais (France), Lerato Bereng (South Africa), Dmitry Frolov (Russia), Michał Matuszewski (Poland), Brittany Shaw (USA)

 

 

Grand Prize of the City of Oberhausen

8,000 Euros

 

A Month of Single Frames

Lynne Sachs

USA 2019, 14 min. 12 sec., colour

 

Statement:

In the age of necessary social distancing, we would like to highlight a remarkable film which fulfils the noblest vocation of art, fostering an emotional connection between people from different times and geographical locations. For the ability to find poetry and complexity in simple things, for its profound love for life and people, and for attention to detail in working with delicate matters, we decided to award the Grand Prize of the City of Oberhausen to A Month of Single Frames by Lynne Sachs.

 

 

Principal Prize

4,000 Euros

 

Bittersweet

Sohrab Hura

India 2019, 13 min. 48 sec., colour / b/w

 

Statement:

Both unflinching and loving, Sohrab Hura's Bittersweet is a rumination of familial relationships and domestic spaces, exploring the bonds between himself and his mother, and his mother and her beloved dog. Hura uses his grainy flash photography to empathetically depict intimate and banal moments in the life of his mother, who suffers from acute paranoid schizophrenia, while showing the audience the power of a mother and son bond, and the healing powers of an animal's love. For his complex depictions of love, we award Sohrab Hura's Bittersweet the Principal Prize.

 

 

e-flux Prize

3,000 Euros

For an exceptional film and video work which reshapes the poetic and electric potential of moving images in the age of planetary circulation of information.

 

BELLA

Thelyia Petraki

Greece 2020, 24 min. 30 sec., colour

 

Statement:

For taking us on an emotional journey through space and time and for finding the way to document sincere narrative using distinct imagery, the e-flux Prize goes to BELLA by Thelyia Petraki.

 

 

Special Mentions

 

Mat et les gravitantes

(Mat and Her Mates)

Pauline Penichout

France 2019, 26 min., colour

 

Statement:

For its warm and gentle take on a crucial matter: the rights of women to be in control of their bodies and sexuality, and the obvious necessity to reaffirm it more than ever in our times, the jury decided to award an Special Mention to Mat et les gravitantes, directed by Pauline Penichout.

 

 

I Am the People_Ⅰ

Xiaofei Li

China 2020, 25 min. 12 sec., colour

 

Statement:

A layered portrayal of the relationship between society and industry which alludes to some complex political sentiments. The filmmaker made a cerebral yet sensitive and poetic portrait of what it is to be sentient in our times. A film worthy of our time.

 

 

 

Jury of the Ministry of Culture and Science of North Rhine-Westphalia

 

Members of the Jury:

Filippa Bauer (Germany), Lina Sieckmann & Miriam Gossing (Germany), Ruth Schiffer (Germany), Ulrike Sprenger (Germany)

 

 

1st Prize

5,000 Euros

 

Shepherds

Teboho Edkins

France/South Africa/Germany 2020, 27 min., colour

 

Statement:

“The cow is culture” – A prison for shepherds in the steppes of Lesotho becomes a stage for some universal dramas of humanity. Living and surviving: what does a prison look like in a society that’s not based on the principle of added value? Absurdly permeable, the fences dissolve the boundaries between the prison and the wide open landscape. In this cosmos, the delicate staging and the surreal composition of the film open an in-between space, the shepherds become the red-clad speakers of humanity, carrying the outside world into the interior of the prison.

 

 

2nd Prize

3,000 Euros

 

Bittersweet

Sohrab Hura

India 2019, 13 min. 48 sec., colour / b/w

 

Statement:

In neutral tones, a man talks about his mother – her schizophrenia, her relationship with her dog and her manic life. In his essayistic photo film, the Indian photographer and filmmaker Sohrab Hura gives us a view of his mother that points beyond the specific narrative, by exposing the closeness, security, but also the terror and helplessness of familial relationships. A captivating cinematic montage is created from film footage and photographs documenting ten years in his mother's life; the impressive precision of his recordings and deliberate gaps determine the rhythm of a very personal family story.

 

 

Special Mentions

 

 

Junkerhaus

(Junker House)

Karen Russo

UK/Germany 2019, 8 min. 10 sec., b/w

 

Statement:

The camera leads us into the house and thus into the interior world of an idiosyncratic personality – expressionistic black-and-white images and creaking sounds animate obsessions become wood to ghostly life. In a rhythmic finale, wood, light, shadow and sound become recognisable as materials of fantastic spaces. An imagination that finally takes us back to nature.

 

 

Gira Ancora

(One More Round)

Elena Petitpierre

Switzerland 2019, 22 min. 9 sec., colour

 

Statement:

An adolescent roams his neighbourhood in Palermo. In the tradition of Neorealism, the camera lets us participate in the life of this community and at the same time shows how the rumours about his mother gradually turn him into an outsider over the course of the film. The protagonist’s world contracts in ever-tighter circles.

 

 

 

The International Critics’ Prize (FIPRESCI Prize)

 

Members of the Jury:

Martin Botha (South Africa), Lesley Chow (Australia), Iryna Marholina (Russia)

 

 

I Am the People_Ⅰ

Xiaofei Li

China 2020, 25 min. 12 sec., colour

 

Statement:

The FIPRESCI Prize goes to Xiaofei Li’s I Am the People_Ⅰ, for an intelligent, slow-burning portrait of a society and its courageous, yet necessarily indirect, diagnosis of that society. Challenging traditional modes of perception, it explores the relationship between industrial production and social development.

 

 

 

Prize of the Ecumenical Jury

1,500 Euros

 

Members of the Jury:

Kodjo Ognandou Ayetan (Togo), Alexander Bothe (Germany), Dirk von Jutrczenka (Germany), Polina Kundirenko (Ukraine), Christian Olding (Germany), Milja Radovic (UK)

 

 

Shepherds

Teboho Edkins

France/South Africa/Germany 2020, 27 min., colour

 

Statement:

The film shows the psychological drama of shepherds from Lesotho, some of whom were sentenced to 9 years in prison for having stolen cows. This film caught the attention of the Ecumenical Jury for the originality of the theme, the love of a community of Lesotho for cows, for professionalism in photography direction and image aesthetics, the silences which invite the spectator to meditation. The film shows the value of cows in the lives of members of this community. But it also draws public attention to the gap between the wrongdoing and the punishment.

 

 

Special Mentions

 

 

Las muertes de Arístides

(The Many Deaths of Arístides)

Lázaro Lemus

Kuba 2019, 16 Min. 52 Sek., Farbe / s/w

 

Statement:

For the innovative, original and intimate approach to the subject of war, life and death, the Ecumenical Jury gives a Commendation to The Many Deaths of Arístides. The animation of a silhouetted figure, journeying on a boat through the dark fuses with the frozen moments of time as we hear the letter of a young man that never returned home. His prayer for Olga centralises the film as hope, as a cry to God for the life of the other, as love outshining the depths of darkness. The film makes memory alive and breaks the time boundaries, transcending visually what cannot be described in words, and as such it is a work of pure cinema.

 

 

Milenina píseň

(Milena’s Song)

Marie Lukáčová/Anna Remešová

Czech Republic 2019, 9 min. 1 sec., colour

 

Statement:

The creators of Milena’s Song reveal the theme of core spirituality in their movie. They depict a story of a cleaning lady who finds her own way of manifestation of faith while being in the shadow of institutional hierarchy. Her original prayer dance opens for the viewers her initial nature of believer referring to times of the early church fathers and reminding of cultural decentralization and non-hierarchical nature. The courage and extraordinary of the message could not be left without attention of the Ecumenical Jury. As well as the aesthetic form of the short film that vividly recalls the true beauty of human reunion with the divine origin.

 

 

ZONTA Prize

1,000 Euros

to a female filmmaker in the International or German Competition

 

 

What We Still Can Do

Nora Ananyan

Hungary/Armenia 2019, 14 min. 34 sec., colour

 

Statement:

Our prize goes to a film, a filmmaker’s debut film, a manifesto of empathy and solidarity: a film about the relationship between a mother and daughter in a hospice. Endless possibilities of mutual love open up at the moment of farewell.

 

 

 

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Awards of the German Competition

 

Members of the Jury of the German Competition:

Bernd Brehmer (Germany), Bettina Steinbrügge (Germany), Carolin Weidner (Germany)

 

 

Prize for the best contribution to the German Competition

5,000 Euros

 

SUGAR

Bjørn Melhus

Germany 2019, 20 min. 35 sec., colour / b/w

 

Statement:

We award the Prize for the best contribution to the German Competition to a film that sets out to restore humanity to humankind. In a post-apocalyptic world, SUGAR meets HON, and the way this is narrated not only impressed us deeply, but was also great fun. This film is brilliantly produced, positions its subject directly but elegantly, is somehow new and exceptionally topical.

 

 

 

3sat Promotional Award

2,500 Euros

For a contribution with a particularly innovative approach.

In addition the award includes a buying option on the awarded work to be broadcast on 3sat.

 

Onun Haricinde, İyiyim

(Other Than That, I’m Fine)

Eren Aksu

Germany/Turkey 2020, 14 min., colour

 

Statement:

The scenes are lined up very evenly, though they could hardly be more different. Aesthetically, we see different formats, sometimes the frame shrinks to a segment, then it’s replaced by the wobbly images of a video link. In terms of content, there are also jumps: between Turkey and Berlin, the past and the present, marble columns. Has one arrived in a country when one has one’s own flat with a guest room? In Onun Haricinde, İyiyim, Eren Aksu brings all this together effortlessly, even though we feel that nothing here is effortless. His film is touching. And we want to see many more from this director.

 

 

Special Mention

 

This Makes Me Want to Predict the Past

Cana Bilir-Meier

Germany/Austria 2019, 16 min. 5 sec., colour / b/w

 

Statement:

Grainy black and white images evoke a supposedly bygone time when paradox demands addressed to a possible presence (and future) make an appeal to create the space needed for remembering. In her intense work Cana Bilir-Meier links the desires, doubts and wishes of young women with the hope for, at last, a society without fear. The German Competition Jury awards a Special Mention to This Makes Me Want to Predict the Past.

 

 

 

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Awards of the 12th NRW Competition

 

Members of the Jury:

Gunter Deller (Frankfurt), Kathrin Häger (Cologne), Marita Quaas (Cologne)

 

 

Prize for the best contribution to the NRW Competition

1,000 Euros

 

Berzah

Deren Ercenk

Germany 2020, 25 min. 45 sec., colour

 

Statement:

This film and its great cinematography lock us into sophisticated, almost non-verbally staged spaces: from the isolation of a hotel room via the constricted space of a car to the steep alleys of a town on the Turkish Aegean. In Berzah, Deren Ercenk manages to tightly align three self-contained episodes into a kind of “in-between world”, according to the title, and thus unfold a gripping triptych of quasi-powerless situations of fight: burning sun against burning skin. A father-daughter team against a transgressive chance encounter. Man versus wardrobe. The director plunges us into a deep pool of socio-political interpretations that have a lasting effect on us and make us curious about her next work!

 

 

 

Promotional Award of the NRW Competition

500 Euros

 

there may be uncertainty

Paul Reinholz

Germany 2020, 28 min. 58 sec., colour

 

Statement:

In these days when we would like to peer into the cinema and see .... there is nobody in it! ..., this films hits the pulse of the time with its premiere. In the deserted, mathematical-meditative visual poetry of clinical crisis prevention centres, humming server rooms and bunkers accompanied by the sounds of sirens, this seems more sinister than the unforeseeable disasters they are supposed to protect us from. Only accidental motifs from art and fiction, meadows covered in smoky fog and a grassy, Tatooine-like bunker landscape, suggest that the uncontrollable is the only thing left breathing.

 

 

Special Mention

 

Im toten Park

(In the Dead Park)

Moritz Liewerscheidt

Germany 2019, 8 min. 13 sec., colour

 

Statement:

A poet explores his world, a small town on the Lower Rhine in the 1970s/80s, with words. His son, a filmmaker, now confronts the written words with contemporary images of that area that look like they come from the past. In this superimposition of ambiguous linguistic images with architectures, monuments, streets and parks a view of the inscribed mentality and history of the former Federal Republic of Germany unfolds. The images are as permeable as Dieter Liewerscheidt’s poetry in which philosophical, pop-cultural and personal elements are intermingled.

 

 

 

 

Prize of the WDR Westart Jury

750 Euros

sponsored by WDR Westart

 

Members of the Jury:

Maximilian Burk (Cologne), Christiane Niemann (Cologne), Katja Lüber (Cologne)

 

 

Klusā daba

(Still Life)

Anna Ansone

Germany 2020, 22 min. 49 sec., colour

 

Statement:

With a remarkable sense of visual composition and aesthetics, Anna Ansone’s short film Klusā daba tells the story of Elīna, who returns to her late grandmother’s remote home to sell it. Everything in this film seems fallen out of time; consequently, Ansone shot it on analogue film. Gradually, the protagonist seems to be merging with the house; it’s all about memories and family ties that are not always straightforward. In this day and age, the films offers an empathic monument to cohesion between the generations.

 

 

 

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22nd MuVi Award for the Best German Music Video

 

 

Members of the Jury:

Max Dax (Germany), Adam Harper (UK), Agnese Logina (Latvia)

 

 

1st Prize

2,000 Euros

sponsored by the SAE Institute Bochum

 

 

Eurydike (Kreidler)

Andreas Reihse, Zaza Rusadze

Germany 2020, 4 min. 10 sec., colour

 

Statement:

In Greek mythology the poet Orpheus accidently kills his wife Eurydike after having freed her from Hades. Or perhaps it was no accident, as Klaus Theweleit assumes in his book “Male Fantasies”? Does the (male) artist need to bury his (female) muse to be creative? Eurydike abstractly addresses the ancient topic by rhythmically editing associative images to Kreidler’s music. To appreciate the effort of transferring a very complex topic into the aesthetics of a 4-minute music video, the MuVi jury decided to award this year’s first prize to Eurydike by Zaza Rusadze and Andreas Reihse.

 

 

2nd Prize

1,000 Euros

sponsored by the SAE Institute Bochum

 

Introspektion (for "Tranquilizer" by Oliver Huntemann)

Hamid Kargar

Germany 2019, 4 min. 14 sec., b/w

 

Statement:

Hamid Kargar’s video for Oliver Huntemann’s "Tranquilizer" is a perfect demonstration of how, with care and vision, a simplicity of means can result in an engrossing multitude of effects. The repetition of a single face, spooling ever onwards like the driving beat of Huntemann’s techno, appears in a seemingly inexhaustible array of visionary disguises ranging from witty Victoriana to Lovecraftian horror. The video also, right from the opening zoetropic moiré, makes subtle yet powerful adjustments to its mechanisms to accommodate key structural changes in Huntemann’s music. For both the form of the video and the drawings themselves, the MuVi jury award this year’s second prize to Introspektion.

 

 

Special Mention

 

Shadowbanned (Stephen Malkmus)

Jan Lankisch

Germany 2020, 3 min. 28 sec., colour

 

Statement:

This year’s special mention goes to Jan Lankisch’s video for Stephen Malkmus’ Shadowbanned, which takes us on an unpredictable ride to the wild side of the Internet. Playful and exciting, Shadowbanned is also self-referential and a multi-layered piece of art that still surprises you after many views. This is also a music video definitely before its time – a jolly exercise in keeping in touch with your community without seeing them in person. In times of physical distancing and meeting only on the virtual realm, a music video like Shadowbanned is an inspirational example of how to stay creative together.

 

 

MuVi Online Audience Award

chosen by online vote

500 Euros

sponsored by the SAE Institute Bochum

 

Wer sagt denn das? (Deichkind)

Timo Schierhorn/UWE

Germany 2019, 3 min., colour

 

 

 

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Awards of the 43rd Children's and Youth Film Competition

 

 

Award ceremony: Monday, 18 May 2020, 6 p.m., www.kurzfilmtage.de

 

 

Prize of the Children's Jury

1,000 Euros, sponsored by Wirtschaftsbetriebe Oberhausen

 

Members of the Jury:

Nikola Mader, Salman Omer, Lulzim Sinani, Kimberly Terwiel, Ahsen Melda Topcu

 

 

Furthest From

Kyung Sok Kim

USA 2019, 18 min. 58 sec., colour

 

Statement:

We liked that the film has real people. And that the actors resemble each other, just like a real family. We also liked seeing a different country and a different culture. Though the ending of the film was sad, it fit well.

 

 

evo Promotional Award of the Children's Jury

1,000 Euros, sponsored by Energieversorgung Oberhausen AG (evo)

 

Têtard

(Tadpole)

Jean-Claude Rozec

France 2019, 13 min. 40 sec., colour

 

Statement:

Our winning film is very well drawn. The animation and the sound match perfectly. We felt happy while watching it, even though we were also annoyed with the girl. The film works, although you do not know whether it is a dream or reality.

 

 

Special Mention

 

Junu Ko Jutta

(The Shoe of a Little Girl)

Kedar Shrestha

Nepal 2019, 13 min. 2 sec., colour

 

Statement:

We liked that the film was very realistic and that we saw much of a different country. And we liked the music. At the end, the girl had a great idea. The story made so much sense.

 

 

 

Prize of the Youth Jury

1,000 Euros, sponsored by the Rotary Club Oberhausen

 

Members of the Jury:

Kimmo Doering, Lilith Laukner, Jason Michalek

 

 

Becky’s Weightloss Palace

Bela Brillowska

Germany 2020, 8 min., colour

 

Statement:

After watching the film, we wondered: “Are you even allowed to make such a film?” We came to the conclusion that you are, and that the film is remarkably good. It is interesting on various levels. On the one hand, the film deals with anorexia, an issue that in Germany is still not free from taboo and that people simply do not talk about. On the other hand, the film uses a currently extremely popular form of media entertainment – YouTube tutorials. In this tutorial, the actor gives tips for anorexics on how to lose even more weight. At the same time, she draws attention to prejudices and problems regarding anorexia in a humorous way, although you are never sure whether you are supposed to laugh at all. The combination of these aspects makes the film unique.

 

 

Special Mentions

 

 

Warum Schnecken keine Beine haben

(Why Slugs Have no Legs)

Aline Höchli

Switzerland 2019, 10 min. 44 sec., colour

 

Statement:

We really liked this film’s animation and found the attention to detail, but also the complexity and creativity, particularly convincing. The film manages to depict and criticise our society in such a beautiful and gentle way, an issue which is generally important, and also close to our hearts. We were especially impressed with the accurate portrayal of our zeitgeist – chasing after money and losing touch with yourself and with nature – while avoiding the mistake of transforming it into an appeal to morality. A wonderful way of dealing with our current situation, including a touching ending that also gives us some food for thought.

 

 

Christy

Brendan Canty

Ireland 2019, 14 min. 17 sec., colour

 

Statement:

Another Special Mention goes to Christy, a film from Ireland directed by Brendan Canty, about a young school dropout looking for a job. Despite its rough language, the film lovingly tells the story of the protagonist’s chaotic life situation and his inability to prove himself during an interview for a temporary job. Everything seems hopeless; however, solidarity, friendship, and having a connection play an important role. The actors are mainly children and teenagers. They create a moving atmosphere while giving the audience some food for thought and leaving them deeply moved.

 

 

 

ECFA Short Film Award

 

Members of the Jury:

Jan-Willem Bult (Netherlands), Monica Koshka-Stein (Germany), Ivana Kvesic (Switzerland)

 

 

Un lynx dans la ville

(A Lynx in the Town)

Nina Bisiarina

France 2019, 6 min. 48 sec., colour

 

Statement:

This year the ECFA Short Film Award goes to a short film that offers children access to a universal story, offering high artistic quality and a deeper meaning. The style of animation is refreshing, minimal and at the same time playful. The director attached great importance to details, colours and design. Two worlds collide in a magical moment and peacefully part again. The film takes us on a journey where nature finds itself in the urban world and is confronted with extraordinary curiosity. This film imparts empathy, excitement, and also critically questions how we use social media.

 

 

Oberhausen, 18 May 2020

 

Press contact: Sabine Niewalda, niewalda@kurzfilmtage.de, Tel. +49 (0)208 825-3073