Honest and impeccable technical descriptions, with magnificent performances and topics that are essential in order to understand the reality we are living nowadays. Filmmakers, Beth Formaggini (Brazil), Zaven Najjar (France), Marta Aledo (España) and Farid Bentoumi (France) were the big winners at the closing ceremony.
DJ AmoR lived up the first moments of the closing ceremony of the 16th Lanzarote International Film Festival tonight at the Teatro Insular de Lanzarote, accompanying the intense poetry of Antonio Corujo.
Best Short Documentary Film
“I’m a scriptwriter and I feel like the John Doe of films”, said Diego San José (Ocho apellidos vascos), quite openly to Manu Riverio, journalist in charge of starting off interviewing the short documentary film jury members.
“We have watched stories that must not be forgotten”, remembered journalist Elena Sánchez, presenter of programme Días de Cine. How to decide? “The story chosen has to be powerful, it has to make you think, and it must be touching, and the formal aspect must be interesting too”. Photo-journalist Gerson Díaz said that “the special mention made, had nothing to do with the actual winner”.
The special mention was for MARS CLOSER, Vera Brückner and Annelie Boros (Germany), UMA FAMILIA ILUSTRE, by Beth Formaggini, won Best Short Documentary Film at the FICL2016, after a unanimous decision of the members of the jury. “I’m very happy to receive this award and have the chance to have my film be shown at this festival, because these are difficult times in Brazil. This film portrays what the right wing is able to do, and what can happen where there is no democracy”, said Brazilian director in a video.
Best Short Animation Film
Maru Cabrera (singer and guitar player) got up on stage at the Teatro Insular backed by videos of the landscape of the island that have been stage to important movies filmed ever since the 1950’s. Journalist Usoa Ibarra spoke to the animation jury panel. “The first thing that stands out is the story, and then the technical skills used, which are extremely varied”, said actress Toni Acosta.
“It’s very difficult to tell a story in such a short period of time, and the use of animation offers so many different possibilities… I’m not sure what seems to have been more difficult: the technical skills used, or the story being told”, claimed actor Julian López.
Designer Victor García Moreno shared his first contact with the world of animation with us: from Disney’s Fantasía to Akira by Katsuhiro Otomo. “We didn’t have much access to animation in Spain in those days. I remember that comic book stores sold VHS videos that included some fragments only”.
Toni, Julián and Víctor gave a special mention to DERNIÈRE PORTE AU SUD (Last Door South), by Sacha Feiner (Belgium), a “dark, and very entertaining, terror short film, with images that capture the audience”.
But the award to the Best Short Animation Film went to UN OBUS PARTOUT, by Zaven Najjar (France). “Thank you so much, this has come as a huge surprise”, said Zaven, as impressed by the award as he was by the island.
Best Short Spanish Film
The performance of Los Embajadores, with images of movies Los abrazos rotos and Hace un millón de años, being screened in the background —a tribute to movies filmed in Lanzarote— came just before journalist Gonzalo Mejías, interviewed the National Fiction jury panel. His colleague Mar Arias broke the ice: “It’s been extremely hard to make a decision because to tell you the truth, I loved them all” and she reclaimed the right of short films to stop being a lesser genre.
The chosen short film, won “at all levels: technical, artistic and narrative”, explained actress Silvia Abascal, who mentioned how difficult a short film format is: “It’s very hard to draw the viewer’s attention in such short time, as well as develop the story and close it with an unexpected twist”.
Actor Javier Gutiérrez said he was “amazed” at “the really high standards” competing in this section: “There are thrillers, drama, and comedy, and actors such as Ramón Barea and the late Carlos Álvarez Novoa, as well as new actors; a wide range of options…”.
They made a special mention to NORTE, by Javier García Garrido, a “risk-taking and honest short film, that should be a must see in all secondary schools and homes in this country", explained Javier. “A long-take film with high-quality performances…. That story will stay with me for a long time”.
And lastly, JINGLE, by Marta Aledo, won Best Short Spanish Fiction: “This film is artistically flawless, and both actors perform wonderfully; it’s a human story that explains how valuable war correspondents are”. Filmmaker Marta Aledo got up on stage with “extreme joy”, thanking the Festival for existing first of all, and the audience “for coming to watch the movies, which is what makes what we do worthwhile”.
Best International Short Film
Mayelin Pérez filled the theatre with images of In the Heart of the Sea in the background, one of the most significant movies filmed in Lanzarote.
José María de Páiz interviewed the last jury panel of the competition: short international films. Actress Celia Freijeiro explained the special mention to CHAMPION, by Måns Berthas (Sweden) and pointed out the “brilliant technical skills” of this story filmed “using no words what so ever, and with absolutely exceptional photography”.
Filmmaker Ramón Salazar told us about the “brilliant and calm” performance of Bellamine Abdelmalek, leading actor in UN MÉTIER BIEN, by Farid Bentoumi. Cultural manager Adonay Bermúdez agreed: “We’re of the opinion that artistic manifestations must be true to their time, and this film does this 100%, with an alternative perspective, avoiding the use of clichés and with a strong leading character”.
Bellamine picked the award, and thanked everyone on behalf of the director and the rest of the team, and said he is “extremely happy”.
“Lanzarote is a very film-focused island, where movies have been shot since the 1950’s”, said Pedro San Ginés, president of the Cabildo. “The staging power of the island, its wide range of natural colours… clearly stand out; as well as the tax benefits available in the Canary Islands”, he further explained.
Ismael Curbelo, director of the FICL, said that the Festival is made “with love, hoping that the audience enjoys what we do”.
The Best Short Advertising Film award was given to STARDUST, by Adrien Servadio (France) and the Audience Award choices were different to that of the members of the jury. NOTES FROM LIBERIA won Best Short Documentary Film, by Ryo Murakami and Judd Ehrlich (EE.UU); DAS LEBEN IST HART won Best Short Animation Film, by Simon Schnellmann (Germany); NATURALES by David Ulloa San Román (Spain) won Best Short National Film, and MINDENKI, by Kristof Deak (Hungary) won Best Short International Film.