MAIN PRIZE over 20-minutes: PUNK VOYAGE (Tokasikajuttu, 2017, dir. Jukka Kärkkäinen, J-P Passi)
This expertly crafted documentary feels at times more like a work of fiction as we follow the misadventures of a truly unique Finnish punk band. Funny and irreverent but in a way that never feels exploitative. The jury felt this was a strong example of how a sequel can stand alone on its own merits.
SPECIAL PRIZE: ENTREPRENEUR (Yrittäjä, 2018, dir. Virpi Suutari)
The jury were extremely impressed by the highly cinematic storytelling in this fascinating, moving juxtaposition of two very different types of entrepreneur. The filmmaker’s precise approach sheds light on both new and old modes of production – and also emphasizes the important – and shifting – role that family plays in our daily work life.
MAIN PRIZE Under 30-minutes: BIRDS IN THE EARTH (Eatnanvuloš Lottit – Maan sisällä linnut, 2018, dir. Marja Helander)
We were awed by the way this visually expressive film uses performance, humour and irony to explore the Sami experience, and critique commonly held stereotypes. Two ballerinas offer an overtly political but also playful intervention into current debates around indigenous land rights.
SPECIAL PRIZE: THE CEILING (Katto, 2017, dir. Teppo Airaksinen)
This expertly scripted and skilfully acted Charlie Kaufman-esque allegory finds a delicate balance between humour and melancholy. While deceptively simple, the film grapples with big issues.
DIPLOMA OF MERIT: FLAME (Polte, 2018, dir. Sami van Ingen)
In the ruins of a destroyed film, a passionate melodrama is born. The film fragments are woven into a poetic meditation on time and memory, evolving into a breathtakingly beautiful and melancholic homage to the materiality of film.
RISTO JARVA AWARD: BIRDS IN THE EARTH (Eatnanvuloš Lottit – Maan sisällä linnut, 2018, dir. Marja Helander)
The ward foes to a film which is simultaneously strikingly beautiful, cunningly funny and political. What begins as poetic cheerfulness expands into a thought-provoking cinematic essay about identity, culture, social contradictions and the relationship between human and nature.
CHURCH MEDIA FOUNDATION: ENTREPRENEUR (Yrittäjä, 2018, dir. Virpi Suutari)
Faith, hope and love. Three views through which I have watched this year´s films of the national competition as the jury of the Church Media Foundation. The criteria for the Church Media Foundation prize require promoting christian values: love of neighbour, christian hope and responsibility for each other as well as for the environment. The task has been inspiring and at the same time challenging: there have been several films in the competion that raise up before mentioned themes and values. Still, there was one film that met all the criteria.
The film is about Finland, a divided country where people live in different realities. But for me, the film tells about human being that is the same wether you live in a rural parish or the capitol. Each of us have the need to believe, hope and to love and be loved back. Life is a series of successes and failures and we can consider ourselves lucky to have someone sharing those moments with us. The film has very subtle and gentle way to deal with faith which I find very valuable. Faith is shown as a resource, love for your neighbours and choices we make in our everyday lives, mercy and forgiveness, trust and hope even when faith and hope are put to test. Faith is not sized down to an isolated part of person´s life but is shown as an integral part of life, just as work is.
The film is of high quality and is skillfully made and meets the criteria of this prize. I appreciate director’s ability to observe her object compassionately and gently.
YOUTH JURY PRIZE: REMINISCENCES (Muistikuvia, 2017, dir. Reetta Neittaanmäki, Erika Weiste)
This film is a clever film, that uniquely awakens interviewees memories by using a stop-motion animation. The films warm and nostalgic atmosphere, and its ability to create a clear picture of the interviewees personalities without showing their face, catched our attention.
DIPLOMA OF MERIT: ROSE GARDEN (Ruusukoto, 2017, dir. Hannu-Pekka Peltomaa)
This film is a inventive and original short film, that takes a stand on modern elderly care’s faults with a hitch of dark comedy. We also liked the films overall visual atmosphere.
AUDIENCE AWARD: ENTREPRENEUR (Yrittäjä, 2018, dir. Virpi Suutari)
UUSI KINO PRIZE: ROSE GARDEN (Ruusukoto, 2017, dir. Hannu-Pekka Peltomaa)
STUDENT AWARD: PRIME TIME RAGE (Puoli Yhdeksän Raivo, 2017, dir. Sanni Priha)
GRAND PRIX : INTIMITY (2017, dir. Elodie Dermange)
The winner of this year’s Grand Prix is a filmic and very beautiful animation about female sexuality, lust and enjoying your own body all the way. It is a film about making your own choice and expressing yourself just the way you want it. Ladies, this is our year. This is our film, this is our time.
BEST DOCUMENTARY: SOCIUMIS PATIMARI (2017, dir. Rati Tsiteladze)
In this riveting intimate documentary we meet a young transgender woman who has been a prisoner in her home for the past decade. The director places three conflicted individuals are in front of his camera and captures their complex love for each other and the fear for what is to come as the young woman seeks to proclaim her sexuality.
BEST FICTION: TABLELAND (2016, dir. Liu Wenzhuo)
The jury voted for this film to be the best fiction film. This is a moving story about an old grandfather who is about to be displaced – away from the land and his animals, away from his true home and life. A real drama unfolds when his sheep finally decide his decision and destiny. The filmmaker shares a strong personal engagement with the viewer and this is the promise of a true artist.
DIPLOMA OF MERIT: TAGHI (2018, dir. Koorosh Asgari)
The jury felt that this film must not be ignored and deserves a special mention. The stillness in the beginning is like the stillness of a volcano before eruption. We know right away by looking at the woman rowing the boat that she is ready to explode if challenged – and the explosion comes and we are all with her. The silent end is magnificent, open ended and full of promise, a mixture of escape and a new beginning.
BEST ANIMATION: NEGATIVE SPACE (2017, dir. Ru Kuwahata, Max Porter)
A delightful film. Funny, original and beautifully executed this film shows how life is fleeting through the precise packing of suitcases.
DIPLOMA OF MERIT: KÖTÜ KIZ (2017, dir. Ayce Kartal)
Emotionally deeply touching this stunning animation takes us inside the imagination of a young traumatized child as she finds a way to come through. The Jury presents a Diploma of Merit to Wicked Girl.
EFA – NOMINATION: SOCIUMIS PATIMARI (2017, dir. Rati Tsiteladze)
We are giving this award to Prisoner of Society because it makes a powerful statement about the right to live ones life in a society that will not accept diversity. It is important to discuss the film not only in Europe but throughout the world.
AUDIENCE AWARD: TRACING ADDAI (2018, dir. Esther Niemeier)
JINZHENIN FILM FESTIVAL SPECIAL PRIZE: KÖTÜ KIZ (2017, dir. Ayce Kartal)