BEST FICTION FEATURE FILM
We Are Thankful. South Africa
Director: Joshua Magor
Producer: Joshua Magor, Bronwyn Coburn, Thembalihle Mncadi, Zhannat Alshanova
Siyabonga (english title: We Are Thankful), named after the film’s main character Siyabonga Majola, is a docufiction film set in the KwaZulu Natal region of modern day South Africa. It makes use of footage from both the narrative and documentary tradition.
In the film we follow Siyabonga, a young man making plays in the township of Mphopomeni. One day he hears the surprising news that a movie is to be made in a nearby town and makes it his mission to be a part of the film. From conspiring with a maid to steal wifi from the umlungus (white people) so he can write an email to the film producers, to rebuffing a friend’s urgent plea for him to improve his luck by making use of witchcraft, Siyabonga’s journey takes him down many surprising paths that lead him to a meeting with the film’s director. Here we observe the conversation that caused the film we are watching to come into existence.
A film based on real events, re-enacted by those who lived through them, we follow this extraordinary man as he does all he can to try and improve his life and take control of his fortune.
Siyabonga’s past echoes in his present in much the same way that South Africa’s own history seems to have left an indelible mark on the people and places of the film. Time moves differently in such spaces. Places never confined to just the here and now, but rather some kind of eternal memory.
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE FILM
A Underdog. Iceland
Director: Freyja Kristinsdóttir
Producer: Freyja Kristinsdóttir
In a picturesque house in the peaceful municipality of Asker, Norway, an Icelander and his family prepare to move back to the home country. Suddenly the move comes to an unforeseen halt as the good-natured and fun-loving family dog Rjómi (Cream) is banned from entering the country for what seems to be a misunderstanding. Determined not to leave their companion behind, the family is stranded and Rjómi‘s owner, Hilmar, embarks on a fight with the authorities. Challenging the verdict reveals unexpected hurdles and an uphill battle begins.
BEST EXPERIMENTAL FEATURE FILM
BEST FICTION SHORT FILM
Salvation. United Kingdom
Director: Thora Hilmarsdottir
Producer: Eva Sigurdardottir, Thora Karitas Arnadottir,
Katrin wakes up in the hospital after a serious car accident to find that she has received a life-saving blood transfusion. However, the religious cult she belongs to forbids such things. As Katrin struggles to reconcile this conflict with her church and family, she begins to become obsessed with the stranger whose blood is now flowing through her veins.
BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT FILM
NOW OR NEVER. United Kingdom
Director: MATT SENIOR
PRODUCER: Matt Senior
Now Or Never brings the world’s first documentary on the rarest great ape species, the Tapanuli orangutan, and their home, the Batang Toru forest, which lies in North Sumatra, Indonesia. For thousands of years these orangutans have experienced a tranquil existence in this rich rainforest, alongside countless other fascinating species. The local people living adjacent to Batang Toru have also lived comfortably for generations, surviving from the precious water created by the forest. But now, everything is changing… The global population is growing, and the natural world is suffering, including Batang Toru. This newly identified orangutan species is being pushed closer to extinction every day. The time to act and save Batang Toru is Now, Or Never again will we be living in a world with a third orangutan species.
BEST ANIMATION SHORT FILM
Tales from the Lakeside 2 Winter Adventure. Hungary
Director: ZSOLT PÁLFI
PRODUCER: Réka Temple
Autumn arrives at last as the birds set out for their long flight to a warmer climate, we follow the change of season through the eyes of the Verdies. Suddenly the water rats launch a terrible attack against the Verdies and all creatures around the Lake. The two nations, Grimps and Verdies, have been enemies as long as anyone can remember but now, their only chance against the rats is to join forces against this attack. Nothing can stop Willy from achieving his lifelong dream of becoming a guard. Packed with plenty of adventure and appealing characters, we witness Willy Whistle in his struggle from green-haired youth to maturing into brown-haired adulthood. Along the way, Willy’s antics actually inspire us with his sense of loyalty, responsibility, generosity and tolerance.
BEST SOCIAL SHORT FILM
May Day. Belgium
Director: Olivier Magis, FEDRIK DE BEUL
Producer: Marie Besson
In Thierry's living room, several people have gathered. None of them know each other but they are all there to try and fulfil the same dream. They want to find a job... and quickly. But we're in Brussels, so nothing goes quite as planned.
BEST EXPERIMENTAL SHORT FILM
Alchemy. United States
Director: Brandon Polanco
Producer: Ian Kevin Scott, Brandon Polanco
An epic transformation manifests from a seemingly routine interview.
A failed everyman begins working through pages and pages of questions. As time begins to elongate, the man finds himself tormented and more and more isolated. He battles the unknown ultimately transcending into a heightened reality, discovering a new life existing between multiple worlds, both familiar and otherworldly.
BEST MUSIC VIDEO