Russian animation snags top prize at the Tampere Film Festival

Bum-bum doch’ rybaka, a Russian animation directed by Ivan Maximov, has won the Grand Prix at the 44th Tampere Film Festival. Telling the story of a fisherman and a baby elephant, the film was described by the jury as “powerful because it is a very human and pure animated film, with a beautiful simplicity and incredibly touching and poetic images that stay in the mind for a long, long time”.

Quelqu’un d’extraordinaire, directed by Canadian Monia Chokr, was awarded Best Fiction, while the UK’s Beach Boy, by Emil Langballen, received the Best Documentary Award. Polish title Moonshine by Michal Poniedzieslki was named Best Animation, and Tampere’s nomination for the European Film Awards fell to the Hungarian film Fal, by Simon Szabo.

The International Jury members were France’s Gabriel Gauchet (the director of the 2013 Tampere Grand Prix winner, The Mass of Men), South African filmmaker Riaan Hendricks, Till Nowak from Germany, Finnish director Virpi Suutari and Latvian festival coordinator Anna Veilande-Kustikova. 

The winner of the National Competition's under-30-minutes category was Emergency Calls, an experimental documentary film by Hannes Vartiainen and Pekka Veikkolainen which is already being noticed on the festival circuit, having been screened at the likes of Clermont-Ferrand and Leeds.

The Special Prize in the under-30-minutes category went to No Time for Toes, an animation by Kari Pieskä, which also received the Student Prize. The documentary Garden Lovers, by Virpi Suutari, won the prize in the over-30-minutes category. The National Jury’s duties were carried out by Taina Ronkainen, Antti Selkokari and Jing Haase.

Hamy Ramezan's Keys of Heaven received both the Risto Jarva Prize and the Youth Jury Award.

11 March 2014, by Laurence Boyce