2Annas closes with win for The Satanic Thicket –One

The 2Annas International Film Festival came to a conclusion last night in Riga, Latvia. The annual celebration of short film this year expanded its programme and added feature films to the mix, with screenings including the celebrated festival hit Kebab & Horoscope. This year also saw a number of special programmes including Transgressors (the festival’s overarching theme of the year) – a programme of transgressive cinema curated in association with Vienna Independent Shorts and the Encounters Film Festival in the UK.

As with most festivals, 2Annas concluded with a lengthy award ceremony in which numerous films were lauded. The Best Feature Film went to Rocks In My Pocket, from Latvian born animator Signe Baumane. Her examination of depression and family is already extremely popular in Latvia and proved a popular choice amongst audiences.

In the Baltic Competition special mentions went to the animation Non-Euclidean Geometry by Skirmanta Jakaite and Solveiga Masteikaiteand the brilliant Lithuanian short Dembava by Laurynas Bareisa, a searing portrait of two young men who commit a terrible act. The Best Baltic Animation went to Black Seed, an absurd and surreal film about a middle-aged Siberian man whose life suddenly changes due to a strange guest. The Best Baltic Experimental film went to Latvian film Extreme Fugue for One Voice. Laima while Latvia also won Best Baltic Fiction with the shocking and surprising Castratus The Boar.  The Best Baltic Short Film went to The Noisemaker, a Lithuanian piece that first screened in competition at Locarno. A clever and subversive film about a school trying to make it look like it has more pupils than it has, it’s marked by a compelling energy and deadpan humour.

Over in the international competition The Immaculates by Ronny Trocker (France), Cutting Grass by Asier Altuna (Spain) and Seven Times a Day We Bemoan Our Lot and at Night We Get Up to Avoid Our Dreams by  Susann Maria Hempel (Germany) were all recipients of special mentions. The Best International Animation went to Hungarian animation Symphony No.42while Best Documentary was grabbed by IK, a moving film following a person before, during and after brain surgery. The Best International Fiction was won by A Million Miles Away (which has been talked about by Cineuropa Shorts here). The winner of the Best International Short went to The Satanical Thicket – One by Willy Hans. The German film is an eerie and off-kilter affair and seemed a perfect winner for a festival priding itself on focusing on transgression

28 October 2014, by Laurence Boyce