33rd Uppsala International Short Film Festival announces winners

The Uppsala International Short Film Festival – always considered a highlight of the short film festival circuit - came to a close last Sunday with an array of prizes for films from across the world.

The Uppsala Grand Prix went to Lebanese film Mondial 2010 by Roy Dib. The festival jury - consisting of Oscar Eriksson (Folkets bio/Cinema Queer), Flavia Ferrucci (Good Short Films), Sytske Kok (filmskapare) and Matt Lloyd (Glasgow Short Film Festival) – said of the film:

“A travelogue, seen through the camera lens of two lovers, one showing the other the town in which he used to live, and the friends with whom he used to hang out. A holiday situation we can all recognise, complete with petty arguments and jealousies. And yet, the town is Ramallah, and the top tourist activity is to film the locals throwing stones and ducking smoke canisters. Meanwhile Israeli settlements hug the near horizon. Demonstrating tight control of a deceptively formless genre – the mock-home movie – and evoking ineffable feelings of dread, the director has visualised the almost imperceptible movement of historical forces, and created a rich and moving narrative with minimal resources. Without ever seeing the main characters we get to know them and care for them. A compelling way to portray a love, and an injustice, that society doesn’t want to see.”

The Uppsala Award In Memory Of Ingmar Bergman, which sees the winner receive 50 000 SEK from the Cultural Affairs Board in Uppsala, went to New Zealand film Lake directed by Asuka Sylvie.

“A poetic film about the impermanence of life,” said the jury. “In strong images and without words the film shows us the fragility of our bodies on the one hand and the strength of our spirit on the other. After parting from his dead wife’s body an old man washes himself in a lake using the melting water of the ice that has preserved her body. A ritualized way of dealing with her loss and honoring her existence.”

A special mention went to Polish animation The Incredibly Elastic Man (Dir. Karolina Specht) while the Audience Award went to French animation Le vélo de l’éléphant (Dir. Olesya Shchukina)

In the Swedish Competition, the Grand Prix went to animation Still Born directed by Åsa Sandzén. The jury, made up of  Juhani Alanen (Tampere Film Festival), Nils-Thomas Andersson (Filmcentrum) and Kristina Lindquist (head of culture at Upsala Nya Tidning), said:

“ A beautifully animated documentary on a hard decision, loss and longing. With a modest and tender touch, Still Born explores the fragile structure of life, as well as its darkest moments. A brutal and poetic masterpiece.”

The Special Jury Prize To The Film With Best Cinematography went to Shards (Dir. Erik Lindeberg) for the work of cinematographer Robin Eriksson. Of the film they said: 

“A wonderfully shot story of a topical subject, poetic in both a stylistic and narrative sense. Shard comes to life through amazing photography, framing and camera work and creates an atmosphere that lingers on long after you’ve left the theatre. A film with faith in its powerful images, and in the audience.”

A special mention went to Bath House (Dir. Niki Lindroth von Bahr) and the Audience Award went to The Dogwalker (Dir. Caroline Ingvarsson). The Uppsala Jackdaw For Best Children’s Film went to Kanyekanye (Dir. Miklas Manneke) and the UR-Prize went to Danish film An Afternoon (Dir. Søren Green).

30 October 2014, by Laurence Boyce