• 24 March 2019

ANGELS AND MIGRANTS: all the awards of the ninth edition



SASHKA, by Katarzyna Lesisz from Poland, is the winner of the International Competition of the ninth edition of the Ca’ Foscari Short Film Festival, the first in Europe entirely organized and managed by a university.

The Special Mention Volumina and the “Levi” Prize for best soundtrack went to Germany, respectively with THE LAST CHILDREN IN PARADISE by Anna Roller and NO SMOKING INDOOR by Philipp Westerfeld. The Italian Edoardo Bramucci was awarded the ‘Pateh Sabally’ Prize for NOOH.

The “Olga Brunner Levi” High School Competition Award went to Heidi Kafer’s BOUND from the United States and the special mention of the Pasinetti VideoContest was awarded to the Kosovar PA PËRKUFIZIM by Era Skivjani. The winner of the Music Video Competition was the Norwegian YOKAI by Eirik Heggen.

During the Closing Ceremony the splendid live-painting performance by Cosimo Miorelli and Giorgio Pacorig took place.

The Polish short film Sashka (Poland, 2018, 24’55”) by Katarzyna Lesisz, produced by the National Film School in Lodz, is the winner of the International Competition of the ninth edition of the Ca’ Foscari Short Film Festival, the first film festival in Europe entirely organized and managed by a university, which aims to map new trends in cinema and discover new talent from film schools around the world.

The International Jury composed of the Italian programmer Teresa Cavina, the Iranian director Ayat Najafi and the Estonian animator Ülo Pikkov awarded the International Competition. The Grand Prix, the “Levi” Prize and the Music Video Competition Award consist in prestigious artistic Murano glass sculptures designed and created by master glassmaker Alessandro Mandruzzato.

The First Prize for the best short film of the International Competition, delivered by Flavio Gregori, Deputy Dean for Cultural Activities and Relations of Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, and given by the French film maker Patrice Leconte, guest of honor of this edition, went to Sashka by Katarzyna Lesisz with the following motivation:

The director, using a perfectly controlled non-linear narrative structure, creates the extraordinary portrait of a young woman in search of her identity in a foreign country that she would like to call “home”.

The thirty-year-old Polish director, present on the stage of the Auditorium to collect the award, sincerely thanked the jury and the troupe that worked with her, recalling how the realization of a cinematographic work requires a collective effort, given by the creativity of multiple people. Sashka is set in Poland, where the homonymous protagonist, a young Ukrainian woman, receives the news of the death of the man she married in order to obtain a Polish residence visa. Her husband’s funeral gives her the opportunity to meet again her beloved Piotr, with whom she had arranged her marriage years before, but who had left her without any explanation.

The Jury also awarded the Special Mention “Volumina” for the work that offers the best contribution to cinema as art to the German short film Die Letzten Kinder Im Paradies – The Last Children in Paradise (Germany, 2018, 29’) by Anna Roller of University of Television and Film München. The award, presented by the member of the scientific committee of Ca’ Foscari Short Film Festival Cecilia Cossio and delivered by jury member Teresa Gavina, consists of a prestigious photographic book on cinema produced by Volumina and an award plate. The work of the young German director was rewarded with the following reason:

For its extraordinary ability to represent the emotions of a young girl who has just reached puberty, using images, sounds and atmospheres of extraordinary evocative strength.

The young brothers Leah and Theo, protagonists of this short film, live with their grandmother in a remote country farm. When the grandmother dies suddenly, the two children are left to themselves. Leah, on the threshold of puberty, has her first encounter with the other sex and will have to struggle to accept becoming the lady of the house, torn between responsibility she feels for her and the discovery of her own femininity.

The “Levi” Award for the Best Soundtrack (music, word, noise), offered by the “Ugo and Olga Levi” Foundation and assigned by a special jury composed of Roberto Calabretto, Massimo Contiero, Daniele Furlati and Luisa Zanoncelli, was given to the German Drinnen wird nicht geraucht – No Smoking Indoor (Germany, 2018, 11’00”) by Philipp Westerfeld from the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg. The main character, a retired woman, can do nothing but follow the impositions of her husband, who categorically forbids her from smoking in the house. She spends her time alone all day, observing life flowing outside window of their apartment, allowing herself the only pleasure that manages to drive her away from that cold place: smoking. Only once discovered by her husband, she  will try to put an end to her uneasiness. The award, presented by the President of the scientific committee of the “Levi” Foundation Roberto Calabretto and delivered by the jury member Ülo Pikkov, was awarded for the following reasons:

The musical interventions of Meike-Katrin Stein effectively merge within the short film. On the one hand, they load images with orchestral tears of tension, while on the other they contrast its weight, as so happens when the main character flies out the window accompanied by slight vocalizations of a female voice. At the same time, the sound track is enriched by the noises (the pendulum clock, the buzz of the voices) underlining the drama of the protagonist.

The “Pateh Sabally” Award, offered by the Municipality of Venice, Murano, Burano and dedicated to the memory of the Gambian boy who tragically died in the waters of the Grand Canal in January 2017, was assigned to Nooh (Italy, 2018, 11’47”) by Edoardo Bramucci from Rome Film Academy, who collected the award on the stage. His short film tells the story of an African child who arrived in Italy as an illegal immigrant. Having lost both his mother and father, he escapes in fear from a reception center to take refuge in an abandoned tower on the seashore with his imaginary friend, far from the adults and their problems. Miriam will come to disrupt this everyday life. The award, an original glass sculpture by glassmaker Afro Celotto, was announced by Giovanni Andrea Martini, President of the Municipality of Venice, Murano and Burano, and delivered by the member of the jury Ayat Najafi with the following motivation:

In the imagination of an African child in a reception center, one experiences the tragic reality of the suspended lives of those forced to leave their homeland and seek refuge in a world of solidarity. There is no such world yet. Today it seems even more distant. Only the saving gesture of a mother can break down walls and show that, wherever one is born, the right to life is inviolable. Screenplay and photography are all made to support the right cause.

The winner of the sixth edition of the “Olga Brunner Levi” Prize, established by the “Ugo and Olga Levi” Foundation in collaboration with the Ca’ Foscari Short Film Festival. The award is dedicated to the best short film made by secondary school students from around the world, whose subject is female musical performance or the relationship between female condition and music in history. The winner, chosen by a jury composed of Roberto Calabretto, Antioco Floris and Luisa Zanoncelli, was Bound (USA, 2018, 6’33”) by Heidi Kafer of the G-Star School of the Arts. This film lead the audience inside of the twisted mind of a girl who fights an eating disorder that puts her life at risk. The award was presented by Roberto Calabretto, President of the scientific committee of the Levi Foundation. The motivation is as follows:

The soundtrack proves to be very effective for the articulation of the sound levels that comment on the problem at the center of the film. It also dialogues effectively with the voice over, accompanying its moments of intensity and tension. The timbre is carefully chosen to create a stratified sound texture that can blur sound gradations until they almost result in silence.

For the “Olga Brunner Levi” Award, the “Pasinetti” VideoContest, represented on stage by Giovanni Andrea Martini and Anna Ponti, awarded a special mention to Paj Përkufizim (Kosovo, 2018, 6 ’) by Era Skivjani, in attendance at the event, with the following motivation:

The film traces the boundaries of prejudice and discrimination and the will and need to overcome them in the world of today with effective and essential portraits.

Finally, the winner of the third edition of the Music Video Competition was announced. The winner of the competition, dedicated to music video clips made by film or university students from all over the world and curated by Giovanni Bedeschi, was the Norwegian Yokai by Eirik Heggen of Volda University College, awarded for the occasion by Keiko Kusakabe, member of the scientific committee of the Short Film Festival, with the following motivation:

Suggestive imagery and narrative originality harmoniously meet the musical track, creating an elegant and engaging atmosphere.

The Closing Ceremony in detail.

The Closing Ceremony of the ninth edition of the Ca’ Foscari Short Film Festival has been opened by Flavio Gregori, Deputy Dean for Cultural Activities and Relations of Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, who first of all wanted to congratulate the staff – in particular the voluntary Ca’ Foscari University students – for the success of this edition, wishing long live the Short and introducing an even greater tenth edition, in order to celebrate this illustrious achievement.

Before the delivering of the International Competition awards, Cu(l)t! took place: a spectacular live-painting performance with music, realized by Cosimo Miorelli, illustrator, and Giorgio Pacorig, musician. The two artists created a show dedicated to the memory of actor Bruno Ganz, recently passed away. On the big screen in the Auditorium, in a colorful and suggestive live-drawn journey, first the iconic angel of Wings of Desire materialized, then the Venice landscape from Bread and Tulips, ending with the portrait of the actor, while the music remade in a creative way the main themes of the movies illustrated, mixing them with original sounds.

As the tradition wants, the Ceremony ended with all the volunteer students of the Short on the Auditorium stage, to receive the deserved applause after four days of hard working, always conducted with a contagious enthusiasm which reflects the spirit of a festival though by the young for the young. The students were then reached by the Director of the festival Roberta Novielli for the final regards and a good bye to the next edition.