TRIUMPH FOR BRAZIL AT THE INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION:
NEON PHANTOM by Leonardo Martinelli wins the twelfth edition and AUGUST SKY by Jasmin Tenucci is awarded with the Levi Prize for the best soundtrack
ANOTHER WHITE GIRL from Benin receives a special mention for innovative language and the prize for multiculturality.
Iranian short film CONGENITAL wins the prize for best artistic contribution, SAFE from USA wins the best photography
Jack Osmond from Great Britain triumphs at the Music Video Competition with his The Art of Conversation
Sound of Borders by Iranian director Bahar Rezvanifar wins the ninth edition of the “Olga Brunner Levi” High Schools’ Competition
Finnish director Ville Niemi comes in first at the second edition of the “Carpenè-Malvolti” Script-Video Contest
Fantasma Neon – Neon Phantom (Brazil, 20’00’’) by Leonardo Martinelli, produced by the Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio), wins the International Competition of the twelfth edition of the Ca’ Foscari Short Film Festival. The event – the first in Europe entirely organised and managed by a university – returned this year in its “widespread” form in Venice. The projections took place not only at Santa Margherita Auditorium, but in other partner locations including museums and cultural institutions. The festival was organised in collaboration with the Fondazione Venezia, with the support of the Fondazione Ugo e Olga Levi, NH Venice Rio Novo and WeShort, and with the contribution of Carpenè-Malvolti, the National Museum of Cinema in Turin and Le giornate della Luce of Spilimbergo.
Together with the awards, the dance number Chasing by Simone Arganini enriched the closing ceremony. In this performance, technology and performing arts merge in harmony, and the dancer becomes his own director, managing both the technical aspects and the timing of the whole show. This is only possible through a software elaborating in real time the data coming from a motion sensor attached to his body. The lights, then, turn magically on, as if being a living presence on stage.
The International Jury, composed of the French director, actress and screenwriter Coline Serreau, the Italian documentary film director Francesco Montagner, and program advisor and art curator Marina Mottin, assigned the main prizes of the International Competition. All the awards, made in the prestigious Murano glass, were produced by the glass masters of PROMOVETRO – Artistic Glass of Murano.
The First Prize for the best short movie of the Contest, announced by the juror Coline Serrau went to Fantasma Neon – Neon Phantom by Leonardo Martinelli, with the following reasoning:
For the form and the content of a film that deals with the struggle of young people exploited by delivery companies. For the strength with which it shows all of their despair, but also their ability of resistance. The choreographies are beautiful and creative. The chromatic choices are bold and beautiful in their rawness.
On the background of a Rio de Janeiro characterized by a jumble of contrasts, Neon Phantom gives voice to the riders, which are figures as much essential as invisible nowadays, telling their stories in a hybrid of fiction and documentary. With ventures in the musical genre, the short film depicts the disenchanted stories of those young people who, on board of their motorcycles or bicycles, speed through the streets and become one with the city, like those neon lamps that illuminate their faces with a cold light. With music and dance as their only way of escaping, which is as much powerful as it is ephemeral, from their condition, these riding ghosts raise their own voices, reclaiming their own existence in Brazil, and in the world, where there is no space for dreams.
Saman Hosseinpuor and Ako Zandkarimi, after triumphing last year with The Other, win this year’s edition with the National Museum of Cinema Special mention to the movie offering the most significant contribution to cinema as an expression of art, with their work, Congenital (Iran, 24’), produced for the Sapher Art University of Isfahan. The award, handed by Francesco Montagner, member of the jury, consists of a prestigious photographic book about cinema, two tickets to a museum and a plate. The work has been awarded with the following reasoning:
Touching and delicate, ambiguous and moving, this film chronicles the difficult reality of a family feud that results in an arranged marriage. Managing to transcend both cinematic and gender categories, the film achieves the fulcrum of classical universal dilemmas to the best Iranian and Persian cinema.
The work by Saman Hosseinpuor and Ako Zandkarimi aims to tell a story about a society which sees marriage as a means of exchange, but also, almost on tiptoes, the intersexual nature between the young bride and her suffering. The short film highlights several crucial aspects in today’s world and does it with an admirable simplicity, with the accompaniment of traditional instruments, intense exchange of looks and silence. The fluidity of the scenes, the clean filming and the sinuous movements of the protagonist, interrupted only by a few intense moments of tension, show that the directors are creators of a delicate and intimate work, that does not need any symbolism. A movie that pulls at people’s heartstrings with its gentleness, through the handshake with the mother and with the exchange of symbols that the bride and her lover share from the window. An admirable choice of siding with the recognition of non-binary identities and relationships, that hits the mark with a refined staging.
The jury has also awarded the WeShort Special mention to the movie offering the best experimentation in cinematographic languages, to the first short film from Benin in the festival history, Une autre blanche – Another White Girl (Bénin, 12’32”) by Medessè Agohoundjè, student at Supérieur des Métiers de l’Audiovisuel de Cotonou. The award, presented by the jury member Marina Mottin, consists of a prestigious Murano glass plate. The work has been awarded with the motivation:
For the experimentation, and also because for Africa it is important to show that all discrimination is despicable. In a world where the discrimination of the black population by whites is terrible, the film shows that all of humanity is capable of discriminating. The choices of shots and editing are original and unconventional.
Double success for Another White Girl who also wins “Pateh Sabally” Award for multiculturalism, offered by Venice, Murano and Burano Municipality and dedicated to the memory of the Gambian boy who tragically passed away in Grand Canal in January 2017. The award was presented by Marco Borghi, the president of Venice, Burano and Murano Municipality, with the following motivation:
The sweetness and strength of diversity. A film that enriches and broadens horizons. A photograph that helps us understand. An exemplary story that indicates the best path for tomorrow.
Difficulties of acceptance, search for the most authentic self, questions destined to remain unanswered: these are the challenges that Sètchemè tries to face daily. Being albino seems to have obliged her to a fate of unbridgeable differences, making her feel an intruder in her own family. The protagonist of Another White Girl thus embarks on a journey in search of her own identity: the world initially dark and oppressive, wisely returned by the originality of the director with narrow and fleeting shots, will also prove capable of understanding and inclusiveness. The direction of Medessè Agohoundjè has been able to tell this evolutionary journey, combining speed and chiaroscuro to the rule of art, bringing out the full individual growth of its protagonist.
The Levi Award for best soundtrack (music, words, sound), offered by the Fondazione Ugo e Olga Levi and assigned by a dedicated jury made up of director of the Fondazione Levi’s scientific committee Roberto Calabretto and composers Paolo Troncon and Daniele Furlati, was awarded to Brazilian short movie Céu de Agosto – August Sky (Brazil/Iceland/United States, 15’00”), directed by Jasmin Tenucci and produced by Columbia University Film School. The award, conferred by Paola Cossu, member of the Fondazione Ugo e Olga Levi, was granted for the following reason:
For the attempt to find an identity of the sound applied to the film’s images.
Latent angst for the unknown and seemingly unmotivated restlessness: these are the main ingredients of August sky. Jasmin Tenucci choses an authentic narration of irrational fears disturbing one’s daily routine as told through Lucia’s eyes, who lives through a constant sense of danger. The gargantuan fires destroying the Amazonian Forest are the background to the protagonist’s troubled life, so entrenched in it to the point they fuse together. The sound of crackling fire hearable throughout the movie is one of the film’s characteristic sound elements: Lucia’s rude tone, the voices from religious chants, the intense and disturbing music accompanying the toxic cloud from the Amazonian fires, all give the film intensity and vigor, rendering it a recognizable work by director Tenucci, who for years has been working in the Brazilian audio visive industry.
The Special Mention “Le Giornate della Luce” for best photography was awarded by a dedicated jury made up of Le Giornate della Luce festival’s artistic director Donato Guerra, the festival’s organizer and planner Silvia Moras, and cinema journalist Luca Pacilio. The Mention was awarded to Safe (U.S.A., 16’36”), directed by Ian Barling of NYU Tisch School of the Arts, for the following reason:
The award “Le Giornate della Luce” is given to a short film that has distinguished itself for the direction of photography, for the detailed study of light used with mastery and calibrated balance. Delicate and never intrusive, it wraps the protagonists in an almost impalpable way, contributing to complete the film that stands out for its meticulous attention to every detail.
Moving forward to the collateral competitions, the winner of the sixth edition of the Levi Music Video International Competition was announced, the competition was dedicated to musical video clips produced by cinema’s schools and universities from all around the world. The winner was The Art of Conversation (UK, 4’32”) by Jack Osmond from Leeds Arts University, with a video made to accompany the song by the same singer/director using mixed animation techniques.
The jury, composed of Roberto Calabretto, the president of the scientific committee of Levi Foundation, Giovanni Bedeschi, producer and director, and composers Marco Fedalto and Daniele Furlati, has assigned the prize for best videoclip, with the following reason:
The quality of the video, which uses different techniques belonging to different worlds: stop-motion, hand-drawn 2D drawings and collages, all three linked to the genuine musical reality of young Jack Osmond, is convincing.
Successively, the winner of the ninth edition of the Levi Music Video Competition was awarded, the competition established by Fondazione Ugo and Olga Levi, in collaboration with Ca’ Foscari Short Film Festival. The prize was dedicated to the best short movie made by high school students from all over the world, focusing on female musical performance or the relationship between the female condition and music in history. A jury, composed by Roberto Calabretto, Cosetta Saba e Marco Fedalto, has proclaimed Sound of Borders (Iran, 1’24”) by Bahar Rezvanifar as the winner of this edition. This victory brought the award to Iran for the second year running, with the story of a girl wondering how her life would have been if she was born in other countries and with a different appearance. The prize was presented by Paola Cossu with the following reason:
The video stands out for its relevance to the theme of the competition and for the use of an effective animation technique. The sound component was also appreciated.
Finally, the winner of the second edition of Carpenè-Malvolti Script-Video Contest was also announced, the competition was meant for all the directors of the International Competition and Music Video Competition of this twelfth edition. They were asked to create a script that will be later turned into a short film based on the story of the most ancient Italian sparkling wine company and its founder Antonio Carpenè. The monetary prize was awarded by a jury composed of Domenico Scimone, general director of Carpenè-Malvolti, Alessandro Loprieno, CEO of WeShort and Eduardo Fernando Varela, author and screenwriter. The winning script turned out to be I, the Wine by Ville Niemi, Finnish director competing at the International Competition with the short movie Lullaby. The script was awarded by Domenico Scimone himself, reading the following motivation:
For the ability to portray in a delicate and empathetic way the atmosphere of the time in which the protagonist lives and for the attention paid to the history of this centuries-old company.
To conclude the award ceremony, the artistic and organization director of the festival Roberta Novielli has expressed her gratitude towards more than 250 Ca’ Foscari university students who, with great enthusiasm, passion and commitment have made possible the realization of the festival and has set the date in 2023, for the thirteenth edition of the Ca’ Foscari Short Film Festival.