The Iranian short film THE OTHER by Ako Zandkarimie and Saman Hosseinpour is the winner of the eleventh edition
Triumph of animation in the Competition:
with the Japanese The Balloon Catcher which wins the prize for the best soundtrack, the Italian En rang par deux that obtains that for multiculturalism and Dayfly which receives the special mention for the innovative language
Awarded also the Chinese-Italian Where the Leaves Fall for the best artistic contribute, while the English Yard Kings receives the special mention for photography
Michael J. Keplinger wins the Music Video Competition with Pick Up Your Cross (and follow me)
The Dome of the Sky by the Iranian Mohamad Ghaderi is the winner of the 8° “Olga Brunner Levi” High School Competition
The Philippine Alphie Velasco wins the first “Carpenè-Malvolti” Script Contest
The short film Digari – The Other (Iran, 24’42’’) by Ako Zandkarimie and Saman Hosseinpour, produced by Elmi karbordi of Farhango Honar Sanandaj, is the winner of the International Competition of the eleventh edition of the Ca’ Foscari Short Film Festival, the first festival in Europe completely organized and run by a university. This year too, it was developed in a “widespread” form all over the city of Venice, with projections not only at Santa Margherita Auditorium, but also in other ten locations among museums, art galleries and cultural institutions. The Festival was realized in collaboration with the Venice Foundation, with the support of the Ugo and Olga Levi Foundation and of NH Venice Rio Novo, with the addition of new prestigious partners: the editorial media group Guang Hua Cultures et Media, the on demand short films platform WeShort, the oldest sparkling wine production house in Italy Carpenè-Malvolti, the National Museum of Cinema in Turin and The days of light of Spilimbergo.
Together with the awards, the closing ceremony of the Festival was embellished by the augmented reality show Catoptrophobia, realized by the videoartist Igor Imhoff. By using the EYE17 software, Imhoff developed a visual and interactive project: the actor Marco Tonino’s movements were re-elaborated in real time and given back by the digital eye of the computer as in a sort of virtual mirror, looking for the human identity in a space composed of pixels and vectors.
The International Jury, composed of the French writer and director Philippe Claudel, the American animator and producer Tony Grillo and the Italian programmer and director Laura Aimone, assigned the main awards of the International Competition. All the awards were made by the glass masters of the consortium PROMOVETRO – Artistic Glass of Murano using the prestigious glass of Murano.
The First prize for the best short film of the Competition, handed over by Makotoya’s president and member of the scientific committee of the festival Keiko Kusakabe, went to Digari – The Other by Ako Zandkarimie and Saman Hosseinpour, with the following motivation:
An engaging story of pain, compassion, and the struggle between love and madness. Painted with a sober and sparse palette, it depicts the fragility of human misery with dignity and grace, drawing you into the private lives of a grieving family. The film breathes deeply with measured pacing and simple visual strength as it unfolds into compelling mystery. The protagonist’s powerful performance telegraphs emotional tension and unpredictable motivation, without the use of dialogue.
The Other is the story of a man who, after his wife’s death, found himself having to raise his daughter on his own, until a lucky meeting makes him reconsider the life he’s been living until then. A short film that experiences both absolute and deafening silences between the two protagonists, who, even without the use of words, succeed through their gazes to cancel, between characters and spectator, the distance that appears so unbridgeable between father and daughter. A narration with a cyclic structure, whose photographic shots, just like paintings, together with the intelligent use of a cold cromatic palette, immerse the audience since the very first scene into a world which seems to leave no room for colors, but just for that indelible one of a great doubt and “fault” inherited by an innocent.
The Jury assigned also the “National Museum of Cinema” special mention, for the work which offers the best contribute to cinema as an artistic expression, to the Italian short film Where the Leaves Fall (Italy/China, 15’) by Xin Alessandro Zheng, a student from NABA – New Accademy of fine Arts in Milan. The award, handed over by the member of the scientific committee of the festival Elisabetta Di Sopra, consists of a prestigious photographic book about cinema, two museum tickets and of a plate. The motivation of the award:
Every frame feels balanced, each shot is carefully composed and delicately choreographed. Our protagonist navigates the familiar, lived-in home of his youth, seemingly designed to seduce him back into its womb. Lush photography captures serene, harmonious settings while drawing your focus to the lonely protagonist, disconnected from this world. Compositions reinforce the distance between the two main characters, a cultural and generational gap that is crowded with the awkward longing to connect.
“It has already been too long.” These are the words which the Italian-Chinese student Giacomo says on the phone, travelling to bring back his recently dead dad’s ashes to his native country, one of the few elements which still bound him to that culture he considered foreign until then. His grand-father is the one to lead him through that unknown world, made of tradition and customs, that the boy has never, maybe willingly, dealt with. The relationship between Giacomo and his grand-father, despite the difficulties caused by apparently unbridgeable generational differences, acts as an intermediary in what will turn out to be a journey to rediscover one own culture, with the feelings and sensations associated with it. Zheng’s short film explores the themes of cultural belonging, emigration and identity in the most delicate and true way possible.
The Jury also awarded the “Guang Hua Cultures et Media” Special Mention, for the work that offers the best experimentation in cinematographic languages, to the Chinese animated short film Fúyóu rìjì – Dayfly (China, 14’05) by Yi Baoxingchen, student of the Animation School of Communication University of China. The award, presented by the actress Jun Ichikawa, consists of a prestigious Murano glass plate. The work was awarded with the following motivation:
A delightful and enlightening series of contrasts, Dayfly employs a dreamy parade of loosely-connected animation styles and visual media that somehow fuse into a cohesive and compelling story of the perseverance of being. At once meditative and urgent, humorous and sober, it illustrates the inevitability of life and death with a hand-drawn charm that simultaneously conveys mature contemplation and childish wonder.
In Dayfly we find, joined together, tranches de vie of heterogeneous nature: moments of existence observed by the discreet gaze of an ephemeroptera who, sneaking into this diversity, admires the facets of reality. The leitmotif in this animated story, whose techniques closely resemble the practice of watercolors and pastels, is the ephemeral, an insect whose existence is limited to a single day, a symbol of the inexorable passage of time. In fact, a feeling of death hovers over the brilliant and festive spectacle of life, and to remember it is a clock that constantly marks the time left for the insect to live. Death, however, does not take on dark or mournful hues, it seems, instead, to be the missing and necessary element to complete one’s life cycle. And it is precisely on the cyclical dimension of nature that the director places the accent, inserting, in this very personal carpe diem, a profound reflection according to which everything is transformed and every being in the cosmos is linked to the others in a continuum.
The Levi Prize for the best soundtrack (music, speech, noise), offered by the Ugo and Olga Levi Foundation and assigned by a special jury, composed of the director of the scientific committee of the Levi Foundation Roberto Calabretto and composers Paolo Troncon and Daniele Furlati, went to the Japanese The Balloon Catcher (Japan, 6’10”), produced by Tama Art University under the direction of Kaneko Isaku. The prize, presented by the Director of the Levi Foundation Giorgio Busetto, was awarded with the following motivation:
The sound environment evokes in an effective manner the narrated story in ways that are functional to the dramaturgy of the film.
In an imaginary city where men are colored balloons attached to their bodies by a thin thread, an ax-man spends his days dreaming of a free world, where everyone can live peacefully. The reality, however, is quite different: he lives his life marginalized and feared by all the others because of his physical peculiarity. One day, the protagonist is unjustly accused by the police for a murder perpetrated by men like him. With courage, he will be able to prove his innocence and achieve the long-desired freedom. The strong message of equality is conveyed by images that do not need dialogue. It is music, created specifically for the short film, which replaces words as a sounding board for human and profound emotions, asking the viewer to hope for a reality where axes and balloons can finally coexist peacefully.
“The Days of Light” Special Mention for the best photography was instead assigned by a special jury composed of the artistic director of the “The Days of Light” festival, Donato Guerra, and journalists and film critics, Luca Pacilio and Gabriella Gallozzi. The Mention went to Yard Kings (Great Britain/Portugal, 15′) by Vasco Alexandre of Middlesex University, with the following motivation:
For how it manages to restore freshness and ingenuity to the gaze of the child protagonist and, at the same time, seeing the best of social realism cinema, for highlighting and giving naturalist depth to the most urgent and problematic aspects of the narrative.
The last prize of the International Competition, the “Pateh Sabally” Prize, offered by the Municipality of Venice, Murano and Burano and dedicated to the memory of the boy from Gambia who tragically died in the waters of the Grand Canal in January 2017, was awarded to the Italian animation short film En rang par deux (Italy, 6’51 ”) by Elisabetta Bosco, Margherita Giusti and Viola Mancini, produced by the Experimental Center of Cinematography of Piemonte. The work tells the story of the meeting of two migrants in Italy who find in music the common language through which to overcome linguistic and cultural barriers. The award was presented by the president of the Municipality of Venice, Murano and Burano Marco Borghi with the following motivation:
The film tells the stories of two African boys who arrived in Rome and are united by music, which helps to overcome differences and mistrust. Mixing the lines of the animation with live shots helps us understand the dimension of being together and to understand the value of hospitality and integration.
Moving on to the side competitions, the winner of the fifth edition of the Music Video International Competition was then announced, a competition dedicated to music video clips made by students of film schools or universities from all over the world. The winner was Pick Up Your Cross (and follow me) (Austria, 2’53″) by Michael J. Keplinger from the Meisterschule für Kommunikationsdesign in Linz. The jury, composed of the director and artistic director Giovanni Bedeschi, Roberto Calabretto and composers Marco Fedalto and Daniele Furlati, awarded the “Levi Prize” for the best video clip with the following motivation:
Well done video that enhances the atmospheres of the song. The minimalist animation, from a stylistic point of view, is optimal.
A well-made music video based on step-one animation for a piece of music by the director himself, in which a simple daily scene drawn from the life of a young woman is rendered in the form of a single continuous shot.
The winner of the eighth edition of the “Olga Brunner Levi” High School Competition established by the Ugo and Olga Levi Foundation in collaboration with the Ca’ Foscari Short Film Festival was then awarded. The award is dedicated to the best short film made by secondary school students from all over the world, having as its subject the female musical performance or the relationship between female condition and music in history. A jury composed of Roberto Calabretto, Cosetta Saba and Marco Fedalto, decreed the winner The Dome of the Sky (Iran, 8′) by eighteen-year-old Mohamad Ghaderi with the story of a little girl who would just like to live her childhood, but grows up in a society that represses her and forces her to get dirty. The award was presented by Giorgio Busetto with the following motivation:
Mohamad Ghaderi has recounted the dullness of the female condition in the culture in which she herself lives, the one that every day is under the spotlight of the world press, Iranian society. It is a short film in which the great eyes of the young woman do not see a future of personal self-realization, but only an antiquated and dangerous present that relegates the female condition to a mere souvenir, a sort of “mute shadow” from which they can deprive the legitimate freedom of choice with impunity.
Finally, the winner of the first edition of the “Carpenè-Malvolti” Script Contest was also announced, a competition aimed at all the directors of the International Competition and the Music Video Competition of this eleventh edition, called to conceive a script that will then be transformed into a short film focused on the oldest Italian sparkling wine company and its founder Antonio Carpenè. The 3,000-euro cash prize was awarded by a jury composed of Domenico Scimone, general manager of Carpenè-Malvolti, Alessandro Loprieno, CEO of WeShort, and Eduardo Fernando Varela, writer and screenwriter. The winning script turned out to be Inheritance by Alphie Velasco, Filipino director competing in the International Competition with the short A Toy in the River. The script was awarded by Domenico Scimone himself by reading the following motivation:
An intimate narrative, fictionalized with a great deal of respect and sensitivity, which emphasizes and exalts the ethical principles of the Carpenè family and the founding values of the historic Carpenè-Malvolti company.
At the end of the award ceremony, the artistic and organizational director of the festival Roberta Novielli wanted to thank all the Ca’ Foscari volunteers who, like every year, with enthusiasm and passion, made the festival possible and made an appointment for 2022 for the twelfth edition of the Ca’ Foscari Short Film Festival.