GRAND PRIZE FOR BEST INTERNATIONAL FEATURE
Knit's Island by Ekiem Barbier, Guilhem Causse & Quentin L'helgouac'h
« With the ability to immerse us in an unlikely community and bear witness to the human condition, the directors take us into a world where everything is possible, and where human nature transcends the virtual. Despite the potential for chaos of a limitless world, it's the humanity of people separated by great distances that ultimately triumphs. »
SPECIAL JURY PRIZE - INTERNATIONAL FEATURE
Crowrã by João Salaviza & Renée Nader Messora
« Amidst widespread dominance over minorities and land extortion, the collective representation of a community with an orally transmitted heritage stands as an exemplary act of resistance. The film intertwines the Kraho people's intimacy, life and struggle to preserve their narratives across different eras, as an act of creation as well as a documentation, and with a humanistic and cinematic approach. »
SPECIAL MENTION | INTERNATIONAL FEATURE COMPETITION
This Woman by Alan Zhang
« In breaking the rules of society and cinema with tender complicity, this film gives us a complex palette of womanhood. »
The Internatonal Feature Competition Jury was composed of Lindiwe Matshikiza (filmmaker), Qutaiba Barhambji (editor), Claire Diao (film critic & programmer), Wood Lin (artistic director) & Sylvain L'Espérance (filmmaker).
While the Green Grass Grows by Peter Mettler
« Through a fine balance between the persistent capturing of reality while holding a firm grasp on creative freedom, this film takes on the notion of our becoming by turning the camera on the ones who have brought us into this world, and ultimately accompanying them in their own departure. With great complexity and cinematic elegance, an intimate world takes on epic proportions in this diaristic structure, where image and sound, sequence and time remind us of the continuous flow of life, and in turn, its inextricable connection to death knowing that as always, there is beauty in the endless cycle of highs and lows. »
Má Sài Gòn (Mother Saigon) by Khoa Lê
« Equally kaleidoscopic and precise, spontaneous and deliberate, this intimate portrait gives voice to the joy, sadness, and camaraderie shared by a community longing for acceptance. Combining reality and dreams, the colorful tapestry of queer life in a Vietnamese metropolis is movingly captured in this documentary. »
Meezan by Shahab Mihandoust
« This film is a subtle reflection on work. The filmmaker captures the precision of all gestures and lingers on their space, on the details of their environment, and on the system that dictates it. The sound design opens up the confined space of the workers, which is used to situate the repetitive and concentrated work in a relentless, industrial frame in the film’s later half. Never imposing, the director takes the time to let the events and the words emerge. The jury wants to award this work of pure observation, in which the form allows the audience to witness the power of reality. »
The National Feature Competition and New Visions Competition was composed of Madeline Robert (programmer & artistic advisor), Sofía Brockenshire (filmmaker) & La Frances Hui (programmer).
BEST INTERNATIONAL SHORT OR MEDIUM-LENGTH FILM presented by URBANIA
Ever Since, I Have Been Flying by Aylin Gökmen
« A profound and visually beautiful film painting a vivid tableau of the ongoing Kurdish struggle for identity expression and political rights. The film manages to emotionally engage the viewer through a strong personal story which unfolds the broader context of the situation, boldly using a wide pallet of cinematic tools. »
SPECIAL MENTION | INTERNATIONAL SHORT AND MEDIUM-LENGTH COMPETITION
Aqueronte by Manuel Muñoz Rivas
« A visually and acoustically impressive meditative journey expanding time and space, that reveals ephemeral tender moments in between human beings fading in and out of the mist, and invites you to cross the superficial layer of beautiful imaginary and plunge into the complexities of human condition. »
BEST NATIONAL SHORT OR MEDIUM-LENGTH FILM presented by SLA Location
Jill, Uncredited by Anthony Ing
« A cleverly conceived and beautifully edited cinematic exploration transcending into an existential relationship with the image of the self. Jill - a forgotten background actor, morphs from film to film, adapting to new embodiments while the viewer is confronted with the whole life span of a human being resurrected from the cinematographic oblivion. »
SPECIAL JURY PRIZE - NATIONAL SHORT OR MEDIUM-LENGTH FILM presented by Paraloeil
Holiday Native Land by Nicolas Renaud & Brian Virostek
« An audiovisual dialogue between the present and the past, that delivers a strong political message by exposing the white man's supremacy, colonial attitude and means of control, and its patronizing protection over native people, landscape and animals. »
The Short and Medium-Length Competitions Jury was composed of Pablo Alvarez-Mesa (filmmaker), Viera Čákanyová (filmmaker) & Naghmeh Abbasi (filmmaker).
La Garde blanche by Julien Elie
« The author takes on issues that are universal and planetary - social justice in relation to environmental devastation - while grounding themself in a specific place and time, and bringing home those issues to our realities as quebecers and canadians. Their commitment towards the characters in the film and to the challenges they face is transparent, lending the film a deep emotional charge. As part of a longer, sustained trajectory on behalf of the people and causes presented, we commend the filmmaker’s courage in standing alongside the fllm’s protagonists in often dangerous circumstances. Finally, we were taken by the film’s precisely conceived form, sober yet luminous, masterfully rendered in all its dimensions. »
The Magnus Isacsson Jury chaired by Jocelyne Clarke was composed of Marion Chuniaud (Main Film), Marie-France Laval (ARRQ), Olivier D. Asselin (DOC Québec), Charles Duquet (Funambules Média) & Sarah Foulkes (Cinema Politica).
WOMEN INMATE JURY AWARD
Má Sài Gòn (Mother Saigon) by Khoa Lê
« The choice was difficult, all the documentaries viewed each had their unique potential. We chose this film for its authenticity, its audacity, its sound and visual effects as well as its courage about difference. It is very touching and teaches us a lot about diversity. This video succeeds in presenting us with different situations and realities specific to people from the Queer community. With humor, resilience, resourcefulness and mutual assistance, we nominate Mother Saigon. We need more documentaries on this subject. We appreciate the guts of shooting a genre in such a different country. »
The 11th Women Inmate's Jury was composed of Stéphanie, Josiane, Eve, Jessy, Rhéas, Claudette & Stéphanie from the Joliette institution, the only federal women's penitentiary in Quebec.
STUDENT JURY AWARD presented by Desjardins
La Garde blanche by Julien Elie
« Despite our different perspectives, we ended up agreeing on a documentary that showcases a humble love for cinema. This film particularly impressed us with his meticulous visuals, notably the composition, the lighting, the textures and the colors. Accompanied by a captivating soundtrack, the film sheds some light on a hidden subject that deserves to be unveiled. With this award, we want to reward the hard work of a passionate filmmaker. »
The Student Jury was composed of Philippe Beauchemin (Dawson College), Lily Beaudoin (Cégep Saint-Laurent), Julien Bellefleur (Cégep du Vieux-Montréal), Anaïs Pierre (Dawson College) et Juliette Rivard (Cégep du Vieux-Montréal).
PEOPLE'S CHOICE AWARD presented by the Canada Media Fund (MADE | NOUS)