Taste of Cement praised by audiences and critics alike at Visions du Réel
by Giorgia Del Don
- The film by Syrian director Ziad Kalthoum was awarded the prestigious Sesterce d’Or at Visions du Réel. A powerful film full of hope that left no one indifferent
With his film Taste of Cement [+see also:
film profile] Ziad Kalthoum succeeded in the difficult task of winning over not only the jury of the International Feature Film Competition at Visions du Reél (this year made up of Swiss director and producer Joëlle Bertossa, Spanish filmmaker Lluís Miñarro and Brazilian director Sergio Oksman), but audiences too, who gave him a standing ovation after the world premiere of his film.
Accompanying Taste of Cement on the podium of the International Feature Film Competition this year is Italian film Upwelling [+see also:
film profile] by Silvia Jop and Pietro Pasquetti (which won the Régionyon Jury Prize). The film tells the story of everyday life in the city of Messina, as it teeters on the brink between catastrophe and redemption. A city captained by a new Buddhist mayor who is certainly unconventional and a group of citizens who resist in spite of everything.
The reflection of a festival (and a director) which sets itself the objective of exploring the world through the eyes of the camera, this year’s list of award winners is once again a very mixed bag, a real tour of the film world: from Syria (with the impressive One Day In Aleppo by Ali Alibrahim, which won the Special Mention in the short film category) to Africa, with Vivre Riche by Joël Akafou winning the Sesterce d’Or George in the International Feature Film Competition, via Latin America and Turkey (with the Prix Interreligieux going to The Gaze of The Sea by Mexican director Jose Álvarez and the Special Mention in the same category going to No Place For Tears by Reyan Tuvi), without forgetting Europe of course. Among the European films awarded at the festival were, along with the aforementioned Upwelling, the moving Niñato [+see also:
film profile] by Spaniard Adrián Orr, and I Know You Are There [+see also:
film profile] by Thom Vander Beken, a co-production between Belgium and the Netherlands, which both won awards in the Regard Neuf category (the Société des Hôteliers de la Côte Jury Prize and the Special Mention respectively). Also awarded was the touching In Loco Parentis [+see also:
film profile] by Neasa Ní Chianáin and David Rane, a film that speaks of the strength of education as an antidote to banality.
Turning to Swiss films, the Sesterce d’Argent SRG SSR (for Best Swiss Film – be it a short film, medium-length film or feature film), went to the magnificent Retour au palais [+see also:
film profile] by Yamina Zoutat, which captures the long years spent by the director as a court reporter. The Special Mention went instead to the dreamlike Mayskaya Street [+see also:
film profile] by Gabriel Tejedor, the portrait of a splendid and cruel Belarus, stuck between a place of fear and hope.
A lot of European films were also awarded in the various sections of the DOC Outlook International Market. Hamada by Spanish (but Swedish by adoption) director Eloy Domínguez Serén (who also participated in the festival back in 2015 in the international medium-length film competition with his film No Cow On The Ice [+see also:
film profile]) was awarded no fewer than two awards: the DOCM |HEAD – Genève Postproduction Award for Best Film Project in the Pitching du Réel programme and the DOCM | Audience Engagement Award, also as part of the Pitching du Réel programme, consisting in a communication campaign put together by the agency Alphapanda, which specialises in communication strategies on social networks.
Moreover, a well-deserved standing ovation went to Luciano Barisone, who leaves the festival after being its director for seven years. Many of the award-winning directors paid tribute to him, including Yamina Zoutat, who highlighted his great skill at encouraging each and every director to find and speak with their own voice, individual and strong. A great director and a great man who leaves the festival on top form, full of energy and positivity.
The winners of Visions du Réel 2017:
International Feature Film Competition
International Medium-Length Film Competition
Sesterce d’Or George
Vivre riche – Joël Akafou (France/Burkina Faso/Belgium)
George Jury Prize
Yvonnes – Tommaso Perfetti (Italy/France)
Miss Rain – Charlie Petersmann (Switzerland)
International Short Film Competition
Sesterce d’Or Fondation Goblet
La pesca – Pablo Alvarez Mesa and Fernando Lopez Escriva (Canada/Colombia)
Mémoire Vive Jury Prize
Stars of Gaomeigu – Marko Grba Singh (Serbia/China)
One Day in Aleppo – Ali Alibrahim (Syria)
Sesterce d’Argent Canton Vaud
All That Passes By Through A Window That Doesn’t Open – Martin DiCicco (USA/Qatar)
SSA/ SUISSIMAGE Jury Prize
Kawasaki Keirin – Sayaka Mizuno (Switzerland)
Young Jury Prize
Beauty – Kristina Kuzhakhmetova (Russia)
The Sound Of Winter – Tizian Büchi (Switzerland/Belgium)
The Gaze Of The Sea – Jose Álvarez (Mexico)
No Place For Tears – Reyan Tuvi (Turkey)
DOC Outlook International Market (DOCM) Awards
Prix RTS – Perspective d’un doc (Best Romand-Swiss Film Project)
Lélo l'insoumise - Annie Gisler (Switzerland)
HEAD – Genève Postproduction Award
Hamada - Eloy Domínguez Serén (Sweden/Germany)
The Village - Claire Simon (France)
Audience Engagement Award
Hamada - Eloy Domínguez Serén (Sweden/Germany)
Premio Visions Sud Est (Best South African Film Project)
Days of Cannibalism - Teboho Edkins (South Africa/France)
Premio Docs in progress (Subtitling offered by Raggio Verde)
White Cube - Wojtek Pustoła (Poland)
(Translated from Italian)
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