European films shine at Sundance Shorts
- The French-Moroccan co-production So What If The Goats Die wins the Grand Jury Prize, while films from the UK and the Czech Republic take other categories
Sundance 2020 has proved a good start of the year for European short films with three productions walking away with the festival’s coveted Shorts awards. This year’s Sundance shorts showcased 74 works taken from 10,397 submissions (a record for the festival).
The big winner of the night, grabbing the Short Film Grand Jury Prize, was So What If The Goats Die by Sofia Alaoui. The French-Moroccan co-production follows young shepherd Abdellah who lives high in the mountains with his father. When they find themselves stranded at the goat pen due to the snow, and their animals slowly starving, Abdellah must go find supplies at a village more than a day’s walk away. But when he arrives, he finds that apparently supernatural forces have been at work.
After its big win at Sundance, Aloui’s film is scheduled to play in the National Competition of the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival which begins at the end of the week.
The winner of the Jury Award for Best International Fiction went to British director Dylan Holmes Williams for his brilliantly twisted genre piece The Devil’s Harmony. The film itself sees a high school a cappella group manage to take revenge on high school bullies through the use of magical powers. It’s an often funny piece of work though there is an affecting vein of emotion that also runs throughout the film.
The film has already had a popular festival run, not only on the genre circuit with screenings at the likes of Stiges and Austin Fantastic Fest, but also at the likes of London Short Film Festival and PÖFF Shorts in Estonia.
After receiving a Student Academy Award, the Cristal for the Best Student Film at Annecy and an Oscar nomination – amongst numerous other plaudits – the Czech film Daughter continued it’s winning ways and grabbed the Jury Award for Best International Animation.
The jury for this year’s edition of Sundance consisted of Sian Clifford (Actress, UK), Marcus Hu (Distributor, USA) and Cindy Sherman (Artist, USA)
The full list of winners is as follows:
Short Film Grand Jury Prize
So What If The Goats Die – Sofia Alaoui (France/Morocco)
Short Film Jury Award: US Fiction
Ship: A Visual Poem – Terrance Daye (USA)
Short Film Jury Award: International Fiction
The Devil's Harmony – Dylan Holmes Williams (UK)
Short Film Jury Award: Non-fiction
John Was Trying to Contact Aliens – Matthew Killip (USA)
Short Film Jury Award: Animation
Daughter – Daria Kashcheeva (Czech Republic)
Short Film Special Jury Award for Acting
Sadaf Asgari - Exam (Iran)
Short Film Special Jury Award for Directing
Michael Arcos - Valerio's Day Out (Colombia/USA)
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