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SEVILLE 2021 Awards

Great Freedom gets the Golden Giraldillo at the Seville European Film Festival

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- The Austrian-German production by Sebastian Meise, about the repeated conviction of a homosexual man in post-war Germany, flies high in the awards list of the 18th edition of the gathering

Great Freedom gets the Golden Giraldillo at the Seville European Film Festival
Director Sebastian Meise at the presentation of Great Freedom, which took place during the first few days of the festival (© Lolo Vasco/SEFF)

Great Freedom [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Sebastian Meise
film profile
]
, helmed by Austria’s Sebastian Meise and channelling Jean Genet and RW Fassbinder, has emerged as the winning film at the 18th Seville European Film Festival, scooping the Golden Giraldillo. This was decreed by the jury of the Official Section, made up of Christos Nikou, Christian Petzold, María del Puy Alvarado, Cristina Hergueta and Ingvar Sigurdsson, “for its bravery and its sensitive portrayal of the struggle for freedom in a prison environment, which not only shows a historical reality, but also functions as a metaphor for the inner world of the protagonists”. This co-production between Austria and Germany also picked up the Best Actor Award for Franz Rogowski (most famous for his roles in Undine [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Christian Petzold
film profile
]
and Victoria [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Sebastian Schipper
film profile
]
) and the ASECAN Award for Best Film in the Official Section.

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The film that earned itself the second-highest number of gongs at Seville 2021 was Onoda – 10,000 Nights in the Jungle [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Arthur Harari
film profile
]
 by France’s Arthur Harari, which took home the Grand Jury Prize, “because it makes us reflect on power structures through an incredible mise-en-scène”. It also picked up the Best Screenplay Award for the script written by the director himself and Vincent Poymiro, and it tells of the adventures of a Japanese soldier who continues to bear arms for almost 30 years, ignoring the fact that World War II ended a long time ago. The debut feature by Mounia Akl, a co-production with Spain called Costa Brava, Lebanon [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, also took home (ex aequo) the Grand Jury Prize for being “a brilliant debut film, revealing new layers in every scene and showing us the situation of a whole country through the personal story of a family”. Written by Akl together with Clara Roquet, and with Carlos Marques-Marcet in charge of its editing, it portrays a dystopian future, where Lebanon is going through an environmental crisis that leads a family to take refuge in a remote part of the mountains, aiming to maintain an alternative lifestyle.

The jury of the 18th edition of the Seville European Film Festival also decided to reward Italian-US helmer Jonas Carpignano, crowning him Best Director for his third feature, A Chiara [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jonas Carpignano
film profile
]
, which, while blending elements of documentary and fiction, brings together the codes of gangster films. The movie also snagged a Special Mention for its cast, made up of Nina Fumo, Swami Rotolo, Carmela Fumo and Claudio Rotolo.

The awards list of the Official Section is rounded off by the Award for Best Actress, which went to first-timer Lucie Zhang, one of the protagonists of Paris, 13th District [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by France’s Jacques Audiard. The Best Editing Award was bestowed upon Nicolas Chaudeurge, Rebecca Lloyd and Jacob Secher Schulsinger for their work on Cow [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 by Brit Andrea Arnold. In addition, the Best Cinematography Award was presented to Faraz Fesharaki for What Do We See When We Look at the Sky? [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Alexandre Koberidze
film profile
]
 by Georgia’s Alexandre Koberidze.

The festival’s awards list includes the Acción Cultural Española Award for Best Director of a Spanish Film, the winner of which is chosen from among the titles taking part in all of the gathering’s competitive sections. The prize includes the internationalisation of the winning movie, enabling it to be programmed at leading Ibero-American film festivals. The jury for this trophy – comprising Mike Goodridge, Monica Goti and Boglarka Nagy – opted to grant it to David Pantaleón for his feature debut, Rendir los machos [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
. “We were impressed by his down-to-earth humour, his successful directorial style and the beautiful setting of a new-age western. His ironic depiction of contemporary masculinity, with all its faults and flaws, stunned us,” the jury explained in its verdict.

Here is the full list of award winners:

Official Section

Golden Giraldillo for Best Film
Great Freedom [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Sebastian Meise
film profile
]
- Sebastian Meise (Austria/Germany)

Grand Jury Prize (ex aequo)
Onoda – 10,000 Nights in the Jungle [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Arthur Harari
film profile
]
- Arthur Harari (France/Italy/Germany/Belgium/Japan/Cambodia)
Costa Brava, Lebanon [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
Mounia Akl (Lebanon/France/Spain/Sweden/Denmark/Norway/Qatar)

Best Screenplay
Arthur Harari and Vincent Poymiro – Onoda – 10,000 Nights in the Jungle 

Best Director
Jonas Carpignano - A Chiara [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jonas Carpignano
film profile
]
(Italy/France)

Best Actor
Franz Rogowski - Great Freedom

Best Actress
Lucie Zhang Paris, 13th District [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
(France)

Special Mention for its Cast
Nina Fumo, Swami Rotolo, Carmela Fumo and Claudio Rotolo – A Chiara

Best Editing
Nicolas Chaudeurge, Rebecca Lloyd and Jacob Secher Schulsinger  Cow [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
(UK)

Best Cinematography
Faraz Fesharaki - What Do We See When We Look at the Sky? [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Alexandre Koberidze
film profile
]
(Germany/Georgia)

The New Waves section

Best Film in The New Waves
Moon, 66 Questions [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jacqueline Lentzou
film profile
]
Jacqueline Lentzou (Greece/France) 

The New Waves Special Award
Hold Me Tight [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
- Mathieu Amalric (France)

Best Non-fiction Film in The New Waves (ex aequo)
The Story of Looking [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
- Mark Cousins (UK)
Babi Yar. Context [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Sergei Loznitsa
film profile
]
- Sergei Loznitsa (Netherlands/Ukraine)

Special Recognition for a Non-fiction Film in The New Waves
Landscapes of Resistance [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Marta Popivoda
film profile
]
- Marta Popivoda (Serbia/France)

Endless Revolutions section

Best Film
Ghost Song [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
- Nicolas Peduzzi (France)

Panorama Andaluz section

Best Film
¡Dolores, guapa! [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
- Jesús Pascual (Spain)

Honourable Mention
Pico reja, la verdad que la tierra esconde [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
- Remedios Malvárez and Arturo Andújar (Spain)

Other awards

Audience Award for Best Film in the Extraordinary Stories Section
Small Body [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Laura Samani
film profile
]
- Laura Samani (Italy/France/Slovenia)

Audience Grand Prize for Best Film in the EFA Selection Section
The Worst Person in the World [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Joachim Trier
film profile
]
- Joachim Trier (Norway/France/Sweden/Denmark)

Best Director of a First or Second European Feature
Landscapes of Resistance - Marta Popivoda

Acción Cultural Española Award for Best Director of a Spanish Film
Rendir los machos [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
David Pantaleón (Spain/France)

ASECAN Award for Best Film in the Official Section
Great Freedom - Sebastian Meise

Cinephiles of the Future Award
L’Horizon - Emilie Carpentier (France)

Europa Junior Award
Vicky and Her Mystery [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
- Denis Imbert (France)

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(Translated from Spanish)

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