An Orange From Jaffa scoops the Grand Prix at the 46th Clermont-Ferrand
- Mohammed Almughanni’s timely film about a young Palestinian trying to cross the Israeli border has won the International Grand Prix, while a raft of other awards were also handed out
The Polish-French-Palestinian co-production An Orange From Jaffa by Mohammed Almughanni emerged as the recipient of the International Grand Prix at the recently concluded 2024 edition of the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival. In the film, trouble begins when Mohammed, a young Palestinian, searches for a taxi to take him through an Israeli checkpoint. But Farouk, the driver, discovers that Mohammed has already failed to cross the checkpoint. The film is the third short by director Almughanni, who was born in Gaza in 1994 and studied at the Lodz Film School in Poland.
Other films screening in the International Competition that won awards included Basil da Cunha’s 2072, which is Clermont-Ferrand’s candidate for a nomination for Best Short Film at the 2024 European Film Awards. The Portuguese-Swiss co-production sees the director – whose features have screened at the likes of Locarno – explore the violent neighbourhood of Reboleira in Lisbon. Premiering at Visions Du Réel, the film also won the Grand Prix at the 2023 edition of the Oberhausen Short Film Festival.
The international jury was made up of Jihan El-Tahri (a journalist, writer and filmmaker from Egypt and France), Kim Keukeleire (a stop-motion animator from South Korea and Belgium), Kukla (a filmmaker, scriptwriter and composer-performer from Slovenia) and Irene Moray (a filmmaker from Spain).
In the National Competition, the Grand Prix was claimed by Julia Kowalski’s I Saw the Face of the Devil. The atmospheric tale of a Polish teenager who is convinced she needs to be exorcised has been a popular fixture on the festival circuit since it premiered in the Cannes Critics’ Week in 2023. A Special Jury Prize went to If the Sun Drowned into an Ocean of Clouds (France/Lebanon), Wissam Charaf’s satirical comedy about a security guard who must prevent passers-by from accessing the shoreline, which first screened at last year’s Venice Film Festival. The National Audience Prize was bestowed upon The Mysterious Adventures of Claude Conseil by Marie-Lola Terver and Paul Jousselin, in which the title character lives with her husband in a house in the middle of the woods. She spends her time listening to birds. One day, mysterious phone calls shatter the calm of the forest.
The national jury consisted of Iris Brey (a journalist and filmmaker from France), Aurélie Reinhorn (a filmmaker from France), Sarah Saidan (a scriptwriter from Iran and France) and Sabrina Seyvecou (an actress from France).
In the section dedicated to more esoteric productions, the Lab Grand Prix went to AliEN0089 by Valeria Hofmann (Chile/Argentina), a thriller that explores the abuse suffered in an online war video game, and which sees the real and the virtual meld with chaotic consequences. The Lab Audience Prize was won by Wild Summon, a film by Karni & Saul (UK), which sees Marianne Faithfull narrate the life cycle of a salmon over imagery of a much more human nature.
The Lab jury comprised Charlotte Boudon (an artistic director from France), Irène Drésel (a musician from France) and Vergine Keaton (a filmmaker and visual artist from France).
In the face of budgetary worries, the 46th edition of Clermont-Ferrand seems to have rallied audiences and industry alike, with both cinema halls and the festival’s Market seeming much busier than in the past few years. While uncertainty still remains, the recent edition of the gathering bodes well for the next one, which will run from 31 January-8 February 2025.
Here is the full list of award winners:
International Grand Prix
An Orange From Jaffa - Mohammed Almughanni (Poland/France/Palestine)
International Special Jury Prize
The Feast - Rishi Chandna (India)
National Grand Prix
I Saw the Face of the Devil – Julia Kowalski (France)
National Special Jury Prize
If the Sun Drowned into an Ocean of Clouds - Wissam Charaf (France/Lebanon)
Lab Grand Prix
AliEN0089 - Valeria Hofmann (Chile/Argentina)
Lab Special Jury Prize
Fountain - Paul Heintz (France)
International Audience Prize
Coal - Saman Lotfian (Iran)
National Audience Prize
The Mysterious Adventures of Claude Conseil - Marie-Lola Terver, Paul Jousselin (France)
Lab Audience Prize
Wild Summon - Karni & Saul (UK)
Award for Outstanding Performance (National)
Amira Chebli - The Voice of Others (France)
Award for Outstanding Performance (International)
Ružica Hajdari - Balkan, Baby (Germany)
European Film Award Candidacy
2720 - Basil da Cunha (Portugal/Switzerland)
Award for Best Original Score (National Competition)
Rozi Mákó, Mári Mako - 27 (France/Hungary)
International Student Prize
The Medallion - Ruth Hunduma (UK/Ethiopia)
National Student Prize
There Is No Friend's House - Abbas Taheri (France/Iran)
Lab Student Prize
The Rays of a Storm - Julio Hernández Cordón (Mexico)
The Cascade - Pablo Delgado (Mexico)
Queen Size - Avril Besson (France)
Best Queer Short Award
Worlds Burning Amid the Shadows - Ismael García Ramírez (Colombia)
Saigon Kiss - Hồng Anh Nguyễn (Vietnam/Australia)
Special Effects Award by Adobe
Wild Summon - Karni & Saul
Festival Connexion Award
HITO - Stephen Niels Lopez (Philippines)
Best VR Film Award by Evaveo
Emperor - Marion Burger, Ilan J Cohen (France/Germany)
SACD Award for Best French-language Animation
The Purple Season - Clémence Bouchereau (France)
SACD Award for Best Debut Live-action Short
With All Due Humanity - Kacper Checinski (France)
Award for Best Documentary
Incident - Bill Morrison (USA)
"Fernand Raynaud" Award for Best Comedy
The Mysterious Adventures of Claude Conseil - Marie-Lola Terver, Paul Jousselin
Télérama Press Prize
Montréal En Deux - Angélique Daniel (France/Canada)
YouTube Award for Best Live-action Short & CNC Talent Grant Pop-up Section
Dragon Cop - Mathieu Caillière (France)
Amour Noir - Victor Hérault (France)
Canal+ Kids Award
Story of Bodri – Stina Wirsén (Sweden)
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