Venice Film Week
Best Narrative Feature Film Award: Figurine (Canada) by Hans Olson. Karin leads a quiet life working at a truck wash and ushering part-time at the hockey arena. Her solitary routine is broken when she meets James, a truck driver seeking work closer to his children. As autumn approaches winter, Karin opens herself to the possibility of romance. (Trailer)
Best Documentary Feature Film Award: Free (Croatia) by Tomislav Zaja. 'Free' follows the path to freedom of a group of people with intellectual disabilities that are locked away in Croatian institutions. The only things that Ivan, Enes, Tina, Kruno, Mirko, Tomo have in common is that they are outcasts of society and they dream of freedom: we see them institutionalised and we watch what it’s like to be isolated, deprived of privacy and of one’s rights to make decisions regarding their own life. One day they are informed that they will be released. After decades spent in institutions, a new beginning awaits them: Ivan has always wanted to be a police officer, Enes buys a video camera and starts to document his everyday life, Tina and Kruno want to get married, Mirko and Tomo dream of becoming football coaches at their favourite local club, Silvia starts singing in the church choir, Andjelko is trying to find a girl and a job... The camera observes them, capturing their perspective on the biggest change of their lives while they try to fulfil their long-postponed dreams. It is a good opportunity for all of us, those who never had anything to do with these institutions, to start reflecting on our own lives, our freedoms, and the things we take for granted in our societies. (Trailer)
Best Narrative Short Film Award: Little Block of Cement with Dishevelled Hair Containing the Sea (Spain) by Jorge Lopez Navarrete. A dog and a mare embark upon a voyage together. With every step they take, the differences between them become inevitably clearer, and yet the profound mutual knowledge they develop over time shows the potential to suddenly produce a luminous moment between the two. (Trailer)
Best Animated Short Film Award: Schirkoa (India) by Ishan Shukla. In the city of bag-heads, a senate member faces a tough choice between political career, brothels and love for a mysterious woman. A choice that will transform his life and the city in unimaginable ways. (Trailer)
Best Documentary Short Film Award: Sea With No Name (Finland) by Emilia Linnakoski. Desert. Sand blowing in eyes, back bent down, limps heavy of waiting. Wallpapers reflecting the light beams from cars outside on the streets. Hands reaching warmth under the blanket or resting on thermostat. When rejection and abandoning has beaten you repeatedly they sculpt themselves in human memory, all the way through your body. Landscape in Tuula`s eyes is silent, days resemble one another, then suddenly a song blossoms in this desert, like a flower waking up at night. In that song she reveals herself to us. What kind of a prison has she built with only one feel - fear of abandoning?
Best Web Series Award: Midnight Walk (Australia) by Mathilde Nocquet. Midnight, hidden by sunglasses and a badass vinyl disguise, a mysterious brunette is looking for her victim. Plunged into darkness, a car park is the stage of her next murder.
Best Experimental Film Award: Dryad (France) by Thomas Vernay. The wind blows, noises of armor resound. A knight escorts a young woman athwart plains. The thunder begins to scold, clouds invade the landscape. The knight, worried, stares the castle on the horizon. The end is close. (Trailer)
Best Underground Film Award: Maniacs (Sweden) by Isabella Carbonell. A girl goes to visit her sister who has been impossible to reach since being released from a psychiatric ward. She had been admitted for undressing in front of her colleagues, losing her job in the process. When the girl arrives at her sister's apartment she realizes that things are much worse than she could have imagined. The sister has not eaten for several days, has killed her pets, covered all the windows with dark plastic bags and has let two strangers into her home. The healthy sister, paralyzed by anxiety, tries to understand what is going on and how this could have happened. But to her surprise, her sister claims to be anything but in bad shape. On the contrary, she says that she has never been happier since she turned her back on the outside world.
Best Italian Cinema Now Award: Siblings by Luca Sironi. Armando and Emma are part of a religious group named “New Reborn Christians”. Their task is going door to door, redeem sinners and convert faithless people. Every day the same routine. They strictly follow the precepts of the Scriptures, practicing day by day what they profess. Inside the walls of their house, they live a rigorous and moderate life, no distractions are allowed. Temptations exist only to be endured. Their life always flowed this way. They know each other perfectly, and words have become useless in their relationship. An unchangeable life. The only one they know.