SIFF 40 - 2023
A story should have a beginning, a middle and an end, but not necessarily in that order.
This year we lost Jean-Luc Godard. A massive and sharp cinematic author who turned experimental ilm grammar into the core of his process of declination of present times. Unlike searching for a passive witness of modernism, his approach consisted in looking for expansions designed to regard the future. Language acts as a disjointed but authentic tool of making cinema – a tool he perceived as an attempt of understanding and living. In this perspective lies the spirit of Sulmona International Film Festival which turned experimentation and research into its greatest peculiarity. This event is now reaching its 40th edition – aimed at capturing the very heart of feelings which only ilms are able to convey in such a vibrant and vivid way. That is because our longings of collective experience will never cease to exist – despite the untrue, vain and too frequent accusations claiming the death of cinema. During these tragic days of war and deprivation of our fundamental rights, it is now necessary an act of sharing focused on the present – as a key point for a wider reconsideration of our deepest sense of humanity. We need to entrust stories and we need to do this together. For stories leads us to wisdom and understanding with awareness and concreteness – essential elements to face this fatal sense of degradation. We offer you a tale of ifty short cinematic works from twenty countries all over the world, varying in patterns and locations but brought together by the same purpose. In the authentic hope for an inner and soulful transformation leading to a more respectful and enriching regard for others.
BEST INTERNATIONAL SHORT FILM
NEST by Hlynur Pálmason (Denmark)
Cinema in its essence: a fixed shot delivering the strength of the short film and its narrative and imaginative power – through its writing work, editing and staging production.
BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM
THE SEINE’S TEARS by Y. Belaid, E. Benard, N. Mayeur, E. Moulin, H. Pinot, L. Vicente, P. Singer, A. Letailleur (France)
History and politics turned into a vital essay of animation technique – through the captivating use of colours and music in fundamental balance between emotional involvement and reflective distance.
BEST NATIONAL SHORT FILM
L’UOMO MATERASSO by Fulvio Risuleo (Italy)
The director succeeds in deceiving us all – by taking full advantage of cinematic language and the excellent performance of the actors. “L’uomo materasso” becomes a witness of our time and encourages reflection through its humour.
Special Mention to Closed to the Light di Nicola Piovesan (Italy)
For its innovative and experimental directing conveying a tormenting and vibrant still image of horror, giving new life to a violent and aching past to enlighten awareness for a current and contemporary sensitivity – as a result of its excellent use of sound and sequence shot crossing over tableau vivant.
Sanabel Cherqaoui for LUCIENNE IN A WORLD WITHOUT SOLITUDE di
Geordy Couturiau (France)
A short film employing the most ancient of cinematic editing figures, “shot-reverse shot”, giving it new life and rhythm: each cut seems to build a small narrative world – meeting and colliding with the other – emphasizing one of the topics of the film.
BEST SOUNDTRACK “GABRIELLE LUCANTONIO”
Lucia Alessi & Pier Sante Falconi for TRIA di Giulia Grandinetti (Italy)
It refers to others’ imaginary at the same time creating one of its own, caressing the sensuality and tragedy of its narrative and its performers.
Amirhossein Khoshbin for DEER di Seemab Gul (Iran)
In the tradition of great iranian realist cinema and its ability to showcase childhood and its symbolic value, the photography brings together its own anthropological view with the oneiric transfiguration of nature.
Special mention to Alberto Balazs per Mulaqat (Pakistan)
For the ability conveyed by colours of places and warmth of feelings reflecting in the contemporary without turning into a stereotype.
Ehsan Bakhshizadeh for DEER (Iran)
For its touching performance never out of tune – proving to be deep and impactful in its gentle innocence – bringing the emotion at the very heart and focus of the narration.
Daphne Peel for MEMOIR OF VEERING STORM (Grecia)
Real and convincing. She creates with few elements an emotional engagement bursting into a touching ending through her expressive power.
Lucienne in a world without solitude by Geordy Couturiau (France)
A successful, intriguing and metaphorical idea developing into a long, complex and touching path – employing dramatic composition as a means to question the feelings of the audience.
Hlynur Pálmason for Nest (Denmark)
If directing is the art of addressing a vision according to narrative demands, it is an exceptional ability getting (apparently) rid of the vision to highlight the work on set, its construction, its constant and always on the move staging performance.
Menzione to Sofia Georgovassili per Memoir of a Veering Storm (Greece)
For the accuracy of its acting and photography choices – conveying a dense narration through a few individual elements.
The Sentence of Michael Thompson by Kyle Thrash & Haley Elizabeth Anderson (United States)
For its ability to encapsulate lives marked by tragedy – focusing on people and on survival rather than on the sensationalism of events, breaking free from the stereotypes of television.
BEST ABRUZZO SHORT FILM
I GIORNI DELLE ARANCE by Matteo De Liberato (Italy)
For its ability to faithfully retrace an extremely tragic historical-political background, with the outstanding acting performances of the two protagonists and a wise construction of narrative time – creating a touching and sharp movie.
BEST ENVIRONMENTAL SHORT FILM
HAULOUT by Evgenia Arbugaeva & Maxim Arbugaev (United Kingdom)
For the exceptional cinematic expertise in which the clarity of scientific (and even autopsic) researches meets with the harrowing wistfulness of the dissolution of an invaluable marine species. The filmic device keeps miraculously together the reclusive glacial monitoring (by a feeble and ancient candlelight) and the transcendence of an ancient gathering of walruses, the barren force of a land with a volcanic and ancestral flavor, the metaphysical hole at the rising of the wind, the relentless snow and the floating of the birds. Glimpses of real cinema uncovering and reporting the lethal and irretrievable consequences of climate change and global warming – such damages appearing to be impossible to entirely estimate.
BEST MUSIC VIDEO
HOLD ON by Angelo Cerisara (Italy)
For the creation of a tale conveying with clarity the struggles between aware friendship and unaware love through constant and erratic emotional shifts which are typical of adolescence and the conflicting energy of such a complex stage – not allowing the protagonists to be aware of themselves by fully embodying their instincts and drives.
PREMIO SIFF KIDS
FOOTPRINTS IN THE FOREST by Juhaidah Joemin e Sandra Khoo (Malaysia)
For its ability to narrate the animal kingdom with such an exceptional sensitivity, beginning with the tender story of a little orphan rhino crushed by threats and fatal uncertainty in the wild lands of the Borneo rainforest – in Eastern Malaysia – where he is seeking a new house. This short animation film moves the audience emphasizing family ties and the perils related to human’s ruthless hands damaging nature and its integrity – combining the pressures of the adult world and the poetry of childhood.
PREMIO SIFF STUDENTI (IIS OVIDIO e IIS FERMI)
L’UOMO MATERASSO by Fulvio Risuleo (Italy)
SNCCI AWARD (SINDACATO NAZIONALE CRITICI CINEMATOGRAFICI ITALIANI)
CAMERIERI by Adriano Giotti
Camerieri narrates in a clear and ruthless (but never complacent or threatening) way the material and identitary tragedy of unemployment, without falling into the Manichean decoy of separating good from evil – thus recounting contemporary transversal shades of despair and lack of communication, as a result of the audience standing on no one’s side.
The 41st Sulmona international Film Festival EDITION'S VIDEO
Moments and memories of the 2022 Edition: the Sulmona Film Festival reached the milestone of 40 years