A Kind of Testament, In attesa di una tempesta solare and Oiseau de passage win at short film weekend
On Sunday night, the winners of the short film competitions at the 50th edition of Film Fest Gent were revealed during the Short Film Award Ceremony. In the past few days, the International Short Film Jury, consisting of Fenne Kuppens, Lois Patiño and Savina Petkova, saw three selections of international shorts and a selection of Belgian student shorts.
In the International Short Film Competition, which featured films from 12 different countries, a lot of up-and-coming directorial talent emerged next to more established filmmakers. In the end, the jury chose A Kind of Testament by Stephen Vuillemin as the winner. Vuillemin's surreal animation short is a beguiling portrait of a woman who discovers animations on the internet that have clearly been created from her private selfies. Vuillemin personally accepted the Award for Best International Short (powered by Nationale Loterij) worth €5.000.
The jury was impressed with the high standard of the films and felt honoured to see them on the big screen in Ghent. About the winning film, the jury said: "We found this film original in all aspects: relevant in the way it treats social media, inventive with its costume and set design, and a combination of realism and absurdity that is very deeply human. By presenting a strange, but very liveable world, this short film immerses you in its vulnerability, and you want to be part of that delusion."
In the same competition, the jury decided to award a Special Mention to another animation film: Beautiful Men by Nicolas Keppens. The director's third short shows the insecurities of three balding brothers who travel to Istanbul to get a hair transplant. The jury praised Keppens' heartwarming touch: "Starting from a realistic place, this film becomes a safe haven for masculinity. It treats its protagonists with nuance, humour, and care, making a rather pathetic situation heartwarming."
Each year, there's a lot of excitement for the Competition for Belgian Student Shorts, a competition that has awarded talents Anthony Nti, Kato De Boeck, Adil El Arbi & Bilall Fallah and Lukas Dhont in the past. The competition can be a stepping stone, something proven by director Mattias Bavré who won two years ago and now presents his first feature in the Official Selection of the festival. All students from accredited film schools in Flanders, Wallonia and Brussels can enter the competition. Out of all submissions, the jury crowned In attesa di una tempesta solare by Evi Cats as the winner of the Award for Best Belgian Student Short (powered by Amplo) worth €5.000. In In attesa di una tempesta solare a young woman wanders through Brussels. When a mysterious man tells her about a forecasted solar storm, the strange day falls ominously into place.
The jury about Evi Cats' In attesa di una tempesta solare: "We decided to award a film that touched us with its evocative aesthetics and subtle poetic sensibility. It surely marks the arrival of a new artistic voice."
In the Belgian student short film competition the jury awarded a Special Mention to Vibe Stalpaert's Melantrope, a film about a young laboratory technician struggles with sleeping problems and the associated hallucinations. "This is a short film that weaves a narrative out of an introspective fever dream, literally putting our feelings under a microscope", the jury motivated their decision.
Also the Film Fest Gent audience was able to vote for their favourite film in the student shorts selection and chose Oiseau de passage by Victor Dupuis as the recipient of the Audience Award for Best Belgian Student Short (powered by THEPACK), worth a post-production budget of €6.500.
International Short Film Competition
Award for Best International Short - powered by Nationale Loterij
A Kind of Testament (Stephen Vuillemin)
Beautiful Men (Nicolas Keppens)
Competition for Belgian Student Shorts
Award for Best Belgian Student Short - powered by Amplo
In attesa di una tempesta solare (Evi Cats)
Melantroop (Vibe Stalpaert)
Audience Award for Best Belgian Student Short - powered by THEPACK
Oiseau de passage (Victor Dupuis)