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SHORTS Finland

Al-Sit wins the Grand Prix at Tampere


- The Sudan-Qatar production triumphs at the Finnish short film festival, while Israeli film Mission: Hebron is put forward as a candidate for the European Film Awards

Al-Sit wins the Grand Prix at Tampere
Al-Sit by Suzannah Mirghani

The online 2021 edition of the Tampere Film Festival, the annual Finnish event dedicated to short films, announced its awards during a virtual ceremony held on Sunday afternoon.

The International Grand Prix went to Suzannah Mirghani’s film Al-Sit (Sudan/Qatar), which tells the story of Nafisa, a teenage girl in a Sudanese village who – despite her crush on someone else – is facing an arranged marriage. Her grandmother, the powerful matriarch Al-Sit, has her own plans for Nafisa’s future. Can Nafisa choose for herself?

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The jury said that the film was “told in a simple but profound way, presenting sincere qualities that seem to come from another time, but touch upon a very modern problem: a conflict between different values – profit and progress versus tradition. The jury was touched by the way this contemporary fable was cast, acted and envisioned.”

Fresh off its International premiere at Clermont-Ferrand, Al-Sit now looks poised to play many more European festivals down the line as Mirghani establishes herself as an important female voice.

Julie Caty’s Normal (France), a fable about a man who can get what he wants whenever he wants but gets so bored he turns to consuming ‘magic powder’, won the Best Animation Category Prize, while the Best Documentary Category Prize went to Shadows of Your Childhood (Russia) by Mikhail Gorobchuk. The Best Fiction Category Prize was awarded to Li Yue’s A Lucid Dream (China).

The Tampere Short Film Candidacy for the 2021 European Film Awards went to Rona Segal’s short documentary Mission: Hebron (Israel). The film sees six young Israeli men who served in the army from the age of 18 give an account of their mission in Hebron, a Palestinian city in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. The ex-soldiers describe their mission, both official and unofficial. Official: protecting the Jewish community in Hebron. Unofficial: making the lives of Palestinian civilians impossible, using a range of sophisticated strategies.

“Witness statements of people that, without evil intentions, help feed a lethal conflict,” said the jury about the film. “We see how violent situations might turn into entertainment and how different strategies are used to break up the community. Mission: Hebron is an important reminder of the banality of evil.”

The International Jury consisted of Per Fikse, Randa Maroufi, Juho Kuosmanen, Tristan Priimägi and Mikaela Westerlund.

Over in the National Competition, in the Under 30 Minutes category, the main Prize was awarded to Sawandi Groskind’s Where to Land (Finland), a fiction film which follows an elderly mute woman who finds herself on a remote island, where she subsequently meets a young man who longs to visit his mother. The jury said that the film – which premiered at last year’s edition of Locarno – “iis a story of a disconnect between family members but it is also a whimsical mystery, the kind that doesn’t demand to be solved. The film has a timeless quality and a natural rhythm that are inviting and yet leave something for the imagination.”

The film’s cinematographer Karl Henrik Edlund won the Golden Shade Equipment Rental Prize.

The Main Prize in the Over 30 Minutes category was awarded to Joonas Neuvonen and Sadri Cetinkaya’s documentary Lost Boys [+see also:
film review
film profile
(Finland) which the jury found to be “an intense, emotionally impactful documentary drama, a cinematic adventure deeply involving the viewer into the main character’s world from the very first moment until the end. This is a melancholic story of friendships and of a vacation which turns into chaos and tragedy.”

The national Competition Jury consisted of Rimantė Daugėlaitė, Hamy Ramezan and Kaisu Tervonen.

Marjo Levlin’s experimental fiction Ellipsis (Finland) received the Risto Jarva Prize — an annual film industry award for new Finnish short films named after the Finnish filmmaker — and Suvi West’s documentary Eatnameamet – Our Silent Struggle [+see also:
interview: Suvi West
film profile
(Finland) won the Church Media Foundation Prize as well as the National Competition Audience Award.

This year, the Tampere Film Festival launched the Generation XYZ competition for under 30 minute genre films, in collaboration with the American production company XYZ Films. Adrien Jeannot’s The Last Men (France) won the Best Genre Film Award. The jury also handed out a Special Mention to Fanni Szilágyi and Gábor Szilágy’s Tien Shinhan (Hungary).

The full list of award winners:

International Competition
Grand Prix
Al-Sit - Suzannah Mirghani (Sudan/Qatar)

Best Animation
Normal - Julie Caty (France)

Best Documentary
Shadows Of Your Childhood - Mikhail Gorobchuk (Russia)

Best Fiction
A Lucid Dream - Li Yue (China)

Tampere Short Film Candidate For The European Film Awards 2021
Mission: Hebron - Rona Segal (Israel)

Special Mentions
Wall Piano - Asma Ghanem, Christopher Marianetti, Alexia Webster (Palestine)
Wochenbett - Henriette Rietz (Germany)
Mizaru - Sudarshan Suresh (India)

Audience Award
Wall Piano - Asma Ghanem, Christopher Marianetti, Alexia Webster (Palestine)

National Competition under 30 minutes
Main Prize
Where To Land  - Sawandi Groskind (Finland)

Special Prize
Hiljaisuus - Saara Hakkarainen (Finland)

Prize of the Youth Jury
All Tender Things - Tatu Pohjavirta (Finland)

Special Mention of the Youth Jury
Päätös N:O 30001 - Samuel Häkkinen, Henna Välkky (Finland)

Tampere Nominee For European Audience Award
Kansanradio – Runonlaulajien Maa - Virpi Suutari (Finland)

Audience’s Short Film Favourite For The European Audience Award 2021
Une Sœur - Delphine Girard (Belgium)

National Competition over 30 minutes
Lost Boys [+see also:
film review
film profile
- Joonas Neuvonen, Sadri Cetinkaya (Finland)

Special Prize
School Of Hope [+see also:
film review
film profile
- Mohamed El Aboudi (Finland/France/Morocco)

Risto Jarva Prize
Ellipsis - Marjo Levlin (Finland)

The Church Media Foundation Prize
Eatnameamet – Our Silent Struggle [+see also:
interview: Suvi West
film profile
- Suvi West (Finland)

Golden Shade Equipment Rental Prize For Cinematographer
Karl Henrik Edlund for Where To Land  - Sawandi Groskind (Finland)

Student Award
Halpoja Tahroja - Marlena Martikainen (Finland)

Audience Award
Eatnameamet – Our Silent Struggle - Suvi West

Generation XYZ Award For Best Genre Film
The Last Men - Adrien Jeannot (France)

Special Mention
Tien Shinhan - Fanni Szilágyi, Gábor Szilágyi (Hungary)

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