MEDFILM FESTIVAL – 28TH EDITION
MEDITERRANEAN CINEMA IN ROME
03/13 NOVEMBER 2022
The 28th edition of the Medfilm Festival, the event dedicated to the cinematography of the Mediterranean, back to cinema from 3 to 13 November 2022, was successfully completed scoring a lot of presences, over 6000 people. Cinema Savoy, Macro Museum, House of Literatures were the venues that hosted the programme: 11 days of screenings, professional meetings, masterclasses at Universities, meetings with young authors and cinema masters. Also this year, a selection of the films was available online, on ITsART, the platform dedicated to the MIC’s culture. The Festival, directed by Ginella Vocca, saw the participation of 65 films and 40 guests, representing 24 countries, for a single extraordinary guest of honour: the Mediterranean, with its richness, beauty and uniqueness. The hope is to continue to give strength and visibility to the cinema talents of this area, from the students of cinema schools, to the great authors, in a counterpoint capable of offering another vision of the Mediterranean, a place of great potential for the creative, artistic and industrial sector with the professional platform of the MedMeetings which will be able to offer Italian professionals further opportunities for cooperation within the virtuous international Euro -Mediterranean circuit. Many young people crowded the cinemas and took part to the scheduled events, our commitment to do better and better is for them. Thanks to the national and international institutions, which made possible the realization of this 28th stage, for an ever new journey along the cultural coast of the Mediterranean.
MEDFILM FESTIVAL 2022: ALL THE WINNERS
The Official Competition Jury, including Alberto Anile, Marco Delogu, Veronica
Raimo, Baba Richerme, Roberta Torre has awarded:
LOVE AND PSYCHE Prize for the Best Film to Ta Farda by Ali Asgari (Iran, 2022, 86′):
“With engaging rhythm, author’s rigour and sensitivity, Ali Asgari tells one day in the life of a young mother of Tehran, denouncing intransigence and abuses but launching an exciting incitement to the rebellion valid even beyond the Iranian borders”.
SPECIAL JURY Prize to Burning Days by Emin Alper (Turkey, 2022, 130′):
“The chasms of memory lead the protagonist on a hallucinated journey between corruption and traditionalism in the rural region of Anatolia. Emin Alper provides us with a fascinating noir permeated of surreal restlessness to cross the contradictions of today’s Turkey”.
ARTISTIC EXPRESSION Prize for the best direction to Rojek by Zayne Akyol (Canada, 2022, 127′):
“The director ventures something ethically very difficult and unpublished: to tell ISIS through its fighters’ gaze, voice and ideology, men and women. Rojek is an intimate and political film, showing a rare visual, social and emotional awareness”.
INTERNATIONAL SHORT FILM COMPETITION
The Jury of the International Short Film Competition, consisting of 14 students from the cinema schools of France, Morocco, Lebanon, Israel, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Albania, Slovenia and 15 prisoners representing the three prisons involved in the Methexis project (Rebibbia District Penitentiary New Complex, Rome Rebibbia House of Detention, Rome Rebibbia Women’s District Penitentiary House) have awarded:
METHEXIS Prize for the Best Short Film to Warsha by Dania Bdeir
“For telling the importance of being willing to risk, to the point of being able to lose one’s life. For the mastery of acting, with a protagonist who without any line of dialogue manages to express and tell an entire universe only through his own body. For having told the effort of having to push beyond the limits of one’s fears, and analysed the theme of identity, not only concerning the gender, with an original language, remarking a great mastery of the means and a significant maturity. A film that spurs to have the courage to dare in affirming one’s identity, without ever abandoning one’s belief.”
CERVANTES ROME Prize for the most creative short film to Granny’s Sexual Life by Urška Djukić and Emilie Pigeard (Slovenia, 2022, 13′):
“For the powerful and singular exploration, through the form of the animated documentary, of the relationship with the sexuality of Slovenian women in the first half of the Twentieth Century. The two directors, with an exuberant, explosive and fruitful use of animation, recall the constraint, abuse, the impossibility of living an independent sexuality from men. The grandmother in the title becomes everyone’s grandmother, in a process of symbolization of the male power on the female one with which we all have to deal with”.
48 Hours by Azadeh Moussavi (Iran, 2022, 20’):
“For its ability to be captivating, shocking and at the same time honest; for the energetic and subtle direction, economic and elegant; for actors’ interpretation, so convincing that believing in the dynamics of this family and empathizing with their lives happens naturally. The image, the rhythm and the situations envelop us and make us enter the hearts of these characters who love each other despite not knowing each other: it is not necessary to have lived the experience of the prison to move and understand the impotence of a father who loses the control of his daughter’s education for reasons escaping his own control”.
Chitana by Amel Guellaty (Tunisia, 2021, 19’):
“For using very reduced dialogues but not less incisive for that; for the noble intuition of telling two sisters who, although not enjoying the same privileges as the boys, manage to escape from reality and run away in a forest full of symbols and allegorical meanings where, as in the most beautiful training stories, they must resist chaos and dangers inherent in the “true” world; for a final worthy of the best modern fairy tales that opens a glimmer of hope and a peaceful and more aware return to the simplicity of life.”
VALENTINA PEDICINI PRIZE – Best first and second work
The jury of the Valentina Pedicini Prize, including Alfredo Covelli, Gaia Furr and Tiziana Triana awarded:
Best Film to Ta Farda by Ali Asgari (Iran, 2022, 86’):
“Being a woman and mother in Iran today, outside of traditional social structures, turns small daily obstacles into titanic undertakings: a journey through the city becomes an odyssey and a young woman looking for help takes the stature of an epic heroine. A growing tension film, of great emotional precision and an urgency that has never been so present”.
Special mention Under the Fig Trees by Erige Sehiri (Tunisia, 2022, 92):
“Young women and young men who look at each other and try to understand each other in a space of unexpected freedom, in the shade of a orchard. A luminous film that thinks with a tender and acute gaze of love, friendship, generational conflicts and that gives at the time of flirting, so simple and revolutionary, a thinly and profoundly political meaning”.
MEDFILM WORKS IN PROGRESS
The Jury of the Medfilm Works in Progress, including Khalil Benkirane, Gladys Joujou, Cédric Succivalli, has awarded:
OIM PRIZE (10.000 euro) to Dormitory by Nehir Tuna, (Turkey):
“A promising voice that paints with lyricism the reality of the institutions of a deeply conservative society”.
STADION VIDEO PRIZE (English subtitles + DCP creation): to Embodied Chorus by Danielle Davie and Mohamed Sabbah, (Lebanon):
“For the courage, sincerity and wisdom to bring hidden and necessary stories to the screen with great originality”.
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS AWARD
Riccardo Noury, spokesperson for Amnesty International, awarded the Amnesty International Human Rights Prize of the 28th edition of the Medfilm Festival to Nezouh by Soudade Kaadan (Syria, 2022, 100′):
“Because it tells with delicacy and apparent lightness an unforgivable page of our recent history. Without insisting on the violent and bloody aspects, it manages to powerfully instil the pain and the sense of precariousness and waiting of the people compelled by the siege in Syrian cities during the conflict; to tell the stories of families divided by attempts to escape toward the sea, also with the awareness that it will be only the beginning of a new risky journey. And it moves how the strength with which this story, at times surreal and always poetic, stubbornly celebrates the life, resistance and ability of women and young people to take the role of engines of a profound change”.
WWF MEDFILM AWARD
The WWF jury, including Laura Muscardin, Yurie Naito, Alessandra Prampolini, has awarded the WWF Medfilm Award to Cuerdas by Estivaliz Urresola Solaguren (Spain, 2022, 30′):
“for the ability to tell the backlight and with an original and effective narrative the increasingly interconnected link between the conditions of the environment and the life of the communities and the individual inhabitants that populate the Mediterranean area”.
Special mention at Kristos, the last child by Giulia Amati (Italy, 2022.90′).
ADDITIONAL PRIZES OF THE 28th MEDFILM FESTIVAL
More than 50 students of the La Sapienza universities (ISO Department – Italian Institute of Oriental Studies, Department of Philosophy, Department of Art History and Entertainment), Tor Vergata (Department of History, Cultural Heritage, Training and Society), Roma Tre (Department of Philosophy, Communication, Entertainment), University of International Studies of Rome UNINT, UNIMED, Luiss and John Cabot University have awarded the following prizes:
OFFICIAL COMPETITION – FEATURE FILMS:
LOVE & PSYCHE PRIZE to Ta Farda By Ali Asgari (Iran, 2022, 86′):
“For the sensitive and essential direction that shows the difficulties of women in contemporary Iranian society. Each element harmoniously matches in a narrative with a necessary message, enriched by the intense actor performances that impersonate the ardent desire, as the title suggests, to achieve a better tomorrow”.
Special mention: to Le Bleu du Caftan by Maryam Touzani (Morocco, 2022, 118′):
“Delicate, sensitive, introspective. It manages to easily describe a complex love story, where each gaze is worth a thousand words, immersing us in the protagonists’ daily life. A story that does not tell about heroes, but about ordinary people, without neglecting the great personality, respect and trust told in a social context in which not everyone is granted the same freedom to love”.
OFFICIAL COMPETITION – SHORT FILMS:
METHEXIS PRIZE AT THE BEST SHORT FILM to A’ coer perdu by Sarah Saidan (France, 2022, 15′):
“An animation that through the colours and the cheerful, ironic and at times satirical tones, tells how a man, thinking he has lost his heart, realizes that the heart is right where he left it. The poetic quality of the images brings to life the drama of the difficulty of inclusion into a culture different from the original one and brings us back with kindness and humanity towards the way home”.
CERVANTES PRIZE AT THE MOST INNOVATIVE SHORT FILM to Granny’s Sexual Life by Urška Djukić and Emilie Pigeard (Slovenia, 2022, 13′):
“The short film highlights with plastic style and naïf the irreparable injury of woman’s dignity, reduced to pack animal by a misogynist and conservative culture. Through Granny’s Sexual Life the woman’s voice regains dignity, the dignity of a pleasure finally free from violence”.
SPECIAL MENTION to 48 Hours by Azadeh Moussavi (Iran, 2022, 20′):
“The film gently accompanies us in the dramatic reality of a father, a political prisoner, who after years of imprisonment has a very short time to live his family and to hold a relationship with his daughter, used to seeing him through a glass. The distance appears unbridgeable, but then, through the game, they seem to come together. Yet it’s already time to go…”
The Piuculture jury including Edna Velma Adhiambo (Kenya), Ramtin Bida (Iran), Burcu Iena (Turkey), Omar Neffati (Tunisia), Carlos Hernan Quiroz Serrano (Peru), Tetyana Tarasenko (Ukraine), awarded as Best Film Burning Days by Emin Alper (Turkey, 2022, 128′):
“Through the narration of a particular affair, the one involving the young public prosecutor moved to a lost town in Anatolia, shows an effective and pungent gaze at the political and social situation characterizing Turkey. In fact, during the film, a series of elements emerge: the government’s party policy, only made of slogans; discrimination between village and city; power games; the corruption; the uses and customs of the Turkish people who live in minor centres; the role of press and information; homophobia and not least the theme of justice. All elements that embroider a rich tapestry in which we can see the profile of contemporary Turkey. And not only that, the film in touching political and social problems becomes a portrait of the situation that involves other countries, beyond Turkey, thus inducing a wide-ranging critical reflection. All involving the viewer in a story that takes the form of thriller, enhanced by the choice of music and the use of the images that turn to the sepia colour”.
THE AUDIENCE PRIZE was awarded to Ta Farda by Ali Asgari (Iran, 2022, 80′).
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD 2022 to Lubna Azabal
One of the most intense and surprising faces of world cinema, an indisputable talent in the service of refined actress skills, a sophisticated and out of the ordinary beauty: Lubna Azabal, from the beginning of her career, proves to have an impressive artistic maturity showing off in the roles she embodied for high-level directors such as André Téchiné, Tony Gatlif, Hany Abu-Assad, Denis Villeneuve, Ismaël Ferrooukhi, Nabil Ben Yadir, Semih Kaplanoğlu and Maryam Touzani, establishing herself among the most sensual, talented and Mediterranean contemporary performers.
KOINÈ AWARD 2022 to Barbara Schiavulli
Barbara Schiavulli, war correspondent and writer, followed the “hotspots” of the last twenty-six years in Iraq and Afghanistan, Israel and Palestine, Pakistan, Yemen, Sudan, Chile, Haiti, Venezuela. Her articles have been published, among others, on Repubblica and L’Espresso, Il Fatto Quotidiano and La Stampa. She has collaborated with radio (Radio 24, Radio Rai, Radio Popolare, Radio Svizzera Italiana, Radio Capital, Radio Radicale) and television channels (Rai, Rai News 24, Sky Tg24, La7, TV Svizzera Italiana). She currently collaborates with the BBC. She is director of Radio Bullets, an online newspaper that deals with foreign countries, human rights and inclusiveness. Radio Bullet tells the world through the stories of those who have no voice.