The jury of the International Competition of Biografilm 2020, composed by Luca Ragazzi (director and film critic), Shelly Silver (artist working in still and moving image) and Martijn te Pas (festival programmer and documentary consultant), assigned the following awards:
Best Film Unipol Award
Biografilm Festival 2020, awarded by the jury to the best film of the International Competition
by Janna Ji Wonders
The Best Film Unipol Award in the International Competition goes to Walchensee Forever by Janna Ji Wonders, a rich and intimate film charting the multivarious relationships between four generations of women – great grandmother, grandmother, mother and daughter. The film imaginatively weaves a century of relationships, explored through interview, observation, letters and diaries. It is above all, a story visually told through a treasure trove of family photos, films and videos, which are not only bursting with information, but also make an incredible weave of different colors and textures, making the film a visual delight. The women speak of disappointment, rebellion, desperation, jealousy and love, often instigated by the razor-sharp questioning of the youngest daughter, the filmmaker herself. Happily, there are no simplifications, judgments or conclusions, rather the viewer has the pleasure of surprise at each twist and turn, left free to piece among the different views, memories and vantage points of these strong women, who are nevertheless all pulled into and entangled by the difficult shadows of largely unseen men.
Hera “Nuovi Talenti” Award
Biografilm Festival 2020, awarded by the jury to the best first feature of the International Competition
THE EARTH IS BLUE AS AN ORANGE
(Zemlia blakytna niby apel'syn)
by Iryna Tsilyk
The winner of the Hera “Nuovi Talenti” Award, awarded by the jury to the best first feature of the International Competition of the Biografilm Festival 2020, is an intelligent and moving Russian doll of a film about trauma, imagination and the art & power of cinema itself. Amidst the ruins of the war in Donbass, we follow a wonderfully tight family consisting of four siblings, their mother, several cats and a turtle as they make a creative short film about the effects of this armed conflict. Actual on-the-ground circumstances and the fictional and actual filmmakers’ recreations blend seamlessly in a self-reflexive mix, highlighting perfectly paced domestic scenes shot in gorgeous Rembrandtesque colors. Through recreation, interviews and observation, we watch the protagonists filmically trying, from all angles, to make sense of their difficult circumstances. The film finally points to the crucial importance of community to come together to witness, piece together, and comprehend this ongoing violence. We don’t see war from the point of view of those fighting or legislating, it, but those, largely women and children, who are living and suffering through it.
Special Mention - Hera “Nuovi Talenti”
Biografilm Festival 2020
(LA YI WAN MIAN)
by Huo Ning
The jury of the International Competition also assigns a Special Mention to the Chinese documentary Noodle Kid (La yi wan mian), which recounts the end of adolescence and the premature initiation into the world of work of the protagonist, fourteen year-old Ma Xiang, born in a minority community of Chinese Muslims and forced to drop out of school to end up in the kitchen of his uncle's restaurant. His dream is to save up enough money to be able to travel to his mother. Like a fairy tale that quickly turns dark, he now faces the adversity, abuse and hypocrisy of the adults around him. The director of this first feature, Huo Ning, follows the twists and turns of his protagonist’s journey for two years, revealing a gaze that is direct, confident, empathetic and never judgmental.
WAKE UP ON MARS
(RÉVEIL SUR MARS)
by Dea Gjinovci
The jury is pleased to announce a special mention in the Hera “Nuovi Talenti” category for Wake Up on Mars. This moving film focusses tightly on one immigrant family’s repeated attempts to successfully immigrate to Sweden, while dealing with two adolescent daughters who have "resignation syndrome," which induces a deep state of catatonia, a disorder affecting hundreds of children in immigration limbo. The filmmaker Dea Gjinovci makes the smart move of following Furkan, the 10-year-old son of this Roma family. This serious dreamy boy, filled with life, vulnerability and doubt, is immersed in a private imaginary life as an astronaut, building a spaceship that will take him to Mars. The film skillfully weaves intimate shots of the daily caretaking of the hibernating daughters with Furkan and his brother’s forays into the expansive, metaphorical winter landscape. Furkan’s visits to a junkyard to find parts for his spaceship reveal another fraught dream, as he points out that he won’t be able to survive this 200-year trip.
CONCORSO BIOGRAFILM ITALIA
The jury of the Biografilm Italia Competition, composed by Roberta Mattei (cinema and theatre actor) Cristina Rajola (documentary producer and expert in international co-productions) and Ester Sparatore (artist and documentary filmmaker), assigned the following awards:
Best Film Award
Biografilm Italia 2020, awarded by the jury to the best film of the Biografilm Italia Competition
(LA NOSTRA STRADA)
by Pierfrancesco Li Donni
Through an observant and non-judgemental filmic language, Pierfrancesco Li Donni builds an intimate and tender relationship with his young protagonists, through whom he explores the rarely discussed and very current issue of early school leavers. Beginning by examining the role of school in underprivileged communities, where the ability to dream clashes with the need to grow up too quickly, Our Road shows us an even deeper value: the strength of human relationships and the importance of never feeling alone, regardless of the choices one makes. As Don Milani once said, "we have to eat with the people we love and grow with the people we love". This is the spirit that we found in Li Donni's cinematographic observation.
Biografilm Italia 2020
IN A FUTURE APRIL
(IN UN FUTURO APRILE)
by Francesco Costabile e Federico Savonitto
Through the voice of the poet Domenico Naldini, In a Future April tells the story of a young Pier Paolo Pasolini, who happened to also be Naldini’s cousin and close collaborator. The two directors Francesco Costabile and Federico Savonitto manage to avoid the trap of implicit rhetoric in a subject that has already been widely treated, giving the audience much more than a biographical narrative, by also evoking Pasolini’s emotive world and imagination, at the time scandalous, thanks to the lyricism and sensuality of the reconstructed images, alternating with a skillful use of archival images that show us an Italy that no longer exists, robbed of its identity mainly through the disappearance of dialects.
The Audience Award
Biografilm Festival 2020, the best film as voted by the public of Biografilm Festival 2020, went to:
by Katja Hogset, Margreth Olin, Espen Wallin
The Bio to B Awards 2020
The online edition of the Bio to B industry event has allowed us to work on expanding the presence of industry experts, film professionals, commissioning editors and representatives of Italian film commissions. Bio to B 2020 represented an important opportunity for filmmakers and producers to present and discuss their projects during the pitching forum days.
The jury of Bio to B 2020, composed by Lejla Dedic (producer Al Jazeera Balkans) and Markus Nikel (Senior International Consultant TV and Crossmedia, Author Factual and Documentary) assigned the following awards:
Best Emilia-Romagna Project
Bio to B 2020
50 - SANTARCANGELO FESTIVAL
by Michele Mellara, Alessandro Rossi, prod. Mammut Films
Best Italian Project
Bio to B 2020
THE MAYOR - ME, MUSSOLINI AND THE MUSEUM
by Piergiorgio Curzi, Sabika Shah Povia, prod. Road Television, Illegitime Defense
Best European Project
Bio to B 2020
by Nika Saravanja, prod. Tico Film Company, Playtime Films
The Documentary Association of Europe awarded the DAE Award
Bio to B 2020 to
RED FLAG. OR: THE STORY OF HOW I BECAME A COMMUNIST WHEN I WAS 8 AND NOW I DON'T KNOW WHO THE HELL TO VOTE FOR
(BANDIERA ROSSA. OVVERO LA STORIA DI COME A OTTO ANNI SONO DIVENTATO COMUNISTA E ORA NON SO PIÙ CHI CAZZO VOTARE)
by Nicola Piovesan, prod. Sayonara Film, Exitfilm