WENIFF 2017 Winners Announced

Best Documentary


Documentary, USA, 2017, 19 min

Kurd Director Hasan Demirtas gives us a unique and intimate gaze into the lives of Kurdish people after the division of their lands between Iran, Iraq, Turkey, and Syria through the 1916 Sykes-Pikot agreement at the end of World War I. Demirtas beautifully captures the love story of Seyrane and her husband, who are separated by these borders and forced to find ingenious ways to communicate their love for each other. Risking their lives, Seyrane and her future husband exchange cassette recordings of their voices by throwing them above the barbwire of the turkey – Syria border. The film’s sobriety enables a genuine connection to Seyrane, and through her, to the plight of the Kurdish people. This tender story transcends all physical and political barriers in a way that
unfortunately, and as we learn at the end of the film, Seyrane herself is unable to do today.



Best Cinematography


Short film, Estonia/France/Luxemburg/Finland, 2017, 15 min

Director of Photography Tõnis Tuuga brings to “Ice” (dir. Anna Hints) a sophisticated cinematography that expands the fictional universe of Harri and his son, the two characters we meet on their journey through a frozen sea. Skillful landscape compositions, suggestive use of light, and a subdued and carefully chosen color palette strengthen the emotions conveyed by actors Mait Maimsten (Harri, the father) and Aksel Ojari (Ivo, the son). More importantly, however, these visual choices also help give a proper voice to the most decisive character in this film, ice itself.



Special Jury Award


Norway, 34 minutes, Doku

Ragnhild Nørst Bergem´s film is a heartfelt, beautifully drawn and touching portrayal of three people who are living with dementia, and how this has changed and continues to change and affect their families. The cinematography is never intrusive, but still close enough to allow the viewer to feel the range of emotions these families go through on visits to their loved ones. We feel their joy when they speak about their lives before dementia affected their relatives, and also the sadness of what their lives could have been without it.
All technical aspects are classy and it´s a powerful debut- film from a director we are sure we´ll see more of in the future.



Best Short Film


France, 15 minutes, Short Fiction

“Santa Claus is a capitalist, he brings toys to children of the wealthy and sweaters to those of the poor”, says Nikos aged 5.

This leads his father to do everything in his power to get his son the(very expensive) Christmas-gift he´s wished for, including have a full body-wax so people can eat sushi from his naked body at a party.
A wonderfully quirky, warm and laugh-out-loud funny film from director Pablo Munos Gomes; it has clever dialogue and a cinematography that optimizes the story´s humor and warmth, led by a generous, authentic and truthful performance by lead actor Georges Siatidis.



Best Screenplay


Taiwan, 19 minutes, Short Drama

A great movie from Taiwan, a wonderful treat for parent-child relationships from a specific perspective. A lonely father tries to re-establish the relationship with his daughter, totally in an unusual situation, the hotline is the only chance for that to talk to his daughter, which is one of the hotline workers.
this film follows, powerful dramatic emotions, using a unique film language and a unique film atmosphere.


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