Tuesday, February 08, 2011

1st My French Online Film Festival Award Winners

Been waiting for fest to publish award winners and a few minutes ago finally the winners were announced and here they are.

Feature Films

Jury Prize: Qu’un seul tienne et les autres suivront (Silent Voices), Léa Fehner, France
Public Prize: Tout ce qui brille (All that Gliters), Hervé Mimran and Géraldine Nakache, France
Bloggers Prize: Espion(s) (Spy(ies)), Nicolas Saada, France and UK

Short Films

Jury Prize: Babel, Hendrick Dusollier, France
Public Prize: Mémoires d’une jeune fille derange (Memories of a Disturbed Young Girl), Keren Marciano, France
Bloggers Prize: En attendant que la pluie cesse (As The Rain was Falling), Charlotte Joulia, France and Belgium

To read winners at official site go here.

First, congratulations to all winners of this pioneer festival that I hope will continue on yearly basis and many other organizations could emulate the effort so they can bring movies to wider audiences.

As maybe some of you noticed, Storyteller (i.e. me) was a Blogger Jury member. I’m much honored that among the thousands of movie blogs available in the ‘worldwide net’, Movie On called organizers attention and decided to contact me with the great surprise. Very gladly accepted the honor and if you check the bloggers jury members (or all jury members for that matter), you will notice that Storyteller was the only one that kept the anonymous identity. No, I don’t reside, travel, live or whatever in USA, I left blank that information but I assume that since the blog uses the English language, USA was chosen for Storyteller.

Not from the beginning but eventually was able to uncover that organizer was Unifrance and the major partner is a great site I constantly visit, allocine that you can find the link in the blog’s link section. But most interesting (at least for me) is that festival had as Institutional partners France’s Culture and Communications Ministry and the National Center of Cinema and Animated Image; interesting and important because assured me that the festival was serious and not a phantom scam from the net. After the spam attack to the blog, I am very careful with everything related to the net.

So, I was expecting a serious, formal, and well-organized festival that will help its great success and that will allow me to feel proud of being part of it. I got what I was expecting even when not everything went as smooth as it should have. Still, as a whole I believe festival was successful for a “first timer” but hope that next year organizers tune up processes to allow festival proper fluidity.

Most surprising was for me to discover that there were 35 bloggers jury as I was told that there were to be 20; the same as the Official Jury members which were 20 indeed. As a parenthesis, my favorite critic was an Official Jury member, he’s so good and so down to earth that I really appreciate his comments since about 10 years ago when I discover his site, which unfortunately he closed a while back; fortunately he’s in twitter and yes I do follow him. Nevertheless, organizers must had their reasons to increase the number of bloggers jury members, after all probably they "also" were doubtful of bloggers seriousness.

Well, the best news is that learning the winners was interesting for me as for those that know me easily will know that this blog didn’t vote for the Bloggers winners (lol!). No, I didn’t vote for neither feature film nor short film and since no one told me to keep my vote secret AFTER the official announcement (was told to do so BEFORE the announcement) here is my vote that included a brief statement.

Feature Film
Qu'un seul tienne et les autres suivront (Silent voices)
For the very attention grabber and compelling triptych story realistically told with an emotional intense storytelling technique in a film with very good production values. Léa Fehner debut feature film strongly suggests a future great storyteller and filmmaker.

Short Film
An absolute pleasure for the eyes, visually outstanding short by Hendrick Dusolier that makes a common story, unique. Bravo!!!

Special Mention
En attendant que la pluie cesse (As The Rain was Falling)
A very French cinema short with a marvelously human story and an unexpected finale. Very satisfying short that tells a complete story in a few minutes, which is highly unusual for short films.

So, that’s it. Seems that my vote was the same to the other jury, the Official Jury winners.

I had a hard time watching the feature films with a couple that I simply stopped as were unbelievably annoying, pointless and visually tedious or trying too hard to be arty/interesting. Absolutely different or if you wish, totally the opposite happened with the shorts that almost all (except one) were extraordinary and very worth-watching; here I had a hard time deciding my vote, but visuals helped me to decide. If you’re interested in learning what I think of each film please go to the fest first post that is here and check the rating system I used and posted immediately after watching each film. Is very easy to understand, the Excellent have three asterisks and the really bad have dashes.

Two of the feature films I was really looking forward to watching Adieu Gary from the Semaine de la Critique at 2009 Cannes and La Famille Wolberg. The first was a disaster, but is nothing new for me as that Cannes parallel section always has strange and not pleasant to watch films. The second I do recommend it for those that haven’t seen it yet, as well as very nice Bus Palladium, Tête de Turc with always great Ronit Elkabetz, Complices with Emmanuelle Devos and if you’re in the mood for mainstream French cinema you can give Espion(s) a try.

But I strongly suggest you watch all the shorts as not only are excellent but also navigate different genres and techniques, including animation. One word of advice if you love animals stay away from Chienne d’histoire, as is a dark/disturbing story that I’m so glad was told as an animated film (still be aware that animation is quite good).

So, this is closure for me. I was glad to be part of the 1st my French Film Festival and hope that many more French or any other country cinema will start to attract new (and younger) viewers using the same concept.

My FIRST wish is for Romanian cinema that I strongly suggest to PLEASE do an online film festival!!! Yes, my Romanian has improved (a lot) but still like subtitles!

But also will LOVE to have the opportunity to watch movies from Polish, Czech and Russian cinema and if is a retrospective I don’t mind at all! (meaning: doesn’t have to be ‘new’ movies, just an opportunity to watch them).

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