International Feature Competition
It was not an easy task for the jury because it was such an intriguing variety of first dramatic features by women from around the world with such diverse stories to tell. After considered discussion we came up with these conclusions:
Best Film - L'animale
This is an energized film about identity with such an engaging performance from its young heroine. Navigating between her family, her small town community and her own emerging sexuality, she draws us into her journey. The director demonstrates a unique sensibility and refreshes the “coming-of-age” narrative.
Best Director - Girls Always Happy
The multitasking director, Ming-Ming Yang, who also functions as writer, actor, and editor, tells a mother-daughter-story with warmth and spiky wit against the backdrop of contemporary life in Beijing. We were excited about how she free-styled with her cinematic palates and we’re looking forward how her voice grows in her future.
Special Jury Prize - I Am Truly a Drop of Sun on Earth
We really admired the rigor of the director in taking on a subject that has not been explored: the underworld of stranded refugees from Africa and a community of prostitutes in Tbilisi, Georgia. The use of non-actors and the precise visual language flags an exciting new talent.
Korean Feature Competition
Best Korean Film - Like a Rolling Stone
The judges were impressed with all of the entries of this competition, which dealt with many themes - representing the daily lives of women through the frames of the social, cultural, economic and political. Whether challenging the conventions of female sexuality, recognizing the value of humanizing those at the margins or tying the personal to the political, each film contributed to new ways of representing women on the screen.
We chose ‘Like a Rolling Stone’ for its cinematic beauty, recounting the tale of an older woman. Dancer, Jung-ho NAM, reflects on the many roles she has played throughout her life through the prism of her profession. We admired the positive social message of a woman transferring her knowledge inter generationally, through pedagogy, dance and self-reflection. This is an affirming feminine story that considers art as a powerful tool to understand, educate and heal.
Asian Short Competition
It was both uplifting and reassuring to feel the presence of sharp and brave female directors of this time throughout Asia. We saw the films and felt what they had to say. We send our congratulations and sincere thanks to all of the 19 contestants that allowed abundant discourse to flow among us jury.
Best Film – The Monologue
Never before have we seen such a brilliant depiction of birth, childrearing, and the consequential isolation of the female identity. The details and honesty resonated with the experiences of our mothers, friends, and our own present and future selves. We congratulate and salute the arrival of such a film.
Best Director – On the Waitlist
It was a beyond pleasant experience to watch a film with an undistorted eye towards the female body, and with such a raw and intricate brush for illustrating the nature of relationships and emotion. We are happy to award the talent of a director who can transfer such raw performances directly onto the screen.