The 22nd SIWFF Awardees
SIWFF Best Feature Always Amber Lia HIETALA, Hannah REINIKAINEN
SIWFF Special Jury Award Murmur Heather YOUNG
SIWFF Best Director Summer is the Coldest Season ZHOU Sun
The 12 films in the Discovery section made three jury members shiver with love in crisis and sympathize with women’s lonely, isolated lives. Women filmmakers are looking at the hard times that women from youth to middle-age undergo. The jury met women suffering from a painful loss, depression, weary celibacy, absolute loneliness and isolation, and unclear fear and anxiety. All of them are frustrated and suffered from harsh reality.
Essay films with a blurry boundary between documentary and fiction and fictional characters created by multiple experiences seem poetic and make us contemplate our bodies. Women filmmakers refuse to remain personal spaces but embark on searching for people, accepting strangers, and reaching out hands for exchange and friendship. They look into history and myth, connect personal memory and dream, examine failed hopes and relationships, and explore the bondage of poverty. The camera is with them at every single moment, which touches our hearts deeply.
The jury presents SIWFF Best Feature Award to Always Amber in unanimity. The film follows Amber, an attractive character who is non-binary and liked to be called “them” instead of “him or her.” As we see Amber’s feelings, life questions, determinations, and growth, we feel invigorated. Watching Amber who belongs to a different generation and country, the audience can empathize with Amber and be open-minded to Amber’s thoughts and emotions. The jury wants to call it the power of empathy rooted in sincerity.
SIWFF Special Jury Award goes to Murmur. Dealing with the issue of social welfare and loneliness, the film is made with non-professional actors at real locations without a screenplay. This approach has made the film’s description of social conditions more candid and meticulous. In the spontaneous setting, the film captures the protagonist who isn’t consumed by misfortune but resolutely remains in solitude. The camera warmly watches both her and the animals at the shelter. We can see the director’s considerate attitude that doesn’t involve the character too much and refuses to elicit any response from the audience.
SIWFF Best Director Award goes to ZHOU Sun of Summer is the Coldest Season. In the well-structured story, the director captures the summer of the girl who wanders in doubt and inquiry. Focusing her emotions and state of mind, ZHOU shows her determined face when she chooses growth instead of revenge. Her face leaves a long impression. She isn’t eaten up by any resentment and complaint on the world or her father. Instead, she proactively chooses how to think and behave, which broadens the film’s scope of events and characters. We can see hope in the girl.
Lastly, the jury wants to share some comments on Korean films such as Eunmi, Well-Tempered, and The Quiet Noise. These films ask about the meaning of living in present Korea. Though they are in different circumstances, they indulge in something, try to forget, and search for their origins to survive. The films deal with the lives of young people, not as some issues but stark realities. However, the jury finds it worrisome that they focus too much on my identity, my present condition, my space, my depression and anxiety, and my symptom. Time and energy can be consumed by formless life. However, the jury hopes that more women can make a daring move to confront the world even though the reality is an insurmountable obstacle.
The jury extends special gratitude to the films in the 22nd SIWFF, which consoled our depressed feelings due to COVID-19. The three juries want to congratulate the winners and send their warmest greetings to all directors in the Discovery section. We do hope that we keep sharing our eyes through films.
Members of the Jury
KIM Doyoung, PARK Inho, LEE Jinsook
The Grand Prize Loveless BAEK Jieun
The Second Prize Born, Unborn and Born Again JEON Kyuri
BNP Paribas Asian Shorts Award Tagger KIM Doyeon
Audience Award Loveless BAEK Jieun
* Jury Special Mention Tiger and Ox KIM Seunghee
Asian Shorts, the SIWFF’s competition section, introduced 19 films from 7 countries that had various subject matters and formats such as fiction, documentary, animation, and contemporary art. The jury noticed the achievements made by documentaries and animated films. With well-organized narratives and diverse expression techniques, the short documentaries and animated films contributed to expanding the category of feminist films and imagination by enriching discourses. The jury is confident that those films have been significant stimuli to the audience.
Based on the criteria, the jury focused on the presentation of the feminist perspective. The jury sends their support to the films that refuse conventional attempts in other feminist films. The films, even if their attempts aren’t perfect, boldly took the risk with the creators’ senses, grits, and courage for expanding the boundary of feminist films. With this in mind, the jury selected three awardees and gave the Jury Special Mention for one film. Lastly, the jury sends their encouragement and support for every woman filmmaker who goes through difficult times with COVID-19.
Members of the Jury
KANGYU Garam, SOHN Wonpyung, CHANG Yeongyeop
I-Teens Grand Award Catch the 'Grape'! PARK Hyebeen
I-Teens Award ¹®±úÁü½ºÆ® KIM Haeeun
* Jury Special Mention Pop RYU Wanhee, OH Haerin, HEO Jieun
Members of the Jury
PARK Sohyun, HWANG Miyojo
Pitch & Catch
MEGABOX GRAND Nobody Knows Scenario KIM Shinae
OCK RANG TALENT SHOW Director LEE Sohyun, Producer YI Boram
PITCH & CATCH Dear. KIM Haeeun
POST FIN Between the Mentality and the Brain Director KIM Hei, Producer BANG Aran
AUDIENCE AWARD The Child Producer/Scenario JUNG Youn, Director/Scenario KANG Donghun
Members of the Jury
KIM Nansook, EUM Zooyoung, LEE Jungse, Joyce H. CHO, HAN Kyungsoo