And the Winners of the Glasgow Short Film Festival 2020 are…

The Glasgow Short Film Festival is the largest competitive short film festival in Scotland, championing new film talent by providing an annual showcase. This year was its 12th and a half edition and on Sunday 23 August winners were announced at on online Closing Ceremony. 

An international jury, made up of Internationale Kurzfilmtage Winterthur programmer and curator, Delphine Jeanneret, Thai filmmaker, Sorayos Prapapan, and Finnish documentary filmmaker and 2019 Bill Douglas Award for International Short Film winner, Laura Rantanen, decided on this year’s winner of the  Bill Douglas Award for International Short Film.

That winner was  3 Logical Exits directed by Mahdi Fleifel, a sociological meditation on the different ‘exits’ young Palestinians choose in order to cope with life in the refugee camps. A special mention went to All Movements Should Kill the Wind directed by Wang Yuyan about men living two hundred kilometres from Beijing, among rocks waiting to be broken, cut and sanded.

The judges comment on the winning film was “3 Logical Exitsis an honest and sincere film about the human condition in circumstances of no future perspectives, beyond logic. The film is a valuable reminder of forgotten tragedies and reveals the artist’s smallness beside his huge topic. The film asks, where do you get after trying out all the possibleexits?…”

And on the special mention “…All Movements Should Kill the Windis a beautiful and meditative journey through a world of stillness and movement, power and oppression. The film makes no statements, asks no straight questions. Still it encourages the viewer to ponder, find meanings from the details…”

This year’s Audience Award for International Short Film went to Daughter directed by Daria Kashcheeva, a tender film about a daughter recalling a childhood moment when she tried to share her experience of an injured bird with her father.

The 2020 Scottish Short Film Award was decided by a jury made up of art and film critic, programmer and curator, Nicolas Feodoroff, programme director and coordinator of Leuven International Short Film Festival, Vincent Langouche, and Network Ireland Television’s sales and acquisitions executive, Sadhbh Murphy.

The winner of the 2020 Scottish Short Film Award was Betty, directed by Will Anderson, in which an animator tries to make sense of a failed relationship. The jury’s comment on Betty was “It’s very playful and inviting, and when it gets emotional it takes a step back. By showing the technical aspects of making the film, you feel a strong connection to the filmmaker and their personal story seeping through the commentary. The filmmaker also plays with narrative and visual codes, by mixing several different genres, game and theory. Its witty meta-humour balances perfectly with the sad tone of the film…”

Scottish Short Film Award Special Mention went to Kingdom Come, directed by Sean Robert Dunn, in which an expectant father’s domestic bliss is violently shattered when his community enacts a crude form of mob-like justice based on his transgressions.

On this the jury said “…This is truly a suspense filled drama, in the way a seemingly perfect family unit gradually unravels into a disturbing nightmare, which keeps the viewer on edge to the end.”

The Audience Award for Scottish Competition audience went to Boys Nightdirected by James Price. A semi-autobiographical tale, Boys Night is about an eleven-year-old boy who has to brave the night time wilderness of North East Glasgow to shepherd his drunk father home safely. This is James’ second Audience Award.

The Production Attic Short Film Pitch Award, which gives emerging filmmakers the opportunity to pitch for in-kind equipment hire and a small cash bursary to realise their ideas, was also announced by a jury made up of media artist and animation freelancer, Patrick Buhr, Creative Director of Production Attic, Matthew Cowan, and programmer and film scholar, Vanja Ødegård.

The winner in this category was Groom by Laura McBride and Leyla Josephine about which the judges said, Groomexplores the dark side of a relationship between an older woman and a teenage girl. Staged in a beauty salon, it gives room to a vast potential of aesthetic play that literally and figuratively peels off the skin. Between body horror and unmasked social study, we hope to see a visceral short about the consequences of abusive power…”

Glasgow Short Film Festival 2020 ran from 17-23 August and was supported by the National Lottery through Creative Scotland. 

The 14th edition of Glasgow Short Film Festival will take place 24-28 March 2021 for which  the  call for submissions is  currently open

Irene Brown

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