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VISIONS DU RÉEL 2021 Awards

Faya Dayi triumphs at the Visions du Réel Festival

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- The Mexican-Ethiopian director Jessica Beshir won over the jury of the International Feature Film Competition, which has also awarded Les Enfants terribles and 1970

Faya Dayi triumphs at the Visions du Réel Festival
Faya Dayi by Jessica Beshir

The big winners of the 2021 edition of the Visions du Réel Festival - Faya Dayi by Jessica Beshir (which won the International Feature Films Competition, as well as the Mobilière Grand Prize and the Fipresci Award), Les Enfants terribles [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Ahmet Necdet Cupur and 1970 [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Tomasz Wolski
film profile
]
by Tomasz Wolski (which both took home the Nyon Region’s Special Prize, ex aequo) – underscore the festival’s desire to promote experimentation with new film formats and to provide support to emerging talents.

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Indeed, Faya Dayi, awash with magnificent and poignant black and white images, and Les Enfants terribles, a highly personal and courageous work, are both first films. Presented in Nyon in a world premiere, the latter pushes documentary research off the beaten track through its skilfully ambitious blend of archive material (film and sound recordings) and stop-motion characters depicting the high-ranking officers in the Polish police force who took part in the events explored.

Interrogation of one’s birth country isn’t limited to Faya Dayi, which describes the consequences of the monopoly enjoyed by the hallucinogenic leaf khat on other Ethiopian cultures, or to 1970, which lends a voice to Turkish youth through the experiences of the director’s sisters; it also becomes crucial to Looking for Horses [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
by Stefan Pavlovic, which was victorious in the Burning Lights Competition. The director, who has forgotten his mother tongue as a result of a language disorder, leaves for Bosnia in search of his origins. It’s here that he meets Zdravko, a fisherman who lost his hearing during the Bosnia-Herzegovina War. A bond forms between the two of them, transcending words and lending the film’s visual language even more potency and importance. It’s "A fascinating work made with courage and affection", to borrow the jury’s words. In the same competition, Splinters by Argentine director Natalia Garayalde walked away with the Jury Prize, awarded by the Société des Hôteliers de la Côte (Union of Coastal Hoteliers), while Germany’s Sebastian Mez bagged the Special Mention with The Great Void.

As for the National Competition, the big winner of this 2021 edition was Nostromo [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
by Fisnik Maxville, which chronicles past and future relations between the indigenous populations of Canada and the European colonisers who settled on their lands. It’s "An observational film which creates a powerful atmosphere, which invites us to partake of a unique film experience", as explained by the jury. Meanwhile, Maria Iorio and Raphaël Cuomo’s Chronicles of That Time took home the Special Jury Prize.

In short, it’s been a very special year for the Visions du Réel Festival, which once again proved itself capable of adapting to health requirements and was ultimately able to accommodate two hundred film industry members, finally opening the doors of its movie theatres to the public (for the final days of the event).

The winners are as follows:

International Feature Film Competition

Grand Prize (awarded by La Mobilière)
Faya Dayi - Jessica Beshir (USA/Ethiopia/Qatar)

Special Prize (awarded by the Nyon Region) (ex aequo)
1970 [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Tomasz Wolski
film profile
]
- Tomasz Wolski (Poland)
Les Enfants terribles [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
- Ahmet Nected Cupur (France/Germany/Turkey)

Burning Lights Competition

Burning Lights Competition Award (courtesy of the canton of Vaud)
Looking for Horses [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
- Stefan Pavlović (The Netherlands/Bosnia-Herzegovina/France)

Special Jury Prize (awarded by the Société des Hôteliers de la Côte)
Splinters - Natalia Garayalde (Argentina)

Special Mention
The Great Void - Sebastian Mez (Germany)

National Competition

National Competition Award (courtesy of SRG SSR)
Nostromo [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
- Fisnik Maxville (Switzerland)

Special Jury Prize (awarded by SSA/Suissimage)
Chronicles of That Time – Maria Iorio, Raphaël Cuomo (Switzerland)

International Medium and Short Films Competition

Medium-Length Films Award (courtesy of Clinique de Genolier)
Strict Regime – Nikita Yefimov (Russia)

Special Mention
My Quarantine Bear – Weijia Ma (China/France)

Short Film Award (courtesy of Fondation Goblet)
The Communion of My Cousin Andrea – Brandán Cerviño (Spain)

Short Film Award (courtesy of Mémoire Vive)
If You See Her, Say Hello – Hee Young Pyun, Jiajun Oscar Zhang (China)

Special Mention
The City of the Sun – Maria Semenova (Russia)

Medium-Length Films Youth Jury Prize (awarded by École Moser)
Trees in Summer – Suyu Lee (South Korea)

Other Awards

International Critics Award – FIPRESCI Prize
Faya Dayi – Jessica Beshir

Interreligious Award
Little Palestine (Diary of a Siege) [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
– Abdallah Al-Khatib (Lebanon/France/Qatar)

Zonta Creative Support Award
Pushing Boundaries – Lesia Kordonets (Switzerland)

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(Translated from French)

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