Medusa wins the Aurora Prize at the Tromsø International Film Festival
by Kaleem Aftab
- European victors at the international film festival up in the Arctic Circle included Maria Speth’s Mr Bachmann and His Class and Bogdan George Apetri’s Miracle
Seven prizes were handed out during the official closing ceremony for the Tromsø International Film Festival on Saturday night, after the organisers of the gathering, perched right at the top of Norway, managed to host an in-person event (with a maximum of 200 attendees in cinemas), despite the Omicron restrictions.
Anita Rocha da Silveira’s Brazilian film Medusa won both the Aurora Prize and the Faith in Film Award. The film follows a group of masked girls who are determined to keep participating in their country’s Christian march at night looking for non-believers. The Aurora Award jury, comprising Egil Håskjold Larsen, Elisa Fernanda Pirir and Margrét Vilhjálmsdottir, stated, “We want to give this year’s Aurora Prize to an energetic, fearless and artistically courageous filmmaker, who without any compromise shook us from our seats, and kept surprising and engaging us in a particularly relevant story of our time.”
The FIPRESCI Award jury was made up of Florian Vollmers, Terje Eidsvåg and Iva Privrelová. They awarded their prize to Maria Speth’s excellent documentary about a visionary teacher, Mr Bachmann and His Class [+see also:
film profile] (Germany).
The Don Quixote Prize, awarded by the FICC (Federation Internationale des Ciné-clubs), was bestowed upon Bogdan George Apetri’s Miracle [+see also:
interview: Bogdan George Apetri
film profile], from Romania, the Czech Republic and Latvia. The jury for this gong comprised João Paulo Macedo, Peter Stuart Robinson and Holger Twele.
The Tromsø Palm is awarded to the best film in the Films from the North sidebar. The director of the winning movie is given €5,000, offered by the four resource centres for film in the Barents Region: the POEM Foundation, Oulu, Finland; Filmpool Nord, Luleå, Sweden; Film i Västerbotten, Umeå, Sweden; and the Nordnorsk Filmsenter, Honningsvåg, Norway. This year’s jury comprised Ragnhild Nøst Bergem, Victor Lindgren and Egill Pálsson, who awarded Georg Gøtmark and John Erling Utsi’s Radji (Belgium/Sweden/Norway) the prize.
The Norwegian Peace Award went to Ahmad Bahrami’s Iranian tale The Wasteland. The jury comprised Hermann Josef Greuel, Racha Helen Larsen and Anuradha Gayanath Abeykoon. Meanwhile, the Audience Award went to Beans, Tracey Deer’s Canadian drama about the Oka Crisis and indigenous identity.
The 32nd edition of the Tromsø International Film Festival went ahead in line with Norway’s current COVID-19 restrictions, which meant limitations on capacity, no “rush tickets” and no parties. A total of 31,009 tickets were sold. This number included 3,370 tickets for VoD screenings, which took place on the festival’s streaming platform TIFF Digital. The number also includes the 2,500 tickets booked for school screenings, which have been postponed until February.
Here is the full list of winners:
Medusa – Anita Rocha da Silveira (Brazil)
Faith in Film Award
Medusa - Anita Rocha da Silveira
Norwegian Peace Award
The Wasteland - Ahmad Bahrami (Iran)
Radji - Georg Gøtmark, John Erling Utsi (Belgium/Sweden/Norway)
Beans - Tracey Deer (Canada)
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