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FESTIVALS / AWARDS South Korea

Take Me Somewhere Nice triumphs at the Seoul International Women's Film Festival

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- European films dominated the Korean event, with Summer Survivors and Hormigas picking up Best Director and the Special Jury Prize, respectively

Take Me Somewhere Nice triumphs at the Seoul International Women's Film Festival
Take Me Somewhere Nice director Ena Sendijarevic and jury member Shin Suwon after the presentation of the Best Film Award

At the 21st Seoul International Women's Film Festival (SIWFF, 29 August-5 September), European films took home the three main awards in the International Features Competition, while Korean films scooped the rest.

Characteristic of SIWFF's dedication to emerging directors, this year's International Features Competition only considered the first or second features by female-identifying directors. Ena Sendijarević's debut feature, Take Me Somewhere Nice [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Ena Sendijarević
film profile
]
, walked away with the Best Film Award, worth $20,000 (€18,116). The Dutch-Bosnian co-production nabbed the Heart of Sarajevo for Best Film last month and the Special Jury Award after its world premiere in the Tiger Competition at Rotterdam.

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Marija Kavtaradzė’s Toronto title Summer Survivors [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Marija Kavtaradzė
film profile
]
, the winner of the Audience Award at the Lecce European Film Festival, Best Actor Award for Paulius Markevičius and Best Lithuanian Film Award at Vilnius' Kino Pavasaris, added the Best Director gong to its award-studded trophy cabinet.

Antonella Sudasassi Furniss took home the Special Jury Prize with her debut feature, Hormigas [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, a Costa Rican-Spanish co-production that premiered in the Forum section of the 69th Berlinale.

In addition to the International Features Competition, SIWFF included a significant proportion of non-Asian cinema in other strands as well. In partnership with the Adam Mickiewicz Institute (AMI), SIWFF set aside a special section dedicated to Polish women's cinema, and heavily marketed its memorial screenings devoted to feminist favourites Agnès Varda and Barbara Hammer.

The Asian Shorts Competition also included Asian diaspora entries, stretching the competition as far as Denmark with the inclusion of Copenhagen-based filmmaker Jang Jeehye Kay's Re:play. After the awards ceremony, audiences had the chance to see two crowd-pleasing short films: Freckles by Kim Jihee, who won Best Director in the shorts competition, and Baekkot Narae's Dots, winner of both the Best Film and the Audience Awards, a playful documentary about illiterate grandmothers in the Korean countryside.

Asia's largest film festival dedicated to women directors and feminist cinema closed with a packed house, despite typhoon threats all day long – a telltale sign of its successful eight-day period of showcasing 119 films with consistently sold-out screenings.

Here is the complete list of winners:

International Features Competition

Best Film
Take Me Somewhere Nice [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Ena Sendijarević
film profile
]
- Ena Sendijarević (Netherlands/Bosnia and Herzegovina)

Best Director
Summer Survivors [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Marija Kavtaradzė
film profile
]
- Marija Kavtaradze (Lithuania)

Special Jury Prize
Hormigas [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
- Antonella Sudasassi (Costa Rica/Spain)

Korean Features Competition

Best Korean Film Award
Us, Day by Day - Kangyu Garam (South Korea)

Asian Shorts Competition

Best Film
Dots - Baekkot Narae (South Korea)

Best Director
Freckles - Kim Jihee (South Korea)

Audience Award
Dots - Baekkot Narae

I-Teens Competition

I-Teens BNP Paribas Grand Award
Memoir - Park Kyueun (South Korea)

I-Teens BNP Paribas Award
Late Night, Going Home - Keum Jungyun (South Korea)
Moment - Lee Daeun (South Korea)

Pitch & Catch - Documentary

Ock Rang Award
Trash Otaku - Yu Hyemin (South Korea)

JinJin Award
Homeground - Kwon A-ram (South Korea)
Meryl Streep Project - Park Hyoson (South Korea)
Circle of Sand - Park Jaemin (South Korea)
All Hail the King - The Women Who Became Kings - Park Yeji (South Korea)

PostFin Award
Homeground - Kwon A-ram

Audience Award
Trash Otaku - Yu Hyemin

Pitch & Catch - Fiction

Megabox Grand Award
Rematch - Lee Eunhee (South Korea)

Megabox Awards
Doom Doom - Jung Wonhee (South Korea)
My Wonder Woman - Kyung Jisuk (South Korea)
Happy New Year - Han Jihye (South Korea)

Pancinema Award
The Children - Kim Hyuntak (South Korea)

Audience Award
Happy New Year - Han Jihye (South Korea)

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