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SHORTS Finland

Ceuta’s Gate triumphs at the 50th-anniversary edition of Tampere


- The French-Moroccan co-production has come out on top at the Finnish celebration of the short form

Ceuta’s Gate triumphs at the 50th-anniversary edition of Tampere
Niki Lindroth von Bahr accepting the Award for Best Animation via video link, while the International Jury looks on (© Yuhsuan Yao)

At a ceremony held yesterday, the Grand Prix of the International Competition at the 50th Tampere Film Festival went to the experimental documentary Ceuta’s Gate (Bab Sebta) by Randa Maroufi (France/Morocco). Already a winner at numerous festivals, including last year’s Winterthur Kurzfilmtage, where it also won a Grand Prix, the film explores Ceuta (a Spanish enclave on Moroccan soil), and interrogates issues of identity, immigration and ideology. The international jury said that the film “shows the absurdity of invisible borders, lines and maps created by human society, and the roles these boundaries force us to play”.

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Best Animation was handed to Something to Remember (Något att minnas) by Niki Lindroth von Bahr (Sweden), an animation that follows in the footsteps of her multi-award-winning The Burden with anthropomorphic puppets taking us into a surreal world that examines some very human concerns of everyday life. The win was particularly apt for the festival, as von Bahr (alongside fellow animator Joanna Rytel) was the subject of a retrospective during Tampere. Best Documentary went to All Cats Are Grey in the Dark (Nachts Sind Alle Katzen Grau) by Lasse Linder (Switzerland), which also has numerous wins under its belt, including the main prize at the 2019 edition of Toronto.

Wassim Geagea’s Omé (Lebanon/Qatar) received the Best Fiction Award, and a Special Mention was given to All Inclusive by Teemu Nikki (Finland). Memorable (Mémorable) by Bruno Collet (France), an animated short known by many due to its spot as an Academy Award nominee, was put forward as the Tampere short film candidate for the 2020 European Film Awards, and Maradona’s Legs (Ijrain Maradona) by Firas Khoury (Palestine/Germany) received the Audience Award in the International Competition.

The international jury consisted of Marta Bałaga (film journalist, Finland/Poland), Pauline Clague (filmmaker, Australia), Angello Faccini (filmmaker, Colombia), Ng’endo Mukii (filmmaker, Kenya) and Juha Samola (AVEK, Finland).

In the National Competition, Maija Blåfield’s The Fantastic won the Main Prize in the under-30-minute category. The documentary sees former North Koreans describe their experiences of watching forbidden foreign films and what they imagined the world outside to be like, on the basis of said movies. The national jury described the film as “a fascinating matrix of ideas and images”.

The Main Prize in the over-30-minute category went to Anna-Karin Grönroos’ documentary Conductivity (Orkesterin edessä), a film that is “in tune with the emotions and senses of its protagonists”.

The Special Prize in the National Competition for under-30-minute films went to Teemu Niukkanen’s fiction Are You Hungry? (Onko sulla nälkä?), while Elina Talvensaari’s documentary Lady Time [+see also:
film review
film profile
 (Neiti aika) was awarded the Church Media Foundation Prize and the Special Prize in the category of films over 30 minutes.

To Teach a Bird to Fly by Minna Rainio and Mark Roberts won the Risto Jarva Prize and became the Tampere nominee for the European Audience Award. The film combines documentary material with fiction and is set in a dystopian world in the near future. The feature-length documentary Eye to Eye [+see also:
interview: John Webster
film profile
by John Webster won the Audience Award in the National Competition.

The national jury was made up of Marika Kecskeméti (YLE Television, Finland), Tinja Ruusuvuori (filmmaker, Finland) and Neil Young (journalist/curator, UK).

The 51st edition of the Tampere Film Festival will run from 10-14 March 2021.

The full list of winners is as follows:

International Competition

Grand Prix
Ceuta’s Gate - Randa Maroufi (France/Morocco)

Best Animation
Something to Remember - Niki Lindroth von Bahr (Sweden)

Best Documentary
All Cats Are Grey in the Dark - Lasse Linder (Switzerland)

Best Fiction
Omé - Wassim Geagea (Lebanon/Qatar)

Audience Award
Maradona’s Legs - Firas Khoury (Palestine/Germany)

Special Mention (Fiction)
All Inclusive - Teemu Nikki (Finland)

Tampere Short Film Candidate for the European Film Awards 2020
Memorable - Bruno Collet (France)

National Competition

Grand Prix (Film Under 30 Minutes)
The Fantastic - Maija Blåfield (Finland)

Grand Prix (Film Over 30 Minutes)
Conductivity - Anna-Karin Grönroos (Finland)

Special Prize (Film Under 30 Minutes)
Are You Hungry? - Teemu Niukkanen (Finland)

Special Prize (Film Over 30 Minutes)
Lady Time [+see also:
film review
film profile
- Elina Talvensaari (Finland)

Youth Jury Award
The Fantastic - Maija Blåfield

Church Media Foundation Prize
Lady Time - Elina Talvensaari

Risto Jarva Prize
To Teach a Bird to Fly - Minna Rainio and Mark Roberts (Finland)

Audience Award
Eye to Eye [+see also:
interview: John Webster
film profile
- John Webster (Finland)

Golden Shade Equipment Rental Prize
Theofanis Kavvadas (cinematographer) - 49 Years from the House on the Left (Finland/Turkey)

Student Award
Homebound - Marika Harjusaari (Finland/South Africa)

National Competition Special Mentions
The Stick - Teppo Airaksinen (Finland)
Waste No. 4 New York, New York - Jan Ijäs (Finland)

Youth Jury Special Mentions
Her Head - Emma Louhivuori (Finland)
Fill the Screen - Pasi Sleeping Myllymäki (Finland)

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