THE MAGIC OF CINEMA A MIRROR OF SOCIETY
THE INTERNATIONAL AWARDS OF ECOFILMS UNDERLINE THE POSITIVE SIDE OF LIFE
THROUGH CREATION AND COLLECTIVE ACTION
An air of celebration prevailed on Saturday June 26th outside of “Rodon” open air cinema throughout the Award Ceremony of the 10th International Festival of Films and Visual Arts Ecofilms.
The ceremony begun shortly after 21:00 with the Philharmonic Orchestra of Kallithea which filled the cinema with happy melodies. Representatives of the Parliament, the Prefectural and Municipal Authorities of Rodos were present as well as diplomatic representatives of foreign countries, Greek and foreign directors, important people of the field of cinema and ecology. Among the cheery audience, one could recognize many old friends of the festival, coming from Rodos and the whole country.
FEATURE LENGTH FILMS AWARDS
The jury of feature length films composed of the directors: Angeliki Antoniou (Greece), Nic Balthazar (Belgium) and George Ovashvili (Georgia) The jury gave the 1st award to “Garbage Dreams”, of the Egyptian director, Mai Iskander.
The award was given by the Vice Mayor of Rodos, Mr. Yiannis Yiannakakis. The considerations according to which the selection was made are:
“A great story about THE zebellin the garbage kings of Cairo, combining the personal and the global, the ecological and the social, simplicity and yet depth. An unpretentious tale of recycling against all odds, made with lots of love and tenderness, combining personal stories with an original tale of globalisation and the threat of powerful international companies. A moving story of personal strength against an ecological nightmare, but without wagging the finger or being overly didactic.”
The award was received by the Egyptian Daniel Spartalis who wished that the creators will always be competent and they will keep suggesting their sensitive regard to the society.
The Second Feature Length Award was shared by the films “Bananas*!” of the Swedish director Fredrik Gertten and “The Peddler” of the Argentineans Eduardo de la Serna, Lucas Marcheggiano, Adriana Yurcovich. The jury underlined that it is
“A surprisingly well told story of killer capitalism told as a haunting legal thriller and a gripping court room drama. A gripping drama of poor workers in Nicaragua that try to get justice in THE court rooms of Los Angeles against powerful multinationals. A suspenseful saga of David and Goliath in a world where justice does not always come to those who need or deserve it.”
Fredrik Gertten sent us a note from Los Angeles, saying: “First of all congratulations to the winner. Our collegues. Also congratulations to the people of the beautiful island of Rodes for having such a well organized and cool festival. There are many festivals around the world, very few meets the standards of Ecofilms festival. So be proud. I write this from Los Angeles. As you might know DOLE food company sued us for this film. The corporation continued a hundred year long tradition, shooting the messenger, fighting the truth with aggressive power. We survived and fought back supported by people all over the world. So that's my message to you in Greece. Keep fighting back. Don't let the corrupt win.”
The Jury was impressed by the film “The Peddler”: “This original story walking on the borders between fiction and documentary draws a compelling and unforgettable portrait of an unforgettable cinematographer who makes movies literally single handed. Even though this is not a purely ecolological theme or story, still it is à very well crafted tale of à loner courageously making movies and Art to spread love and bring communities together.”
The directors sent us a note saying: “First of all we would like to say that we are very happy to get this “second prize for feature length films’ in the international competition. We thank the jury for this award and we thank the people who work in Ecofilms festival and specially Nikos Nikolaides who proposed our documentary to the festival. Our film is a film that tries to rescue the magic of cinema, a film that tries to stress his social function as a collective ritual. Is a hopeful view about life and about the future of cinema. We are happy that we could share it with you all. We hope that you have enjoyed it, that is our main prize We are sorry we cannot be with you this evening, we would like to be in such a wonderful prize. Again, thank you very much!”
Special Mention was given to the film “U-turn” of the Spanish Sergio Garcia de Leaviz because this film offers “An insightful look at our fascination with cars and everything causing this addiction that is menacing our environment and ourselves. This film opens our minds and makes us conscious of the hidden strategies of the automobile industry. A film that has the courage of its conviction but also the power to drive its point home with creative editing and a dynamic rhythm”.
The director sent us a note expressing his gratitude for the special mention and his regret for his absence and urged us to spread his message: “We would like to thank everyone at Ecofilms Festival 2010, to the organizers, to the jury and to the audience, for recognizing our documentary “U-Turn”. We wish that we could have attended this prestigious festival on the beautiful Island of Rodos. Unfortunately, we are currently in the United States in the middle of pre-production for our next project. Our main intention with “U-Turn” was to raise awareness about our addiction to cars and its consequences. This is not just a documentary; this is a call to action. Please, spread the word!”
MEDIUM LENGTH FILMS AWARDS
The jury of medium length films was consisted of: Odysseas Sgouros (architect), Dimitris Indares (director) and Christos Zouras (economist). The jury announced the results of the medium length awards and the awards were given by the deputy of the Greek Parliament of Dodecanese, Mr. Stathis Kousournas.
The first medium length award was given to the film “Countryside 35x45” of the Russian director Evgeny Solomin because: “He managed to bring out, through an excellent cinematic language, all the aspects that characterize the social and moral values of a small Siberian town at the time of transition into the post soviet reality. The film uses a very substantial way to illuminate the depth of the human person that beyond political transformations, manages to stay connected to the vast internal limits and the heartbreaking nature of existence.”
The award was delivered to the representative of the Russian school of Rodos, M. Faidra Malandri, while the director sent us his greetings from the cold Siberia: “In my name and on behalf of the members of the shooting crew I wish to express my deep gratitude. We are touched by your attention to our film. It's the gratitude to the Jury first of all and it's the gratitude to the festival's team for the selection of “Countryside 35x45”. And it's the gratitude to audience too. I am really happy that the film was shown in Greece.”
The Second medium length award was given to the film “The Latent City” if the Indian director Krishnendu Bose: “An excellent film organized in a multilevel perspective on the transformation of the wider natural and cultural environment experienced by residents of large urban centres in developing countries and emerging capitals like New Delhi. Artistic and situationalist gestures appear in order to form a wider space of understanding trying to contribute through an interactive way to the establishment of a new urban consciousness that takes advantage of the synapses of local culture to illuminate issues of public space.”
The award was received on behalf of Krishnendu Bose by the Indian photographer Hari Sundaram while the director sent us his greetings: “I am delighted to accept this award. I would have love to be here in person, in this beautiful place and the festival but couldn’t make it. I am grateful to the Jury for acknowledging the ecological and cultural destruction; we are bringing on to our urban spaces, in the drive to globalize our cities. The true world class cities will be those which will be inclusive. Inclusive in conserving the resources the city has and providing for ALL the citizens within. My humble appreciation to Goethe institute, India to unconditionally support this project and to all the artist who gave their time for this film.”
Special Mention was given to the film “Pretend not to see me” of the Canadian director Katherine Knight: "The house, the personal space of the artist close to nature as a reservoir of life but also as an engine of personal and collective memory that can be turned into a tool of conquesting internal balance and an enlarged creative search for truth that energizes the truth and our relationship with the natural hierarchy of existence.”
The award was received on behalf of Katherine Knight by the Canadian Embassy’s representative, Mr. Christos Michalakis, while the director sent us a message saying: “I am thrilled that my film found a home here at this festival. Cinematographer Marcia Connolly, artist Colette Urban and I entered a magical zone during the month we filmed in Newfoundland. In making the film, I wanted to open a window into Colette’s world and her commitment to her art. To feel deeply is a gift and I think that Colette does that. I want to thank you for believing in this film. Thank you to the Canada Council for the Arts for financially supporting the project and to Sam Shabali for his great music. Congratulations Ecofilms for this fantastic festival and thank you for this special mention, which I treasure.”
The plea was then taken by Mr. Stathis Kousoumas who plead friend of the festival saying:
“This institution which is consolidated in Rodos allows the audience to watch films that they wouldn’t be able to watch in cinemas. All this reflection generated trough these films helps the local community to develop a different regard on international problems and transform them into action, seeing that everyone has the same problems but action is necessary in order to overcome problems.
SHORT LENGTH FILMS AWARDS
The teacher Anastasia Zeppou, the Italian architect Marco Gaudenzi and the Swedish director Hasse Wester constitute the jury of short length films. The awarded were given by the Mayor of Rodos, Mr. Xatzis Xatziefthimiou.
The Jury gave the First Award to the film “Bringing life to space 1.3 – One year locked in a container” of the Danish directors Jakob Gottschau & Ojvind Hesselager , for the following reasons: “
“This historical Documentary shows unique archive material from Russian experiments conducted in the 1960’s, secret experiments aiming at sending people to other planets. People were locked in containers imitating the situation of living in a spaceship for very long periods of time. The Russian researchers found that we humans are very much dependent on nature to survive both from physical and psychological aspects and small farms had to be installed on board. The film incorporates this ecological aspect in a surprising and entertaining way and highlights our need for environmental protection in a most convincing way.”
Mette Lise Papathanasiou which comes from Danmark received the award on behalf of Jakob Gottschau & Ojvind Hesselager while the director Ojvind Hesselager who was in Rodos some days ago sent us the following message: “We – Express TV production in Copenhagen – herby thanks the jury and Ecofilms festival for winning the first prize in the short length films competition with the film “Bringing life to space 1.3 – One year locked in a container. The message from Ecofilms festival becomes more and more important. And it is a great honour to stand as a winner because so many fantastic films were represented and the competition was very hard. We saw many films at the festival that inspired us a lot. And we hope that Express TV Production in the future can use some of this inspiration in our further work. We are looking forward to come back to Ecofilms festival. We wish all you film-lovers a good celebration. Sorry we can not join you. We take a good glass of wine and say: Cheers from Copenhagen to Ecofilms festival!”
The second medium length award was given to “Underground Inferno” of the Indian directors Sanjeev Sivan and Umesh Aggarwal because: “The film deals with the effect of burning coalmines, fires that spread underground and cause terrible disasters in terms of distraction of villages and cities. These fires are also responsible of a large amount of emission of CO2, thereby contributing substantially to global warming. The alarming effect is that these fires cannot be stopped, and they occur in several countries all over the world.We feel that the film has a shocking message and is made in a very compelling and convincing way with a skillful blend of documentary, fiction and animations.”
The filmmaker sent us his greetings: “I am absolutely delighted to receive this award. I thank Luicia, the jury & the audience to have liked my work & awarding it. More than the award I am happy that I could present an issue of global concern to a global audience. Coal Mine Fires are not even considered a danger to our environment. That's an irony. If environmentalists, policy makers, scientists & fire fighter world over can just recognize this danger I would feel that I have contributed by bit to mother earth.”
Special Mention was given to the Greek director Vasilis Tanos for his film “Love at first sight” which “In a synthesis of three minutes it communicate to us that innocence, irony and sentiments are the secrets of the ecology of the mind.”
The Cinema Club of Rodos who coordinates the audience awards, awarded two equal awards to: “Goodbye, how are you?” by Boris Mitic from Serbia and “Eyes Wide Open” by Gonzalo Arijon from Uruguay.
Special Mention was given to the directors of the film “Remained” Kostas Agiannitis, Maria Geraki and Chrysanthi Zouroudi.
ECOFILMS TEAM AWARDS
Feature length film award was given to the film “Rainbow warriors of Waiheke island” by the Dutch director Suzanne Raes.
Renske de Zwart, the scriptwriter and researcher of the film received the award on behalf of Suzanne Raes and said: “It was a great experience to be here in the festival with you, among so many good films. The struggle of people who fight for a better tomorrow is being continued by all ways all over the planet.”
Medium length film award was given to the Israeli director Regev Contes for his film “The worst company in the world” who said: “Rodos Ecofilms is a very bold festival. This is the first award we win and so I hope that it is going to change our karma!”
Short length award was given to the film “Winter Rest” from Hong Kong. The director Leung Man Ki and the producer Cheung Ming Yee were present in the ceremony and said: “We are very excited! Participating to this festival is a great honor for us. We saw many excellent films that inspired us and we had a great time here in Rodos”.