The Obskuur Ghent Film Festival kicked off its Winter 2021 season two Sundays ago in Alfred Sküll Art Gallery's cozy cinema space with an eclectic selection of innovative works by local and international filmmakers.
In the meantime, the jury members have been viewing each officially selected film and casting their votes. Today, the Obskuur Ghent Film Festival is happy to share with you this season's award winners.
Best Experimental Film went to 'Diaphone Island' (Switzerland) by Yannick Mosimann. A recurring drone changes and reshapes the land and sea. The award for Best Underground Film was given to 'Everything Is Under Control' (United Kingdom) by Roland Denning. A story told by machines to humans in a world that has crashed and then been re-booted from a back-up. But the back-up was faulty and glitches are increasingly apparent. Have human beings and machines merged? Is the whole world counterfeit? Is free will illusion? Our machine is an unreliable narrator if ever there was one. The machines tell us that everything is under control, but can we believe them? Constructed out of archive material and an AI synthesised voice. 'Everything Is Under Control' is a wry philosophical reflection on our current predicament. 'Spontaneous' (United States) by Lori Felker won Best Documentary Film. You never know when someone is miscarrying; it could be happening right next to you. The prize for Best Narrative Film went to 'Pigeon' (United States) by Raphael Halloran. A solitary middle-aged pigeon keeper who spends his days on a rooftop in Brooklyn, undergoes a crisis when one of his pigeons gets shot down. The story follows how this seemingly insignificant event compounds to threaten his world. ‘Pigeon’ is a cinematic meditation on alienation and life on the fringe of society. Best Animated Film was awarded to 'Electric Bird' (Austria) by Studio KOMOREBI. 'Electric Bird' shows the stop-motion puppet character 'Edie W.', who is loosely based on Andy Warhol's Factory girl Edie Sedgwick, and is inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's literary fairy tale 'The Nightingale', about a wealthy Chinese emperor who prefers a decorated mechanical bird to the gorgeous song of a natural nightingale.The film is a visual and audio allegory to the increasingly alienation of human beings and absurd technology that is replacing actual meaningful communication. 'Digital Love' (Germany) by Raphaël Languillat won Best Music Video. An ambient/drone remix of Daft Punk's Digital Love revisiting William's Shakespeare narrative poem 'Venus and Adonis'. Written and shot during the Covid-19 pandemic, ’digital love (remix)’ focusses on the relationship between gender and couple, intimacy and distancing, as well as desire and death. And last but not least, the award for Best Belgian Film was given to 'Transponder' (Belgium) by Thomas Verijke. Emil is a photographer. He loves photos, he lives photos. 'Transponder' explores his photographic obsession with both observed objects and personal experiences. Emil's life, his present as well as his memories of love and encounters are captured as a sequence of pictures taken with a camera. Moments can be zoomed in and reasons for separation investigated pixel by pixel. Life's episodes are viewed through a filter. Ultimately though, images remain only static snapshots of an ever-moving reality, and so Emil finds himself constantly searching for new moments. Looking. Obskuur Ghent Film Festival is dedicated to recognizing quality films and filmmakers and showcasing their work. This is a quarterly film festival with a unique screening operation. It showcases innovative, underground, experimental, and independent movies by aspiring local as well as international filmmakers. The festival takes place at the Alfred Sküll Art Gallery’s small and cozy 30 seat movie theatre. As a response to COVID-19 restrictions, which reduced the number of seats dramatically, the Obskuur team has installed another screen on the first floor of the gallery making it possible to double the potential public under the current guidelines. Obskuur's Winter 2021 edition will continue screening until March, find the full schedule on www.obskuur.com, and come enjoy this season's award winners as well as many other obscure cinematic gems. In April 2021, Obskuur will be back for its next season. Submit your film now on FilmFreeway:https://filmfreeway.com/GhentFilmFestival.