With the fifth edition of the Verona International Film Festival just behind us, we'd like to thank all of our guests for coming out and enjoying three face-masked evenings packed with independent cinema gems!
A big thank you also to all filmmakers for sending in their work. Sixteen wonderful films made it to the final selection for 2020. After lengthy consideration, the jury members chose to award the following films:
The Best Narrative Feature Film award went to In Ashes (Norway) by Kjetil Engh Aasen. The lives of Inger and her son Jonas are turned upside down when the man they thought they knew is suspected of unspeakable crimes against children. As painful questions arise, Inger realizes her son is slowly pulling away from her. Inger struggles to find a way back to her son, while at the same time, attempts to deal with her own conflicting feeling towards her husband.
The prize for the Best Feature Documentary Film went to Good Girls Don't Get Beaten (Belarus) by Halina Adamovich. Excessive use of force in self-defense is among the most wide-spread reasons why women are put in prison. Over 140 countries of the world have laws against domestic violence. There’s no such law in the Republic of Belarus.
Heaven's Meadow (Austria) by Magdalena Chmielewska was awarded as Best Narrative Short Film. It is night in Heaven’s Meadow, on the outskirts of Vienna. Injured and barefoot, Maya runs back home, to the city center. Next day she reports the incident of the prior evening. She undergoes a check-up and files an official statement: assaulted by several perpetrators, no traces of semen, but internal injuries. Rather than falling apart, Maya takes off to Italy to see Daniel. There, she hopes to forget. She wants to regain control of her life. But instead, she keeps floating through the world like an unanchored island.
Best Documentary Short Film went to Porta Chiusa (Italy) by Michele Gallone and Christian Marsiglia. There is a cottage, isolated in the woods of the Tuscan hills. Inside, a controversial form of psychotherapy is practiced. As if under a spell, the young participants follow Elena's instructions, the guide. They fidget, confess, sometimes get lost. What is the border between truth and artifice?
Symbiosis (France) by Nadja Andrasev won Best Animated Film. A betrayed wife starts to investigate her husband’s mistresses. Her jealousy is gradually replaced by curiosity.
The prize for Best Experimental Film was given to Pregnant. By choice. (United Kingdom) by Veronika Reichenberger. As a filmmaker and a public health worker, Veronika Reichenberger has combined her fields into this video piece. 'Pregnant. By choice.' is an experimental video that sheds light on real stories of four women who were denied or did not have access to a family planning method (pseudonyms have been used).
The award for Best Music Video went to Blank Canvas (United States) by Alisa Traskunov. A solo experimental dance piece. A white space. Suddenly, powdered paint. A dancer shifts a colourless world to a world full of colours through movement and music.
Finally, Best Italian Film was awarded to Specchio (Italy) by Caterina Crescini. Beatrice returns with her mind on her relationship with Sveva, on their intense and tormented connection that invades her present reality. Through the re-enactment of her words, Beatrice finds herself reliving the relationship, as if looking in the mirror, sinking into the memories of past vitality and passion.
A film festival focussing on the complexity of human relationships set in Shakespeare's city of love Verona, Italy. Does it get any better than this? The Verona International Film Festival presents films which revolve around relationships in their different forms whether spiritual, physical, interpersonal, familial, and humanitarian and can even touch upon relationships between nations and political parties. Films can tackle the complexity, ever-changing dynamics, adversity, and multi-faceted aspects pertaining to these different types of relationships.
See you all next year!