Last Saturday, prior to the screening of closing film The Last Days of Gilda, the winners of the 11th edition of World Cinema Amsterdam were announced: the World Cinema Jury Award went to Eyimofe, the World Cinema Exchange Award was awarded to The Man Who Sold His Skin and the Audience Award went to The Mercy of the Jungle.
The members of the World Cinema Exchange jury, consisted of Hugo Emmerzael (film cricic), Absaline Hehakaya (Dutch Film Foundation) and Shariff Nasr (filmmaker) chose Eyimofe as the big winner. In their debute film, Arie and Chuko Esiri paint a realistic portrait of every day life in the large Nigerian city of Lagos, by telling the stories of the fortunes of two of its inhabitants, who both dream of Europe.
In their raport, they write: "A (...) tender film, about truly good and ambitious people that are often stopped dead in their tracks. It’s a film about dreams and aspirations being arrested in development, with many sudden turns in the story that result in a special kind of suspense: you sense where the people in this film are trying to go to, but you can’t really anticipate the obstacles big and small that they’ll come across. Making it a subtle and layered story that allows its many characters of all walks of life to live with their own contradictions. Every person contains multitudes, every story has multiple dimensions… A rich and visually exciting tale about migration..."
Arie en Chuko Esiri will not only receive the award, they also receive a cash prize of € 5000 for a future film project.
Ensilumi by Finnish Iranian director Hamy Ramezan received a special mention: "... a loving and embracing film that also explores the impending pain of having to let go and leave behind. A film that makes you root for the protagonists, and be at peace with them in their small family-bubble, even though the film title already hints at the inevitability of what’s to come".
Exchange Award - in collaboration with Het Filmgesprek
The World Cinema Exchange Award was awarded for the second time this year. This award goes out to the most thought-provoking film, which stimulates conversations about essential human issues. The big winner of this award was The Man Who Sold His Skin by Tunesian filmmaker Kaouther Ben Hania. The jury about their decision: "This film brings into focus the question of freedom and what you can do with the choices and opportunities you are faced with. The stylish cinematography and powerful music draw the viewer into the film’s narrative and keep you engaged with the film’s themes. Finally, the winner succeeds in creating an absurdist story confronting us with our contemporary world."
Kaouther Ben Hania receives a prize of € 2500 for a future film project.
Photo credits: Melanie Lemahieu