At our lovely closing night, we got to give away our Imagine Film Festival awards. We are very proud to present our winners to you.
Black Tulip Award
The award for the best film in the competition. The jury this year consists of directors Hanna van Niekerk and Ena Senadiarevic and Schokkend Nieuws editor in chief Vincent Hoberg.
The Black Tulip award goes to A Sombra do pai – or The Father’s Shadow – by Brazilian director Gabriela Amaral Almeida. Even though the movie has an element we’ve seen before – grief prompting someone to bring a dead family member back to the world of the living – Almeida manages to forge this idea into something totally unique. She took the bold decision to take the road of the slowburner: a film that unfolds like a good novel, page by page, slowly drawing you in until the final reels. It takes patience, but if you surrender to The Father’s Shadow you will be rewarded with a beautiful dark fairytale. Almeida creates a gorgeous atmosphere with little means, hiding beauty in small, innovative details. The film is strong in its simplicity with an unforgettable lead performance by young talent Nina Medeiros, whose expressive face will still haunt you hours after you’ve seen the film.
In every aspect a winning movie, and truly deserving of the Black Tulip Award 2019!
Méliès d’argent (feature)
Awarded on behalf of the European Fantastic Film Festivals Federation (EFFFF) to the best European feature film and short film. The feature film jury consists of journalist Hugo Emmerzael, screenwriter Tim Koomen and Noa Johannes, head of film at NPO.
The winner of this year’s prize for best European genre film has a high concept idea and the jury caught themselves telling friends and people here at Imagine about it again and again. With its rich neon-splashed cinematography, funky soundtrack and strong performances by an ensemble cast that’s high on chemistry, but also remarkably high on life for a film about an approaching death. Sure, this hypnotic road trip ends with a message that could have been explored a little bit deeper. But that barely takes away from the unexpected, innovative twists in the story and its beautiful baroque underground atmosphere. It’s as if this film was written during a walking daydream.
What’s for sure is that we’re dealing with an exciting new voice in genre film. The jury unanimously called this a promising start for debut filmmaker Xaver Xylophon and his team. Congratulations to the winner of the Méliès d’argent 2019: O Beautiful Night.
Méliès d’argent (shorts)
The short film jury consists of Ronald Simons, film programmer at the Eye Film Institute, and PR advisor Charlotte Groen..
The winning short film of the Imagine Film Festival 2019 opens with a family going on a short holiday in spring. As they drive through the hillside we hear the song Adelaide by Ludwig van Beethoven, that ends with the sentence ‘Someday, o miracle! a flower will blossom,’ which sums up what this fantastic film is about. This is a film about a woman, who has spent far too much time in the dark, buried under a thick layer of male aggression. When she decides to choose light and life, nature restores the harmony of things by ruthlessly taking care of the male dominant pig. Life again returns to her preferred state: that of balance instead of wilderness. The winning short film of the Imagine Film Festival 2019 is Wild, directed by Jan Verdijk, and produced by The Rogues, Guusje van Deuren, Rianne Poodt and Harmen Kreulen.
Imagine VR award
The Imagine VR Award is presented to the best VR in the international competition. The jury this year consists of filmmaker Lucia Galindo Martinez and director/screenwriter Steye Hallema.
The Jury of the VR Competition at the 35th Imagine Film Festival decided to award “Dispatch” by Edward Robles. We agree that this experience connects all the things that we as viewers and users of VR are looking for: the story, the structure, characters we care about and their individual perspectives. We feel that the creators really made an effort to find a new way to tell a story and used the technology and VR itself very maturely and consciously. The final effect wouldn’t work in any other media because the narrative and the technology work closely together and can not be separated. The way they created the world of their story really draws you in and makes you feel the change of dimensions and space you enter (the car, the house, the call center…). The episodic structure and storytelling keep you on the edge of your seat. You forget about the world around you as the plot thickens. At the same time there is a lot of love and care for the characters – also thanks to well-casted actors. We see great potential in telling stories in new forms like VR and we would love to see more VR experiences as satisfying as “Dispatch”.
Imagine Pitch Contest
For the fifth consecutive year, Imagine is presenting Dutch and Flemish filmmakers with the opportunity to pitch their film project in front of an international jury. The best pitch will receive two tickets to Montreal, where the winning team will take part in the Frontières co-production market, part of our sister festival Fantasia.
The jury heard 6 very passionate directors, writers and producers pitching 6 very different projects. The projects reflected a very wide diversity of content, approach, genres and budgets.
The pitch for Extraction (by Martijn Smits) was exciting, convincing and the story was well-told with plausible commercial chances. We feel this project will benefit most from attending Frontières. Due to its environmentally critical elements, we expect the project to have international potential as well – especially with the North American markets.
Career Achievement Award
Earlier this week, we presented our Career Achievement Award to our guest of honour William Lustig.