The 11th edition of the International Images Film Festival for Women which ran from November 23 to December 1 in Harare, December 4 and 5 in Bulawayo and, December 4 to 6 in Binga under the theme Women Alive, announced the IIFF Awards. Excerpted from the Institute of Creative Art for Progress in Africa (ICAPA TRUST):
Best Other Format (VIDEO/DVD)
1. Fraulein (Switzerland) by Andrea Staka
2. Fiancé for Yasmina (Spain) by Irene Cardona
Winner: Mahboubeh (Iran) by Vahid Nikkhah
An outstanding film that shows the extent to which women go in trying to help each other against adversity….
Best Short Film
1. Rae (Belgium) by Emmanuelle Nicot
2. Café regular Cairo (Egypt) by Ritesh Batra
Winner: Atrophy (South Africa) by Palesa Shongwe
The jury awards Atrophy or Fear of Fading for a daring and innovative work that explores the boundaries of film language…. The jury also acknowledged the high quality of the body of work from the Big Fish School for Digital Filmmaking of South Africa. The students from this film school show that impressive talent can lead South Africa into an exciting new film future.
1. The Engagement Party (United Kingdom/Zimbabwe)
2. One day after peace (Israel/South Africa) by Erez Laufer and Miri Laufer
Winner: A Cry of the Turtle Dove (Niger France) by Sani Elhadj Magori
This year the jury received a lot of good documentaries and in particular six outstanding ones, that touched on many different life experiences. However, Cry of the Turtle Dove was a cut above the rest….
1. Rose (Poland) by Wojciech Smarzowski
2. Queen to Play (France) by Caroline Bottaro
Winner: Stars Converge by Kiyoshi Sasabe
The story of two lovers is a universal story but the script goes beyond the normal and deals with it in a unique and refreshing manner making it stand out and demand the viewer’s attention from the opening to the end.
1. Sandrine Bonnaire in Queen to Play (France)
2. Isabella Carr in Hideaway (France)
Winner: Honami Kurashita in Hotel Hibiscus (Japan) by Yuji Nakae
In a film awash with attention grabbing performances, this young girl manages also in a field with so many excellent nominations, to steal an edge over the others with a memorable, loveable, and innocent performance.
1. François Ozon, Hideaway (France)
2. Kenji Takama, Hotel Hibiscus (Japan)
Winner: Piotr Sobocinski, Rose (Poland)
This film’s cinematography is so powerful that the images transport you to a historical time and leave an indelible mark on one’s mind.
1. Wojciech Smarzowski, Rose (Poland)
2. Simone Bitton, Rachel (France)
Winner: Caroline Bottaro, Queen to Play (France)
The director manages to deal with the subject with such clever nuancing and creative balance between the powerful woman and the men around her.
Best Depiction of the theme “Woman Alive”
1. Rose (Poland)
2. Hide Away (France) by Mathieu Hippeau, François Ozon
Winner: Queen to Play (France)
Queen to Play provided the most positive portrayal of women in all the films. Not only is she a positive character, but she manages to straddle the fine line between being a powerful woman and being a destructive woman striving for what she wants, gets it and still holds on to a family that is dear to her.
1. Stars Converge (Japan)
2. Rose (Poland)
Winner: Queen to Play (France)
The film encompasses all that was looked for in a film, especially for this festival. A woman phenomenon, men who are or become strong enough not to be intimidated by the independence of a woman. The positive themes of the film portrayal dovetailed to make this film an overwhelmingly favourite for overall best film.
1. Sunlight behind Snow (Iran) Reza Sobhani
2. Under the Stars (Spain) by Felix Viscarret
Winner: Stars Converge (Japan) by Kiyoshi Sasabe
The film that inspired to stay alive—vibrant and visible this year—has already been awarded tonight.
Under the Stars (Spain)
Winner: Lucky (South Africa) by Avie Luthra
The winning film is not a feel-good movie. The little boy is orphaned at the age of ten, those around him mistrust and loathe him but it is the reaction of this young boy that qualifies the film as the winner in this category. He learns not to depend much from his relatives or society but want to further this education o that he becomes a better somebody in society. His role in the film depicts the kind of men needed in society, those that do not blame circumstances for their failures but are determined to make the best out of the little that is there.
Shasha/Ingcitshi (Local Film)
1. Meso Meso (Seduced) by Brian Mhlanga
2. Makomborero (Blessings) by Leonard Nhete
Winner: Mpiyabo (Their War) by Francisca Sibanda Chamunokora
The director Francesca Sibanda Chamunokora made a brave effort to make a film that defies the stereotype of a female director. The film explores the journey of Mpiyabo a young gangster who goes to all lengths to survive. However it is more than the gangster life the filmmaker shows us but the pain of a mother caught up in her son’s life. This film is wholly Zimbabwean but can compete with the best from the region. The winner of the Shasha/Ingcitshi/Zim Experts shows that Zimbabwean filmmakers have come of age and more filmmakers will join those few who have the cut internationally.