It took us only a few hours to fall in love with Glasgow (this “beautiful warm mess of a city” as awesome Glaswegian writer Denise Mina puts it) and even less to make our jury decision in the cosy corner of a fancy fish restaurant called Two fat ladies (though the competition definitely was one of the strongest we’ve ever had to judge).
The competition was named in honour of Bill Douglas, arguably Scotland’s greatest filmmaker (whose iconoclast work I’m now very curious about) and our task was to reward a film that “best reflects the qualities found in Douglas’ work: honesty, formal experimentation and the supremacy of image and sound in cinematic storytelling” according to festival director (and part-time bread maker) Matt Lloyd.
When I say “we”, I mean my fellow jurors Shalimar Preuss, Jacopo Chessa and I. Shalimar is a French-Canadian filmmaker who appeared to me like a heroin just coming out of a neo Victorian novel I would have liked to write and Jacopo, the director of Torino Short Film Market is a great and modern version of what is (in)famously known as “the Italian man” (DM for explanations), a chap who knows about films & food but tends to vanish in the middle of a conversation because of a terrible addiction to running.
So here it is:
Bill Douglas Award: LIMINALITY & COMMUNITAS, by Laura Rantanen (Finland)
Young director Laura Rantanen follows a man gathering roadkill from the edges of the highway. We loved how the film reveals itself gradually, playing with the boundaries between fact and fiction, life and death, civilization and its margins and thought it found a beautiful balance between what we know and see and what we feel and guess.
Special Mentions went to two films enjoying their international premiere at Glasgow:
EDGECOMBE, by Crystal Kayiza (USA)
An elegant, sensitive and powerful take on what it meant historically and still means to be black in America. A film that gives us a deeper sense on what it means to be part of humanity.
JUJUBA, by Shun Ikezoe (Japan)
In this film an exotic fruit evokes memories of family in flux. Jujuba is a poetic rendition of what is more than a childhood memory : the strange influence of a stepmother. A memory made vivid by the poetic use of color, texture and montage which reveals the powerful ways we influence each other.
I’m also delighted by the decision made by our dear funny friends from the 2019 Scottish Short Film Award: Sarah Dombrink (Acquisition Manager at interfilm Berlin Short Film Sales & Distribution), Wouter Jansen (of strategy and distribution company Some Shorts festival) and Leslie Hills (producer with Edinburgh’s Skyline Productions).
As a Bourdieu fan, mommy’s daughter and crazy card writer myself, I was very moved by the film they chose, MUM’S CARDS by Glasgow artist, filmmaker and musician Luke Fowler, whose work explores the limits and conventions of biographical and documentary filmmaking. Here are their words and I couldn’t more agree : “Mum’s Cards touches on the whole multifaceted life of Luke’s mother Bridget, a sociology lecturer at Glasgow University since the 1960s, and provides a unique insight into a time of critical change for women and society.” And I had the most unexpected chat about Bourdieu’s little secrets with Bridget at the end of the ceremony.
In other words, long live Glasgow Short Film Festival !
For making Glasgow feels like home, thank you so much Matt Lloyd, Sanne Jehoul (Producer, Programmer of the festival and so much more) and Sara Shaarawi (Festival Coordinator and a playwright whose work I wanna discover) !
More pictures obvsiously coming soon !
(Opening Picture: © Ingrid Mur)