The festival takes place in the beautiful island of Syros, in the heart of the Cyclades, between 4 days. I arrived late on a Thursday evening, and I had 3 days of films, sun and fresh fish to enjoy with the other great members of the jury, Juergen Haas, Patrick Smith and Eva Stefani. Juergen is a professor in animation at the university of Luzern, in Switzerland, while Patrick teaches at the NYU and in Singapore and Eva teaches Theatre Studies in the University of Athens.
Although our main occupation was watching the films, we had the opportunity to take a dip in the Aegean, and have some nice meals together in the sun. We only wished the festival was slightly longer so we could have enjoyed a few more days of summer...!
Thankfully, we all agreed on which films we wanted to award, and so we gave the prizes to the following filmmakers: The Best Student Film was awarded to Korean film maker Song E Kim, for her film 'Bite of the Tail', produced in the US. We thought that the design of the film was fantastic, but also the use of symbolism and the atmosphere that Song created was wonderful. We also loved '366 Days' by Johannes Schiehsl, produced in Germany, but as we could only award one film, we had to give him the Honourable Mention for Student Film. I personally could have given that film the Grand Prix, as it was so complete, honest and simple. I hope Johannes puts the full film up online soon for us to watch it again as it is a real treat!
The Best International Film was awarded to a film that made us laugh like no other in the festival, due to its wonderfully appropriate context and its simple and effective humour. The film is called 'A Furtive Tear' and is a US production by Carlo Vorgele. Finally, we awarded the Honourable Mention to a French and Canadian production by Frank Dion, 'Edmond was a donkey', which had such a subtle design and rhythm, and was so beautiful and powerful. Finally, we awarded an honourable mention to Eleni Miltsi for her film 'Abeyance'.
Here are some pictures from our lovely time in Syros, with the guys from the Jury and Maria Anestopoulou, the festival organizer.