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Published —

15
July
2023

31st Curtas Vila do Conde Awards

The big winners of the 31st Curtas Vila do Conde are already known. Congratulations to all!

The International Competition has been part of the Curtas Vila do Conde programme since the festival's first edition in 1993, showcasing the best that has been made in short films worldwide. Over time, other competitive sections have been added, with new and old names in cinema. The big winners of the 31st Curtas Vila do Conde are already known. Congratulations to all!


— INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION

· GRAND PRIX + EFA CANDIDATE

The Birthday Party, Francesco Sossai

[DCN Beers Award]


Amongst the richness of voices that we were lucky enough to discover, a film stood out by its very simplicity and total faith in the power of cinema. A place, a time and a complex memory are brought to life in a masterful blend of naturalism, magic and humor. Childhood is suddenly unearthed, with its joy, violence, thirst for belonging and dread of the adult world.  We won’t forget the freckled face of its character and its iconic disappearing grandma. We are very happy to award the Grand Prize of Vila do Conde 2023 and the EFA candidacy to THE BIRTHDAY PARTY by Francesco Sossai.


· BEST ANIMATION

Zoopticon, John Frickey, Thies Mynther, Sandra Trostel


An origin story that you haven’t seen before with the highest quality of the craft. The storyline possesses a lighthearted tone that is also deeply rooted in grand philosophical and political questions on countries, identities, memory and history. The astounding sound work and original songs heavily contribute to the creation of this kawaii-like cosmogony. So for its existential reflection on mankind through an animated outer space musical, the award for Best Animation of the International Competition goes to ZOOPTICON by Jon Frickey, Thies Mynther and Sandra Trostel.


· BEST DOCUMENTARY

The Veiled City, Natalie Cubides-Brady


Through meticulously chosen fragments and dreamlike archival footage of this well-known city, a cautionary tale about industrialisation unfolds before us. A timeless voice is taking us on a sci-fi time travel odyssey to an unavoidable future. The eerie and delicate editing mixed with heartfelt narrated letters bewitched us in this poetic yet dark subject matter that is climate change. For this humble and experimental approach to documentary cinema, the award for Best Documentary of the International Competition goes to THE VEILED CITY by Natalie Cubides-Brady.


· BEST FICTION

I Saw the Face of the Devil, Julia Kowalski


The powerful narrative gives us a fresh perspective on a familiar genre and takes us on a journey through eerie woods and cold churches, with strong characters marked by anxieties and self repression. The young protagonist delivers an unforgettable performance, both luminous and haunting. Glances full of desire, a contorting face and body, a captivating soundtrack. These are images and sounds that will stay with us for a long time. The award for Best Fiction of the International Competition goes to I SAW THE FACE OF THE DEVIL by Julia Kowalski.


· AUDIENCE AWARD

2720, Basil da Cunha

[Fricon Award]



— NATIONAL COMPETITION

· BEST PORTUGUESE FILM

Human Nature, Mónica Lima

[Escola das Artes Univ. Católica and Pixel Bunker Awards]


A work that stands out for the beauty of its images and the depth of its silences. Directed from a moving understanding of human nature, the interpretations as well as the sensuality of the frames drag us into the core of a community that observes a vanishing world, where the bond sown becomes the most necessary nourishment. A delicate portrait that takes us into the inner landscapes that a grieving couple goes through. The Jury awards the Best Portuguese Short Film Award to NATUREZA HUMANA by Monica Lima.


· BEST PORTUGUESE DIRECTOR

Basil da Cunha, 2720

[Pulsar Studios Award]


Due to the solvency of the narrative tempo, the layout of light and the mise en scène, the story becomes a meandering dance of meetings and poetic discoveries that portrays the relationships and characters of the daily life of a community. Throughout the film, the frame is making us focus on what’s inside while the ubiquitous sound is there to make us remember the constant external threats that they face everyday. For the well-mastered and clever camera that penetrates and reveals a place he calls home, the award for best Portuguese director goes to BASIL DA CUNHA for 2720. 


· AUDIENCE AWARD

Human Nature, Mónica Lima

[Sociedade Portuguesa de Autores Award]



— EXPERIMENTAL COMPETITION

The Secret Garden, Nour Ouayda

[Centro de Arte Oliva Award]


The prize for best film in the Experimental Section of Curtas Vila do Conde goes to a film that weaves together the style of an old tale with science fiction tropes, by way of an elegant use of handheld camera and narrative. Structured in chapters that unfold both like an investigation into a vegetal conspiracy and a personal existential crisis, the film The Secret Garden, by Nour Ouayada, presents itself as a solid proposal to think about plant life, community, and solitude in the city.



— TAKE ONE

· BEST FILM

1/2=1, Luísa Alegre

[Showreel, IPDJ, Restart Awards]


For its plastical expression, awareness of film  and its processes.


· BEST DIRECTOR

Catarina Gonçalves, Até que Tenha Fôlego

[Blit Award]


For the look on women who live both on quietness as well as in a community.


· SPECIAL MENTION

Vanette, Maria Beatriz Castelo


For a narrative that communicates through silence in the characters' journey.


— MUSIC VIDEO COMPETITION

Surma – Islet, Telmo Soares


For the meticulous visual, for the sensitivity of a theme that follows the protagonist's path of experiencies and transformation.



— CURTINHAS

WINNER 

O Carrossel, Augusto Schillaci


1st Special Mention

Canário, Pierre-Hugues Dallaire, Benoit Therriault


2nd Special Mention

O Que se Passa com o Tempo, Irene Iborra


— MY GENERATION

Invincible, Vincent René-Lortie

[Auto Bemguiados Award]


— NEW SHORT FILM PROJECTS (CURTAS PRO)

As Minhas Sensações são Tudo o que Tenho para Oferecer, Isadora pedro Neves Marques

[Blit Award]

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