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Russian animation wins International Grand Prix at Tampere Film Festival

Tampere staged its 44th annual Film Festival this weekend, the oldest film festival in the Nordic countries focused on short films. Bum-bum doch’ rybaka (2013), an animated short film by Russian Ivan Maximov, won the International Grand Prix for its depiction of a lonely fisherman and a baby elephant.

Hannes Vartiainen (vas.) ja Pekka Veikkolainen vastaanottavat Tampereen elokuvajuhlien kotimaisen alle 30-minuuttisten elokuvien sarjan voiton dokumentistaan Hätäkutsu Tampereella 9. maaliskuuta.
Hannes Vartiainen (l.) and Pekka Veikkolainen won an award for their under-30 minute film 'Emergency Calls'. Image: Viena Kytöjoki / Lehtikuva

The jury members stated that Bum-bum doch’ rybaka “is powerful because it is a very human and pure animated film, with a beautiful simplicity and incredibly touching and poetic images that stay in the mind for a long, long time...”

The category prize for best fiction film was nominated to Quelqu’un d’extraordinaire (2013), directed by Canadian Monia Chokri. Beach Boy by Emil Langballen received the prize for best documentary film, and Moonshine by Polish Michal Poniedzieslki was awarded best animation. The Hungarian fiction Fal, directed by Simon Szabo, received the EFA Tampere nomination, meaning the film gets to compete in the best short film category at the European Film Awards.

In addition, the jury awarded three films with Diplomas of Merit in each category: the South Korean short documentary Haegeumni (2012) by Joon-su Seong; a Serbian animated film Rabbitland (2013) directed by Ana Nedeljkovic and Nikola Majdak Jr; and Sahim Omar Kalifa's fiction Baghdad Messi (2013).

The International Jury members were Gabriel Gauchet, the 2013 Grand Prix winner from France, South African filmmaker Riaan Hendricks, Till Nowak from Germany, Finnish director Virpi Suutari, and Latvian festival coordinator Anna Veilande-Kustikova. 

National competition: quality documentaries with plenty of soul

The winner of the national competition's under-30 minutes category was Emergency Calls, an experimental documentary film by the prodigies Hannes Vartiainen and Pekka Veikkolainen. The jury described the film as “a unique expression of the most private feelings of a human in need of help. It gives the sense of urgency without sensationalism. Image and sound complement each other perfectly and leave no soul untouched.”

The special prize in the under-30 minutes category was handed out to No Time for Toes, an animated film by Kari Pieskä which also received the Student Prize. Garden Lovers, a documentary by Virpi Suutari, won the main prize in the over-30 minutes category, with the special prize presented to Pixadores.
Diplomas of Merit were granted to Pia Andell's feature documentary The Patron and the short documentary Santra and the Talking Trees by Miia Tervo. The national jury duties were carried out by Taina Ronkainen, Antti Selkokari and Jing Haase.

The Risto Jarva Prize was granted to Hamy Ramezan's Keys of Heaven. “The story is told in a controlled way. Like any good film does, it provokes emotions, thoughts, and questions. The casting and the directing of actors are excellent and very convincing. The director keeps the technical and artistic execution in control throughout the film”, the jury argued. 

The Festival's youth jury also announced Keys of Heaven as their favourite film. In addition they awarded Behind the Curtain by Teemu Nikki with a Diploma of Merit. The youth jury members were local high school students Waltteri Kivelä, Mimi Mylly, Mikke Palvanen and Rasmus Toppari.

By Sunday morning, 22 screenings of the Festival's films were sold out. Audiences were especially intrigued by both the international and national competition screenings and Hopper Stories, a collection of short films inspired by Edward Hopper's paintings. All three Hopper Stories screenings were sold out. In addition, two screenings dedicated to Till Nowak, as well as the feature-length documentaries Punk in Africa and Ai Weiwei’s The Fake Case were sold out.


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