News Announcing The Winners of The 18th Pragueshorts film festival. Catch Selected Films Online at KVIFF.TV until March 17th

Published: March 04, 2024| 08:46 AM

The juries of the Pragueshorts film festival, organized by a team from the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, have chosen their winners. Triumphing in the International Competition is the French-Japanese film Oyu, an existential meditation set at a traditional onsen bath. The jury’s two Special Mentions go to the Philippines’ Cross My Heart and Hope to Die and to director Daria Kashcheeva’s Electra, which uses surreal visuals to talk about a young woman’s traumas. Electra was also named Best Film by the National Competition jury, which voted entirely independently of the jury in the International Competition. Special Mention went to Greta Stocklassa’s mockumentary Buzz of the Earth and Petr Pylypčuk’s drama Eight Day. In the Labo section for experimental films, the winner was AliEN0089 by Chilean director Valerie Hofmann, and Special Mention went to the Total Refusal artists’ collective for Kinderfilm. Every year, the Pragueshorts festival also presents an Audience Award, which this year went to the British animated short Curiosa. On Sunday 3 March, the festival moves online to KVIFF.TV, where fifty-five of the films from the festival program (including most of the winning entries) will be available for streaming until 17 March.

The international jury of the 18th Pragueshorts film festival consisted of actress Eliška Křenková, creative producer Barbora Mudrová, and screenwriter and director Dylan Holmes Williams. The jury recognized three of the twenty-seven films in competition. The award for Best Film, which comes with a financial prize of 3,000 euros, went to director Atsushi Hirai’s French-Japanese film Oyu. “This deeply human film tells a subtle yet compelling story. We were deeply moved by this powerful work and we cannot wait to see what surprise director Atsushi Hirai has in store for us next,” the jury wrote in its official statement. One Special Mention went to the Czech film Electra, which the jury appreciated for “tackling a difficult subject matter in a sensitive and attractive way.” The second Special Mention was presented to the Philippines’ drama Cross My Heart and Hope to Die, “a cleverly woven story, beautifully rendered with bold and enigmatic wide shots The production design is impeccable, the performances are sensitive – all in all, a masterful work from a director to watch,” stated the jury.​

Electra as the winning film in the National Competition

Electra is an inspirational film in which animation is mixed with live action in an unconventional and creative manner to create an unusually composed and multi-layered work of cinema. It is a film that evokes within us a positive feeling of envy,” stated the National Competition jury consisting of festival programmer Enrico Vannucci, editor Bartosz Pietras, and filmmaker Izabela Plucinska. For Electra, the awards follow on a long line of domestic and foreign successes: the film had its world premiere at the Cannes film festival, was awarded at festivals in Toronto and Ottawa, and has been nominated for a Magnesia Award for Best Student Film as part of this year’s Czech Lion Awards. Special Mention in the National Competition went to two films. Greta Stocklassa’s documentary Buzz of the Earth impressed the jury by “Masterfully mixing cinema and meta-cinema, reflecting on and mocking what the lack of discussion and dialogue has led us to become as human beings living in an interconnected global society.” The jury appreciated Petr Pylypčuk’s Eight Day "for relying on unspoken words and simple but beautiful and meaningful images that create and subtle atmosphere, and for tackling an uncommon and unusual subject for Czech cinema.” The National Competition’s award for Best Film comes with a financial prize of 2,000 euros.

Awards in the Labo section go to AliEN0089 and Kinderfilm

Each year, the Labo competition section presents fresh and innovative approaches to cinematic language and forms of storytelling. The jury – musician Monika Omerza Midriaková, writer Petr Šesták, and designer Ivana Kocmanová – presented the Best Film award to Chilean director Valerie Hofmann’s  AliEN0089, a film set on the line between the real and virtual worlds. „Despite their diversity, the experimental layering and interwoven planes of form and content produce a coherent whole. The film’s message about the self and about a society that exists in neither the virtual nor the real world but at their place of intersection, at their vaguely defined boundaries, is an unsettling reflection of our reality,“ the jury wrote in its statement. Special Mention went to Kinderfilm by the Total Refusal artists’ collective. „The gaming environment of GTA becomes a humorous and chilling metaphor for empty lives in which something is missing, but it’s definitely not cars. Fortunately, in a world where everyone dances mechanically only with themselves, we can still find a hero who is looking for something,” the jury stated.

Online part of the festival runs on KVIFF.TV until 17 March.

The online part of the Pragueshorts film festival starts on Sunday 3 March and runs until 17 March. On KVIFF.TV, you can catch fifty-five of the films from the festival program, including Oyu (winner in the International Competition), Audience Award-winner Curiosa, and Buzz of the Earth and Eighth Day, which won Special Mention in the National Competition. “The longest film of the 800 titles available on KVIFF.TV is 337 minutes long. We realize that that’s not for everyone. Which is why we are glad that for the next two weeks we can present fifty-five remarkable short-form films, including most of the winners, to the subscribers of KVIFF.TV,” says Ivo Andrle, CEO of KVIFF.TV. A monthly subscription to KVIFF.TV is available for CZK 160.


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