By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

Reykjavík Int’l Film Fest Golden Puffin To Beasts Of The Southern Wild

PRESS RELEASE                                                                                                   06.10.12                     

The Golden Puffin Awarded Tonight

The Reykjavík International Film Festival has its closing ceremony tonight, although one day remains of the festival which ends tomorrow night, Sunday, with a secret screening. The award ceremony takes place in Harpa Music Hall tonight at 20:00. The festival’s main prize, the Golden Puffin, is awarded to one film out of the twelve selected for the competitive category New Visions. The FIPRESCI Critics’ Prize, the Church of Iceland Award, the Audience Award, the Environment Awards, the Best Icelandic Short and the Golden Egg Encouragement Award are also presented.

Golden Puffin. Awarded to a film from the section New Visions 

Beasts of the Southern Wild

Dir. Benh Zeitlin USA, 2012 

“For its spirit of storytelling, visual inventiveness and creative audacity, which marks Benh Zeitlin as a leading figure for the next generation of independent film artists.

We would also like to award a special mention to a film whose simple pleasures do, by its wit and craft, capture the imagination of young and old alike: Moon Man, directed by Stephan Schesch.”

On the jury: Geoffrey Gilmore, Cedomir Kolar and Erna Kettler.

***

FIPRESCI Critics’ Award. Awarded to a film from the section New Visions.

Starlet

Dir. Sean Baker

USA, 2012

On the jury: Carmen Gray, Christian Monggaard Christensen and Wieslaw Godzic.

***

The Church of Iceland Award. Awarded to a film from the section New Visions.

God’s Neighbours (Ha-Masgihim)

Dir. Meni Yaesh

Israel/France, 2012

“God’s Neighbors is a memorable exploration of the relation between religion and justice, violence and love. It gives insight to contemporary religious practices of orthodox Jews. It illustrates the joy of faith in juxtaposition with violence that is done in the name of faith. God’s Neighbors approaches sensitive topics with nuance and respect. The film contributes to increased understanding of religion in daily life as well as religion in conflict. It, furthermore, reminds us of the contribution of the individual and of the co-operation of men and women. It takes a firm stand against violence in the name of religion and shows a way out of conflict.”

A special mention goes to the film Moon Man, directed by Stephan Schesch:  “Moon Man is a beautiful parable that shows friendship and co-operation as the opposites of greed and power-plays.”

On the jury: Rev. Árni Svanur Daníelsson, Grétar Halldór Gunnarsson and Rev. María Ágústsdóttir.

***

Audience Award. Online vote in co-operation with mbl.is.

Queen of Montreuil

Dir. Sólveig Anspach

France, 2012

                                                 ***

Environment Award. Awarded to a film in the section A Different Tomorrow

¡Vivan las Antipodas!

Dir. Viktor Kossakovsky

Germany, Argentina, Netherlands, Chile, 2011

“In Vivan las Antipodas!, Victor Kossakovsky has managed to create a film that is original and at the same time classic. Furthermore, the film portrays the directors sensitive eye for poetry and beauty. ¡Vivan las Antipodas! is a subtle yet sublime film where the beauty of our world flows gently before the audiences’ eyes, under an original and interesting choice of music. Unusual use of camera is in perfect harmony with the inspiration: “Through the looking glass.””

On the jury: Árni Finsson, Helena Stefánsdóttir og Tinna Ottesen.

***

Best Icelandic Short. Awarded to a short in the section Icelandic Panorama.

Sailcloth

Dir. Elfar Aðalsteins

Iceland/UK, 2011.

“The subject of the movie, the directing and production are practically flawless. Sailcloth, a film without any dialogue, accomplishes to transmit humor, sorrow, joy and magic with pure visuals.”

Special mentions go to:

A day or two (Einn dag eða tvo)

by Hlynur Pálmason

“The director accomplishes to create an atmosphere that is uncomfortable and vulnerable, where the audience, like the child in the movie, are helpless pawns in violent circumstances.”

Love Story (Ástarsaga)

by Ása Hjörleifsdóttir

“Well produced and interesting contemporary story about the uncertainties of love. The story evolves without effort. Great performance by the lead actress.”

Memory Lane (Yfir horfinn veg)

 

by Andri Freyr Ríkarðsson

“A sincere and beautiful story about the friendship of a cab driver and an older lady, a simple story with charming main characters.”

Child Eater (Barnahákur)

“A first class, refreshing horror film that got the audience jumping and screaming in their seats, well done!”

On the jury: Dögg Mósesdóttir, Ísleifur Þórhallsson and Sæmundur Norðfjörð.

***

Golden Egg. Awarded to a participant in RIFF’s Talent Lab.

On this Island

Dir. Matthew Hammett Knott

Bretland

“On this Island is witty, simple and very well made. The story itself is a great approach to the complicated situation we are all living in today.”

On the jury: Ólafur Darri Ólafsson, Elísabet Ronaldsdóttir and Örn Marinó Arnarson.

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The Atlantic: You saw that the Academy Awards recently held up your 2001 acceptance speech as the Platonic ideal of an Oscar speech. Did you have a reaction?

Soderbergh: Shock and dismay. When that popped up and people started texting me about it, I said, “Oh, it’s too bad I’m not there to tell the story of how that took place.” Well. I was not sober at the time. And I had nothing prepared because I knew I wasn’t going to win [Best Director for Traffic]. I figured Ridley, Ang or Daldry would win. So I was hitting the bar pretty hard, having a great night, feeling super-relaxed because I don’t have to get up there. So the combination of a 0.4 blood alcohol level and lack of preparation resulted in me, in my state of drunkenness crossed with adrenaline surge. I was coherent enough to know that [if I tried to thank everyone], that way lies destruction. So I went the other way. There were some people who appreciated that, and there were some people who really wanted to hear their names said, and I had to apologize to them.
~ Steven Soderbergh

 

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Agnes Varda