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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“TIFF doesn’t make attendance numbers for its Lightbox screenings publicly available, so it’s difficult to gauge exactly how many filmgoers the Lightbox is attracting (or how much money it’s bringing in). But the King Street West venue hasn’t become a significant draw for film enthusiasts. The Lightbox’s attendance has plunged – 49,000 fewer visitors last year, a drop of 27 per cent, according to figures recently reported in the Toronto Star. Its gallery space – designed to showcase the visions of cinema’s most iconic filmmakers – saw most of its exhibitions staff quietly axed this past fall. And its marketing barely escapes the Lightbox’s walls. Unless you are a TIFF member or one of the city’s most avid filmgoers, you could walk by the Lightbox and remain blissfully unaware of a single thing that goes on inside. TIFF “still has a world-class brand,” said Barry Avrich, a filmmaker and former board member, “but it’s going to take some fresh vision from retail, consumer programming and marketing experts, given how the lines have become intensely blurred when it comes to how people watch film. They will have to experiment with programming to find the right blend of function and relevance.”
~ Globe & Mail Epic On State of Toronto Int’l (paywalled)

“I’m 87 years old… I only eat so I can smoke and stay alive… The only fear I have is how long consciousness is gonna hang on after my body goes. I just hope there’s nothing. Like there was before I was born. I’m not really into religion, they’re all macrocosms of the ego. When man began to think he was a separate person with a separate soul, it created a violent situation.

“The void, the concept of nothingness, is terrifying to most people on the planet. And I get anxiety attacks myself. I know the fear of that void. You have to learn to die before you die. You give up, surrender to the void, to nothingness.

“Anybody else you’ve interviewed bring these things up? Hang on, I gotta take this call… Hey, brother. That’s great, man. Yeah, I’m being interviewed… We’re talking about nothing. I’ve got him well-steeped in nothing right now. He’s stopped asking questions.”
~ Harry Dean Stanton