Over the weekend the online awards: among the short films, “For Your Sake” wins on Nepal between tradition and modernity. Among the short films, “Of Not Such Great Importance” was awarded on the joys and anxieties of a young Italian expat in Berlin. Best film by Extraworks “Waiting Working Hours” where migrants waiting for the “corporal” in Brussels are interviewed and shown through the images of Google Street View.
An elderly film critic who chooses to stop watching the films and to judge them only by the poster, two Nepalese students who go to study in Japan and confront their family anchored to the rhythms of peasant life, a young Italian expat in Berlin between a present from attack and an uncertain future, migrant workers who in Brussels are waiting on the street to be picked up by a “corporal”, told through audio interviews and depersonalizing images taken from Google Street View. These are the plots of the winning films of the fifth edition of Working Title Film Festival – festival of the cinema of work, revealed on Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 October during the online awards ceremony on the festival’s Facebook page. All 59 films in competition are still available in streaming, until October 15, on the stream.workingtitlefilmfestival.it platform, and you can watch them at the time you prefer, after having signed up for a basic subscription of 20 euros.
“En busca del Óscar” – Best Feature Film
“En busca del Óscar” (“Looking for Oscar”), documentary by Spanish director Octavio Guerra Quevedo – with an Italian premiere at WTFF5 – is the best film in the feature films category (films longer than 40 minutes). This was decided by the jury made up of directors Gaia Formenti and Pierfrancesco Li Donni, “for the surgical and vivid precision of the framing and editing, for the freshness of the story and the bitter-sweet irony always in balance between identification and rejection, for the acumen of the portrait of a man at the end of his career who tries to make old age a manifesto of provocation ». Óscar Peyrou, dean of Spanish film critics and president of the main association that represents them, has in fact theorized a very particular working method: for him it is not necessary to watch films, it is enough to analyze them through their posters. The camera follows him between festivals around the world, showing his unsettling and cutting-edge releases, in a sort of permanent revolt with respect to the standardizing mechanisms of the entertainment industry.
Two special mentions were awarded in the Feature Films category: to “Malacqua” by Giuseppe Crudele (Italy) which tells the life of Anna and Salvatore, two unemployed people from the Salerno hinterland who strive to buy a car, an essential means of being able to return to work, and to Takashi Nishihara’s “Sisterhood” (Japan), a hybrid work between fiction and documentary whose protagonist, a director who is making a film about feminism, interviews young women and stages their fragmented lives: they are a rock singer, a photographer, a nude model.
“For Your Sake” – Best Short Film
“For Your Sake”, a documentary film by German director Ronja Hemm, is the winner of the short films + section (films lasting between 20 and 40 minutes). At the center of the narration are two young Nepalese who, before moving to Japan to study, spend a few days in the family home, in the mountains of Nepal, confronting their mother and grandmother. For the jurors, the Italian Francesca Bertin and the Greek Thanos Psichogios, both directors, “with particular sensitivity and refinement in the cinematic gaze, this documentary offers a moving perspective of great visual impact on the life and difficulties of three generations of Nepalese women” .
Two special mentions assigned to two fictional films: to “Cum inalti un zmeu?” (“How to fly a kite?”) By Lorand Gabor (Romania), about a Roma father and son who, while gathering wood in a forest, come across a violent policeman, and “Lugar algum” (“No Place” ) by Gabriel Amaral (Brazil), the protagonist of which has always worked and lived on a plantation and has to face the consequences of the sale, decided by the young owner.
“Of Not Such Great Importance” best film in the short films section
“Of Not Such Great Importance”, a fiction film by Belgian director Benjamin Deboosere, is the winner in the short films section. The protagonists are Davide, a young Italian who emigrated to Berlin where he makes ends meet by pasting posters to the walls, and the tramp Sebastian. The prize was awarded by the jurors, also directors, Hannah Weissenborn (Germany) and Sorayos Prapapan (Thailand), according to whom the film “reflects, in a very delicate way, the impact of globalization on young people, on relationships and on the family” .
A special mention has been assigned to “Ashmina” by Dekel Berenson (Israel): the protagonist is a Nepalese teenager forced by her family to leave school to work in the paragliding field of Pokhara, the world capital of this sport, where she folds the parachutes used by tourists in exchange for small tips.
“Waiting Working Hours” wins the Extraworks award
“Waiting Working Hours” by Ben De Raes (Belgium) is the best film in the Extraworks section, dedicated to experimental, hybrid and video art films. At the center of the work are some migrant workers who stop every morning in a Brussels street waiting for the “corporal” to collect them for the working day. The director approached them – renting a shop in the street for a few weeks and making it a small refreshment point – and collected their stories with audio interviews, then edited them with images taken from Google Street View, which accidentally captured these people waiting. obscuring their faces. For the jurors, the directors Maite Abella (Holland) and Perla Sardella (Italy), «the film plunges into human misery to portray today’s society from the point of view of the working class».
Special mention to “Var-hami” by the Italian Ilaria Pezone, the documentary portrait of Davide, a young mentalist, and a reflection on truth and falsehood, in cinema and in life.
Working Title Film Festival 5 is promoted by the association Laboratory of economic and social investigation – LIES, with the contribution of the Monte di Pietà Foundation of Vicenza, Cgil, Cisl and Uil Vicenza, the patronage of the Veneto Region and the Municipality of Vicenza and the technical partnership of the Higher School of Linguistic Mediators Vicenza – FUSP.
FEATURE FILMS / BY JURY MEMBERS GAIA FORMENTI + PIERFRANCESCO LI DONNI
Best Film: “En busca del Óscar” / “Serching For Oscar” by Octavio Guerra Quevedo (Spain, 2018, 72 ‘)
For the surgical and vivid precision of framing and editing, for the freshness of the story and the bitter-sweet irony always in balance between identification and rejection, for the acumen of the portrait of a man at the end of his career who tries to make of old age a manifesto of provocation. So that Oscar can be persecuted as he wishes, and last but not least, for the magnificent poster of the film, the award for best film goes to Octavio Guerra’s “En busca del Óscar”.
Special Mention 1: “Malacqua” by Giuseppe Crudele (Italy, 2019, 65 ‘)
For the intimacy of the story, the cleanliness of the images, the careful and skilful drawing that supports reality, for the ability to create intimacy with the characters and tell the life that pulsates in unexpected forms, a microcosm of things and gestures that also resists to the more misty and horizonless landscape. For the simplicity of a film where the search for a used car is the heart of the story and where work becomes a character, the great off-screen absentee who does not wait for us, but who determines us, special mention goes to Malacqua di Giuseppe Crudele.
Special Mention 2: “Sisterhood” by Takashi Nishihara (Japan, 2019, 87 ‘)
Through the development of a device that moves skillfully between reality and fiction, the director photographs a silent and changing world that shows the fragility of a generation ready to experience changes every day. The female universe, the true protagonist of the film, becomes the center of the entire narrative thanks to the skilful representation of the man-woman relationship continually traversed by uncertainties and awkwardness told by the director through the use of the main actor as his own alter-ego. For these reasons, the special mention of the fifth edition of the Working Title film Festival in Sisterhood by Takashi Nishihara.
SHORT FILMS / BY JURY MEMBERS Francesca Bertin + Thanos Psichogios
Best Film: “For Your Sake” by Ronja Hemm (Germany, 2019, 38 ‘)
Two young sisters from Kathmandu return to visit their native country and the time spent in the company of mother and grandmother becomes a reason for reflection on the great changes that have taken place in recent years in Nepalese society, now entirely globalized. With particular sensitivity and refinement in cinematic gaze, this documentary offers a moving perspective of great visual impact on the lives and difficulties of three generations of Nepalese women.
Special Mention 1: “Cum inalti un zmeu?” / “How To Fly A Kite” by Loránd Gábor (Romania, 2018, 27 ‘)
“How to fly a kite” stands out for its ability to create suspense in an essential set, with great attention to small gestures. The film is capable of translating the violence suffered by those too often on the fringes of society into a cinematic experience – a crude social drama about the relentless battle for the survival of the most disadvantaged.
Special Mention 2: “Lugar algum” / “No Place” by Gabriel Amaral (Brazil, 2019, 23 ‘)
Nego’s hopes of settling down vanish when his boss decides to sell the land he has worked on for years to tourists. Forced to abandon his dreams, he must find the strength to start over. A decisive, but also delicate film, about the efforts of a man who tries to maintain his dignity even when life puts him to the test.
SHORT FILMS / by jury members Hannah Weissenborn + Sorayos Prapapan
Best Film: “Of Not Such Great Importance” by Benjamin Deboosere (Belgium, Mexico, 2019, 20 ‘)
A film that reflects, in a very delicate way, the impact of globalization on young people, on relationships and on the family. The film observes, without too many words, but with a cinematographic modality in the use of sound and image composition and brings out the absurd absence of what we miss from our native country every time we set out in search of a better life in an other place. We are very happy to award the Best Short Film Award from Working Title Film Festival 2020 to Benjamin Deboosere’s “Of Not Such Great Importance”. Congratulations!
Special mention: “Ashmina” by Dekel Berenson (UK, Nepal, 2018, 15 ‘)
A film that explores the difficulties of a young woman who works hard and honestly in the tourism sector, but receives an unfair salary. The film is not only about workers’ rights, but also about the battle a woman has to fight in a society that does not allow for gender equality and how society treats young people.
EXTRAWORKS / by jury members Maite Abella + Perla Sardella
Best Film: “Waiting Working Hours” by Ben De Raes (Belgium, 2019, 16 ‘)
A story of emigration, the film explores and reveals personal stories, giving voice to lone workers or groups of workers on the street. With an intimate short film, the director captures the dramatic consequences of the decrease in jobs and the deep traces of emigration. In this silent struggle, the feeling of despair joins the images of the places, taken from Google Street View. The film plunges into human misery to portray today’s society from the point of view of the working class.
Special mention: “Var-hami” by Ilaria Pezone (Italy, 2020, 40 ‘)
Portrait of a mentalist, filmed directly, with a style of photography that is almost made up of snapshots. In this way Ilaria Pezone manages to push the boundaries of the film. The choice of unfinished, technically “imperfect” images is consistent with the subject presented: the protagonist – the mentalist – is equally urgent and spontaneous. The author questions her sincerity, so we see a film about the desperate desire to understand, to get to the character.