- The Prague part of Mezipatra Queer Film Festival, which has introduced 64 films focusing on queer issues, is finishing today.
- The Main Jury Award goes to The Ornithologist by Portuguese director João Pedro Rodrigues, the prize for the best short has been awarded to Norwegian Thanks for Dancing.
- 7.000 viewers and guests from eight countries all over the world visited the festival in one week.
Winner of the main award
The Main Jury Award for the Best Feature Film has been awarded to The Ornithologist (O Ornitólogo) by the acclaimed director João Pedro Rodrigues. Created in Portuguese-French-Brazilian co-production, the film is a visionary and cinematically breathtaking essay mapping the unusual journey of ornithologist Fernando through wild Portuguese nature. It utilizes homoerotic elements as well as Catholic symbolism and references to the lives of saints.
The jury, which consisted of Šárka Gmiterková, a film publicist and a doctoral student at the Department of Film Studies and Audiovisual Culture at the Faculty of Arts of Masaryk University in Brno, Canadian director and photographer Bruce LaBruce, and Karel Och, the artistic director of Karlovy Vary IFF, has awarded the prize to the film for “its daring conflation of sexual fetish and spiritual transcendence, for its visually striking depiction of nature expressed as one of the crucial characters of the film, and for its complex and innovative film style combined with an unexpected sense of ironic humor.”
The winning film can be seen again in Světozor cinema onThursday, 10th November, at 20:30.
Short film winners
At the festival's Prague part, 7.000 visitors altogether could choose from 64 films; apart from ten feature films in the main competition, there were six documentaries, four films in the retrospective section, and a special screening of Bruce LaBruce's Hustler White.
The selection was completed by seven blocks of short films. The best ones have been chosen by a student jury consisting of the artist, curator and publicist Markéta Garai (AVU), a member of Prague Pride marketing and PR team Matouš Harman (Faculty of Arts, Charles University), and Piaoyu Xie (FAMU), a director, writer, translator, photographer and visual artist.
The award for the Best Short Film has been awarded to Thanks for Dancing (Takk for turen) by Norwegian Henrik Martin Dahlsbakken, which enchanted the jury with “its tenderness and subtlety. Its portrayal of a relationship of two men who have had a long and happy life together and are now facing the fact that one of them will soon pass away is truly exceptional.” The trio appreciated the film's easy flow, the visual side, the narrative approach and performances of both main actors, Stein Winge and Jan Malmsjö.
Special Mention has been awarded to Raniya by Danish Sidsel Møller Johnsen, which captivated the student jury with its unique atmosphere and aesthetic qualities. “The authentic depiction of the main protagonist's inner world as she experiences her first love draws the viewers into the story and imprints its emotions on them. Enthralled by the charming shots and smooth narrative style, we do not even realize that the footage is slightly over the limit of short films,” the jury agreed.
Awards by Dechem studio
All the winners of main awards will be awarded a mirror in which they might see themselves as winners. “It is some kind of vanity, in a way – the winners thus can appreciate themselves,” explain Michaela Tomišková and Jakub Janďourek from Dechem studio, which has designed the awards.
The concept reacted to Johana Švarcová's festival trailer. “We liked the idea of placing a vanity mirror within the carefree afternoon with a cat. The pastime of watching yourself in a mirror fit beautifully,” they describe. “The mirror also reflects the topic of this year's festival, The Limits of Liberty, when our perception is physically limited by glass, mirror, but we actually observe also the world beyond or examine ourselves.”
Guests from abroad
The Prague part of Mezipatra welcomed numerous guests from abroad. Apart from Canadian Bruce LaBruce, there were also Israeli director Michal Vinik, who introduced her romance Barash, Daphna Keenan, who wrote the film's music, and Händl Klaus, an Austrian scriptwriter and director who directed drama Tomcat (Kater).
Nneka Onuorah came from New York to introduce her documentary debut The Same Difference, and Rhys Ernst, who has been focusing on trans* representation in film and media, came from Los Angeles. He personally opened the exhibition of his Relationship photographic series, examples of his web series We've Been Around and This Is Me, and also of the successful Transparent series which he produces.
A special project bordering between an installation and performance was prepared for Mezipatra by the creative collective of CHEAP Kollektiv from Berlin, represented by Susanne Sachße, Vaginal Davis, Mark Siegel and Daniel Hendrickson. As many as four filmmakers came to introduce their short films: French Arthur Cahn, Israeli Shaked Goren, and Roberto F. Canuto and Xiaoxi Xu, a Spanish-Chinese directing duo.
Mezipatra continue in Brno and regions
Starting tomorrow, the festival will continue in Brno, ending on Friday, 18th November. The opening ceremony with the screening of Tomcat starts at 19:00 in Scala cinema. Apart from film screenings, visitors in Brno can look forward to a rich accompanying program consisting of discussions, lectures, special screenings, workshops, a theatre performance, and also three parties and the popular speed-dating. The winner of the audience award will be announced at the closing ceremony in Brno.
After the main festival finishes, festival echoes in regions will follow as usual. Olomouc will host the event for the tenth time, this year from 22nd to 26th November, Ostrava is planned for Saturday, 3rd December, and Hradec Králové from 8th to 9th December.
Ticket sale for other parts of the festival at theatre box offices and online, more information on the festival's website.
Prague 3rd – 10th November
Brno 11th – 18th November
regions: Olomouc 22nd – 26th November, Hradec Králové 8th – 9th December
Visuals 2016 – photo Michaela Karásek Čejková, graphic design Marius Corradini / Side 2
Complete program and information: www.mezipatra.cz
Film trailers and other videos here
PRESS materials and festival and film photos for download:
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