INTERNATIONAL JURY PRIZE: "143 SAHARA STREET"
Title: 143 rue du désert
Director: Hassen Ferhani
Duration: 1h 40
Country: Algeria, Franța, Qatar
In the sandy heart of the Sahara, there lies an unlikely oasis of light: the shop-café of a solitary woman, who lives her life surrounded by the expanse of the desert and a few domestic animals. But her existence is anything but empty: every day, travelers stop by in the modest, scantily furnished concrete shelter for a coffee, an omelette, or simply for the sake of pleasant confirmation. The woman’s cheerful and sometimes contradictory spirit is the mark of her charm, her magnetism that attracts both foreigners, and familiar guests, to whom she is equally friendly, even though she can sense lies and she doesn’t let anyone off the hook, maintaining her merciless critical lucidity. Hassen Ferhani’s camera is never intrusive and keeps a certain distance from the characters, allowing them space that is ideal for conversation and playfulness. In fact, this whimsicality sometimes reveals itself in unexpected forms, in the tender gestures towards the cat or in such scenes as the one with the prison game with one of the visitors, using the same minimalist space, a wall and a barred window. Malika is an example of stone-hard femininity, without making her any less gentle. (by Andreea Chiper)
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AUDIENCE AWARD: "JUST DON'T THINK I'LL SCREAM"
Title: Ne croyez surtout pas que je hurle
Director: Frank Beauvais
Duration: 1h 14
In the world of cinema it is said that films are made of films, but Frank Beauvais takes this to a literal extreme: his documentary is a compilation of shots from 400 other movies, a film-loving map tracing out the route to depression and confusion. After a break-up, Beauvais finds himself in an existential crisis, with no job and in a worsening state of financial hardship, and takes refuge in Alsace, a small town in quasi-isolation from civilization, surrounded by nature and far from the clamor and conflicts of the capital. His reclusion is almost absolute, while his small country house becomes a shell for the director to retreat into a simple life, in which his daily routine involves no more than a few mundanities and, above all, many movies, day and night. But from this compulsive cinephilia there is no easy way out: he experiences all social events — the riots in Paris, the terrorist attacks, etc. — as though in a trance, contemplating them with concern, but remaining passive.
From various film excerpts, the voice-over breathlessly weaves together a diary, a chronicle of his months of isolation, melting together memories, anxieties and furtive moments of beauty. (by Andreea Chiper)
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