2ANNAS awards: Grand Prix goes to a Ukrainian film

The awards ceremony took place on 13 April at the cultural centre Kaņepes Kultūras Centrs - Diagonāle. Awards in multiple categories (Grand Prix, best fiction, best animation, best documentary short, best Baltic short, best mid-length film) were announced during the closing ceremony of the 26th Riga International Short Film Festival 2ANNAS. Youth and children's short film competition films were judged and announced by the spectators.

Olha Zhurba’s film „Dad’s sneakers” took home the Grand Prix - bronze figurine Anna made by Latvian sculptor-designer Aigars Zemītis. The film tells a story about the 13-year-old Sasha and his last days in the boarding house. He is one of the lucky few – an American family finally adopted him. However, it seems that something or someone is holding Sasha back. The jury members highly evaluated the masterfully nuanced directing and poignantly realistic depiction of the boy’s inner sentiments.

The prize for the Best Short fiction went to the coming of age drama „Memoir of a Veering Storm” (Sofia Georgovassili, Greece). „What resonates in silence” (Marine Blin, France) took home the Best Short animation prize. Meanwhile „Granny's Sexual Life” (Urška Djukić, Émilie Pigeard, Slovenia) took home the Best Short documentary prize. The film also won Grand Prix in the recent edition of the Tampere Film Festival. 2ANNAS jury members were fascinated by the depiction of women’s role, often stigmatized in Slovenian society at the beginning of the 20th century, also highly evaluated the contrasting juxtaposition of witty animation and the archive material. 

The title of the Best Baltic short went to „Sierra” (Sander Joon, Estonia). The winner of the Baltic competition was awarded an opportunity to benefit from BBPostHouse’s post-production services, worth 2000 EUR. The title of the Best Mid-length film (30-60 min) went to „Alizava” (Andrius Žemaitis, Lithuania), which tells the story of the orphan girl Alizava and her father, whose soul inhabits various things. Note that screening mid-length films are rather unusual practice among short film festivals.

The jury’s special mention went to „The police estate” (Antoine Dubos, France) and „Eyes and Horns” (Chaerin Im, South Korea). Meanwhile, the animation film „The Fox” (Dominik Girod, Britt Abrecht, Germany) won the best title in the International Children's Short Film Competition whereas „Only a child” (Simone Giampaolo, Swiss) was the laureate of the International Youth Short Film Competition. A special prize, given by the golf club „Viesturi” went to Elza Gauja’s film „Lockdown” (Komandantstunda).

Films were judged by an international jury – Olga Gusiatynska (programmer and the head of the translation department of the Kyiv International Short Film Festival, UA), Joni Männistö (animation director and the artistic director of the Turku Animated Film Festival, FI) and Adriāna Roze (film directress, LV).

The 2ANNAS team wants to thank all the collaborators and partners, namely, BBPostHouse for providing the Baltic film competition winner with valuable prizes and our media partner Radio NABA for spreading the word around. We wish to thank the venues that hosted our events – Kaņepes Kultūras centrs - Diagonāle, KSuns cinema hall and the RSU Anatomy Museum. Our gratitude also goes to The Centre of Creative Learning (CCL) “Annas 2”, MÁDARA Organic Skincare, „Orkla” and golf club „Viesturi”. We are thankful for the enormous hospitality and support expressed by Avalon Hotel & Conferences, Hotel Viktorija, folk club „Ala”, „Mūrbūdas” cider.

2ANNAS is organized by film studio „Urga” and financially supported by The State Culture Capital Foundation and The National Film Centre of Latvia.