The Amsterdam Independent Film Festival has announced the award winners for the 2018 edition.
For our inaugural edition, we were happy to share with you a great many independent films from all over the globe. We also payed tribute to the masters of the independent film industry and explore the beginnings of their creative journeys. In 2018 we looked at the early oeuvre of American arthouse pioneer Jim Jarmusch. Drawing inspiration from French New Wave directors such as Jean-Luc Godard and Jean-Pierre Melville, Jarmusch’s brooding style emphasizes mood over narrative structure, and blends American filmmaking tradition with European and Japanese influences.
These films were the lucky award winners of the 2018 edition:
The award for the best feature narrative film went to 'Songs in the Sun' (Denmark) by Kristian Sejrbo Lidegaard. On a hot summer day, Anna visits her childhood friend Julie, on the Danish island Møn, where they both grew up. Julie is obsessed with an old Danish myth and spends all her time in the forest. According to Julie's mother Sonja, Julie is depressed. Anna is there to cheer Julie up and convince her to give up her childish fantasies. But as the three women relax on the beach under a clear blue sky, Julie disappears. In the course of one single hot summer day an ancient Danish myth changes the life of three different women. Songs in the Sun is an art-house thriller, set in the dramatic landscape of the island Møn, about lost friendship and the need of spirituality and myth to cope with grief.
The prize for the best feature documentary film was for 'Vianey' (Finland) by Marko Vuorinen. 'Vianey' is an intensely personal documentary portrait about the life and hardships of the New Jersey and Bronx based underground hip hop artist Vianey Otero, also known by the stage name So Icey Trap. The film reveals the raw reality behind growing up on the streets, the lure of escorting, everyday life in jail, and being a female artist in the music industry. Vianey tells her story with unapologetic strength and honesty. Visually, the film takes the viewer on a meditative journey through the important locations of Vianey’s life.
Best Narrative Short Film award went to 'Sleep on the Tracks' (Canada) by Jasmin Mozaffari. Kat, an unemployed single mom struggles to prepare for an impending interview while also having to face the task of managing her restless young daughter Jayden, who has just returned from spending an exciting week with her father.
'The Velvet Underground Played at My High School' (United States) by Robert Pietri, Tony Jannelli was awarded as Best Documentary Short Film. This animated documentary is the story of the Velvet Underground's disastrous first public performance. While on stage for merely 20 minutes, The Velvet Underground performed three songs: 'There She Goes', 'Venus in Furs', and 'Heroin'. The Summit High School audience responded with, as a band member recalled in 1983, a 'murmur of surprise that greeted the appearance' that 'increased to a roar of disbelief as the band started to play' which'swelled to a mighty howl of outrage and bewilderment...' Half the audience walked out.
The Best Animated Film award went to 'Enough' (United Kingdom ) by Anna Mantzaris. Moments of lost self-control.
'Don’t Ask Don’t Tell' (Brazil) by Frederico Evaristo won Best Experimental Film. Just another fashion shoot in our fashion world. It is an experience about the (ab)use of the
power, in a critical self reflection of two photographers testing limits. You just have to swallow it.
Red Lights Film Award went to 'Me, documented' (United Kingdom) by Caity Lougheed. Not content with trivial photographs to remember events, a young woman seeks help from a voyeur with a video camera to document her life; every moment of it.
'Sleepers' (Netherlands) by Danny Maas won the Netherlands Cinema Now Award. When the depressed Herman wants to end his life by jumping in front of a train, he gets competition from a suicidal man. They start a competition: who is the saddest, and who deserves the approaching train.
At the Amsterdam Independent Film Festival, we focus on film. The glitz and glamour of showbusiness in the mainstream film festival circuit can sometimes detract from the true purpose of the event — the celebration of creative film-making.
The inaugural edition marks the start of a promising new story on independent artistic visions ready to take on an audience that demands a more fulfilling experience than the latest Hollywood fare. Thanks to the amazing support by Lab111, Tarkovski and Eye Institute.
See you all next year.
Official Selection 2018