The Amsterdam Independent Film Festival is pleased to share with you the award winners after a successful second edition.
Like last year, we've also payed tribute to the masters of the independent film industry and explore the beginnings of their creative journeys. In 2019 we’ve looked at the work of underground pioneer David Lynch. David Keith Lynch (born January 20, 1946) is an American filmmaker, painter, musician, actor, and photographer. He is best known for acclaimed films such as Eraserhead (1977), Blue Velvet (1986) and Mulholland Drive (2001), regarded by some critics as among the best films of their respective decades, and for his successful 1990–91 television series Twin Peaks, which led to him being labeled "the first popular surrealist" by noted film critic Pauline Kael. A recipient of an Academy Honorary Award in 2019, he has received three academy award nominations for Best Director, and has won France's César Award for Best Foreign Film twice, as well as the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival and a Golden Lion Award for lifetime achievement at the Venice Film Festival. He has been described by The Guardian as "the most important director of this era", while Allmovie called him "the renaissance man of modern American filmmaking".
The 2019 award winners were the following:
The award for the Best Feature Narrative Film went to '3 - nil' (Greece) by Boris Stout. Manolis, a happily married, successful young merchant banker seems more inhibited than inspired by his success and hopes that Irida, the rebellious artist that runs a local hipster bar can somehow save his soul. He wants a change. Irida is weary of a life lived on the margins; she is tired of the squalor of her shared apartment, tired of her stoner musician boyfriend bullying her for cash and selfish sex, tired of a job that gives her no time for art and insufficient money for rent. She wants a change.
The prize for the Best Feature Documentary Film was for 'Wognum' (Netherlands) by Tim Bary. Mathijs is 42 years old and an avid member of the hardcore world. A life of raving, taking pills and jumping up and down and up and down. A rough and harsh life at first sight, but Matthijs found warmth there, warmth he couldn’t find elsewhere. Having had a difficult childhood, with parents who didn’t believe in his dream, he discovered a different world in the hardcore scene. An answer for his loneliness, a place where he felt understood. Unfortunately life is not an ever ongoing party, and Matthijs’ loneliness comes back to haunt him again. This affects his relationship with his friend René, and not knowing what to do he locks himself up in his attic during the day, dreaming of his long lost passion to become a world class pianist. He decides to pick up the pieces and bring back life in his piano playing fingers again.
Best Narrative Short Film award went to 'Love' (Canada) by Benoit Ouellet. The friendship between Sam and Mathieu ends.
'Pain is Mine' (Australia) by Farshid Akhlaghi was awarded as Best Documentary Short Film. One day, One room, One take. After her spinal surgery, she was always in pain, intense pain, unendurable pain. Painkillers have been her refuge for a long time, but one day, she decided to stop.
The Best Animated Film award went to 'How Countries Fight Their Wars' (Netherlands) by Thomas Loopstra, Maurice Baltissen.
'White Male' (United States) by Jared Hogan won Best Experimental Film. A brief portrait of a young man's interior world as he spirals from hypothetical to physical violence.
Red Lights Film Award went to 'Ophelia' (France) by Eric Du Bellay. At night, a woman at different ages loves, suffers and frees herself. She's called Ophelia.
'Invitation' (Netherlands) by Sjoerd Martens won the Netherlands Cinema Now Award. “We are constantly leaving traces of our existence behind in our surroundings but we also have the urge to erase them as quickly as possible. They normally do not capture our attention, either because of their everydayness or perceived ugliness. The hidden beauty and purity of the human traces are what I want to immortalize so that they can be experienced differently and infinitely. Consequently, the subjects are no longer taken for granted. It is thus reminiscent of archeology, but with a different purpose and an unconventional mean.” Martens’ sees his work as a sculpture of our legacy. The areas he creates are characterized by past human presence, current abandonedness and future uncertainty. The human traces as still life are brought to a new breathing environment through multidisciplinarity and atypical narrative techniques. The manipulated mise-en-scène forms a post-apocalyptic, semi-surreal microcosm that includes physical and non-physical signs of our mortality. This haven is solely palpable and is comparable to past childhood dreams, or dissociation from one’s environment or self.
At the Amsterdam Independent Film Festival, we focus on film. The glitz and glamour of showbusiness in the mainstream film festival can sometimes detract from the true purpose of the event — the celebration of creative film-making.
The 2nd edition marks the most popular edition to date, 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, Parool, Tarkovski, Film Constellation, EventBrite, IAmsterdam and Eye Institute.
See you all next year.
Official Selection 2019
Positive (France) by Hadi Moussally
Invitation (Netherlands) by Sjoerd Martens
The silence of a flower (Netherlands) by Anne Jan Sijbrandij
David Lynch, The Art Life (United States/Denmark) by Rick Barnes, Olivia Neergaard-Holm, Jon Nguyen
Ophelia (France) by Eric Du Bellay
Pain is Mine (Australia) by Farshid Akhlaghi
Entropia (Denmark) by Julie Annlie
Diva & Astro (United States) by Angel Barroeta
3 - nil (Greece) by Boris Stout
Tungrus (India) by Rishi Chandna
Afsluitdijk (Netherlands) by Ewoudt Boonstra