Feature length films
1st Award – 7.000€: Corporation by Mark Achbar & Jennifer Abbott (Canada)
2nd Award – 5.000€: Mimi by Claire Simon (France)
Best Feature Length Films Awards
The jury had a hard task to perform in order to select the best films among movies, which represent a wide range of film style. After a long discussion and dialectic among the members of the jury, we managed to achieve a result and to survey a manifold material, trying to find the best movies.
The jury has unanimously award the first prize to a film that has panicked us: The Corporation by Marc Achbar & Jannifer Abbott. Assiduous research, carefully selected material, excellent and often mined interviews have reconstructed the dark phantasm of the contemporary dynast of the multinational corporations. The film, in the form of a thriller, leads its audience from the minatory present to the bare light at the end of the tunnel. Thank God! The film will be distributed in Greece and we still hope: ecologically!
We have decided to give the second award to Mimi by Claire Simon. A film which touches the issue of ecology through the emotional portrait of a woman’s personal journey towards inner self and the true meaning of life which she found in nature.
Marseilles, a Greek profile by Mark Gastin, who chose to live in Greece and come back to France filming the journey of the Greeks of Marseilles who in their turn have left the Dodecanese behind…
Heritance: A Fisherman's Story by Peter Hegedus, because we appreciated the Balaz's fight, the fight of an Hungarian fisherman who asserts the rights of himself and his community from a multinational company, responsible for one of the biggest ecological casualties in Europe.
Short length films
1st Award – 4.000€: The Travelling Talesman by Thiery Dory (Belgium)
2nd Award – 3.000€: Surplus by Erik Gandini (Sweden)
Best Short Film Awards
The first prize for the Best short film goes to the film: The Travelling Talesman by Thierry Dory. A wonderful film-deeply humanitarian. It addresses a huge issue facing all of us wherever we are in the world. Through the eyes of PieTshibanda, the director Thierry Dory, skillfully gives a human dimension to the subject of international migration. Discretely filmed and edited with concise economy, The Traveling Talesman takes us through every emotion. We laughed, we cried, and in the end we were hugely uplifted. In a world where we seem to understand each other less and less, Pie’s spirit and this film left us with a feeling of immense optimism. A great message to take away from this festival.
The second prize for Best Short film goes to Surplus by Erik Gandini. In many ways, this is an obvious choice. Surplus is a well made provocative film, using sophisticated editing, and clever juxtaposition of images and sound. It boldly confronts major issues and targets global consumerism in a wasteful world. It’s a polemic film, which skillfully contrasts the differences (and similarities) of two ideologies and their own internal contradictions. Surplus is made with wit and passion, and very powerfully presents its ecological argument.
Human Resources exposes the expendability of people when a system collapses. The workforce is no more than a commodity to be exploited. In this powerful film, we saw people stripped of their dignity and reduced to the banality of a game show in order to win a job. Human Resources gets a special mention, because it paints this humiliating picture so well.
Biotope is a stylish modern animation, which tackles the subject of urban alienation. Cleverly set underground, during a nightmare metro-journey, we are confronted with the selfishness, aggression, and sheer cowardice of some of the passengers. It is a powerful and disturbing film, which hits its target square on.
By the Greek Film Centre
Best feature length film – 5.000€: Marseilles, a Greek profile by Mark Gastin
Mark has set off an "unknown" subject with tenderness, consistency, and grace, showing at the same time the most of it.
Best short length film – 4.000€: 64 Squares, 32 Wooden Sticks by Thodoris Kalesis
Thodoros has proved that, in spite of the lack of means, talent, sensitivity, and spirit are enough sometimes to create something remarkable.
Best film - 4.000€: The Turtle People by Surabhi Sharma (India)
Ladies and gentlemen, many of you will probably have heard about the Ramsar Convention for the first time this week, or even for the first time tonight. This is partly because of this that the Ramsar Convention decided, some months ago, to participate in this new adventure for us.
Some 33 years ago now, an international agreement was signed on the shore of the Caspian sea, in Ramsar, Iran. Already 33 years ago, some enlightened people realized that Humanity wouldn’t be able to live without one basic element: water. At that time, diplomatic limitations made the countries think about water for birds and biodiversity, but at time went by, the Ramsar Convention for the conservation of wetlands as important habitats for waterfowl, as it was called in the beginning, became a powerful international tool for the conservation of water not only for birds, but also for people. This shift has been increasingly important in the last few years, as the water issue has become more and more significant on the international level.
But despite all the efforts, water is still one of the main issues in the 21st century. During this week, you will have seen many films showing and explaining some water-related issue. These films are the artistic expression of a more than justified concern, and this is the other reason why we wanted to create this special prize for water and wetlands related films, here, in the EcoCinema Festival. MedWet, the Mediterranean Initiative for the implementation of the Convention in this region was the link between Ramsar and Ecocinema. Because we believe that you, artists, creators, film makers, have the right sensibility to showcase, explain and raise awareness on the water crisis affecting our planet. The Ramsar/MedWet award is aimed to encourage your creativity in order to find the right message to that everybody will know no life is possible on Earth without water, but also that the problems we are facing are not insolvable and solutions exist and are found around the world to manage water resources in a better way, to find the right equilibrium between human development and the conservation of the environment, to recreate the forgotten link between people and nature, in other words, to spread the basic philosophy of the Ramsar Convention: the wise use principle.
This year is the first year for this Ramsar/MedWet award. We were encouraged by the enthusiastic reaction of film makers and the public in order to pursue this adventure. This is why I want to announce here officially, Lucia and Ilias, that the Ramsar Convention will continue to support the EcoCinema festival next year.
But the important thing now is to tell you which film was chosen by the jury as the winner of the first Ramsar/MedWet award for the best film on wetlands and water. After some difficult deliberations, the jury decided unanimously…….. and I can now say this sentence I always wanted to say: and the winner is…. SURABHI SHARMA, for the film: THE TURTLE PEOPLE.
The jury selected this film on the grounds that it is a film
- that address the conservation issue on an optimistic way
- that focuses on the inextricable relation between livelihood and nature
- a very well balanced film as regards music, image and editing
- is fully within the scope of the Ramsar Convention and addressing one of its utmost concerns: the coastal and marine ecosystems.
I just wanted to thank the members of the jury who had the difficult task of choosing a winner: Spyros Kouvelis, Coordinator of the MedWet Initiative, Marc van Fucht, Producer and Director, and Sebastia Semene Guitart, Special Assistant for Media, Outreach and Culture at the Ramsar Secretariat.
I also want to thank the organizers of the EcoCinema Festival, in the name of the jury, and in my own name, for achieving such a great and enjoyable event.
Thank you very much.
Map Unep Award
Best film – 5.000€: Summer Lighting by Nikos Ligouris (Greece)
The Jury highly appreciated:
-The combination of spiritual approach of the environment and human nature with socio-economic transformation as well as the psychological dimension.
-The proper restitution of the Mediterranean atmosphere
-The capacity of the director to keep the intensity and the attractivity as well as the involvement of the public.
2ND PRIZE: Xaravgi by Giannis Katsamboulas.
The Jury appreciated:
-The intensity and density of the direction which successfully managed to include many dimensions, social, environmental realities as well as sociological and psychological
-The aesthetics, beauty, and metaphysical of the picture.
As film club and common viewer we have decide to award two films with equal merit.
Corporation by Marc Achbar & Jennifer Abbott (Canada) for its complete and accurate representation of how multinational corporations affect global problems today.
Pyla – Living together separately by Elias Demetriou for its objective and humorous portrayal of the harmonious coexistence of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots in one village, despite the contradictions that exist. The film shows that there is hope for a common future between the two communities.
From the rest of the films, with the freedom we have as non-members of the awarding committee, we would like to single out the following films:
· The Blossom Time of Spring by Elahe Golmohammadi
· Motherland by Archie Baron
· Surplus by Eric Gadini
· Athinas 12:00 by Maria Giannouli
Ecocinema has also announced the results of the first Documentary Programme – Ecocinema within the framework of collaboration of the Greek Film Centre and the Hellenic Broadcast Company (ERT). The script with the title Sunrise – sunset by Agelos Kovotsos (production company Periplus) was awarded 65.000€.