From left to right: Dorian Jespers, Maïder Fortuné, Ismaïl Bahri. Winners of International Film Festival Rotterdam - Ammodo Tiger Short Competition 2020.
From left to right: Dorian Jespers, Maïder Fortuné, Ismaïl Bahri. Winners of International Film Festival Rotterdam – Ammodo Tiger Short Competition 2020.

International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) announced the the winners of this year’s 2020 Ammodo Tiger Short Competition winning films – Apparition by Ismaïl Bahri, Communicating Vessels by Maïder Fortuné and Annie MacDonell, and Sun Dog by Dorian Jespers. The jury gave a special mention to Wong Ping’s Fables 2 by Wong Ping.

Apparition by Ismaïl Bahri
Apparition by Ismaïl Bahri

In Apparition by Ismaïl Bahri, the past is always out of reach, yet we’re always pulled towards it. Ismaïl Bahri’s poetic film plays with this paradox. We see two hands holding a photograph which is illuminated by strong light from two sides, blinding us to its contents. Only the shadows cast by the hands reveal what is hidden by the light: a crowd gathering on 20 March 1956, Tunisia’s independence day. A synesthetic gesture, where seeing is enabled by touch.

The jury on Apparition: “A short and poetic piece that contemplates history and memory through the materiality of the moving image. It deals with politics, the suppleness of gesture, and the fleeting nature of our collective footing in tumultuous moments in time.”

Communicating Vessels by Maïder Fortuné and Annie MacDonell
Communicating Vessels by Maïder Fortuné and Annie MacDonell

In Communicating Vessels by Maïder Fortuné and Annie MacDonell, an art professor tells the peculiar story of her student E., a strange young woman whose conceptual performance pieces and singular existence leave the professor increasingly adrift. Combining fictional narrative, personal anecdote and private conversation, Communicating Vessels explores how we influence each other in ways that are sometimes good, sometimes bad, yet always urgent and necessary. An unusual tribute to art and its creation, channelling seminal performances by Joan Jonas and Lygia Clark.

The jury on Communicating Vessels: “An incredibly intricate and layered work about being haunted by someone else’s story. A tribute to the efforts of a generation of pioneering women and the conceptual art they created. Also a meditation on motherhood, the responsibility of teaching and the fluid boundary between art and life. How does one imprint narratives and ideas on bodies and minds?”

Sun Dog by Dorian Jespers
Sun Dog by Dorian Jespers

Sun Dog by Dorian Jespers is a remarkable graduation film from KASK in Ghent with an entirely unique style. Fedor is a young locksmith in Murmansk, a frozen city in the darkness of the Russian arctic. He wanders from client to client through the concrete alleyways driven by a fantasy that isolates him from the city and its inhabitants. His dreams erode his sense of reality, opening the door to a phantasmagorical universe: a second sun rises over the horizon.

The jury on Sun Dog: “The emerging young artist demonstrates a visionary approach to the tale of a young man adrift at the end of the world. A subjective piece that captures the acute delirium of tedious work and an environment that is harsh and unforgiving. The final, very uncanny image of two suns breaking through the clouds and rising in the distance is one of the more striking images of the Ammodo Tiger Short Competition.”

Sun Dog has also been selected as IFFR’s Short Film Candidate for the European Short Film Awards 2020.

All 21 films selected for the Ammodo Tiger Short Competition 2020:

  • 3 Logical Exits, Mahdi Fleifel, 2020, Denmark/UK/Lebanon, world premiere
  • Aggregate States of Matters, Rosa Barba, 2019, Peru/Germany, world premiere (festival)
  • Apiyemiyekî?, Ana Vaz, 2020, France/Netherlands, world premiere
  • Apparition, Ismaïl Bahri, 2019, France, world premiere
  • Aquí y allá, Melisa Liebenthal, 2020, France/Argentina, world premiere
  • Becoming Alluvium, Phan Thao Nguyen, 2019, Vietnam/Spain, world premiere (festival)
  • Beer, Erik van Lieshout, 2019, Netherlands, world premiere (festival)
  • A Bright Summer Diary, Lei Lei, 2020, USA, world premiere
  • A chuva acalanta a dor, Leonardo Mouramateus, 2020, Portugal/Brazil, world premiere
  • Communicating Vessels, Maïder Fortuné/Annie MacDonell, 2020, Canada, world premiere
  • The Eyes of Summer, Rajee Samarasinghe, 2019, Sri Lanka/USA, international premiere
  • Look Then Below, Ben Rivers, 2019, UK, world premiere
  • The Lost Procession, Bani Abidi, 2019, United Arab Emirates/Germany/Pakistan, world premiere (festival)
  • the names have changed, including my own and truths have been altered, Onyeka Igwe, 2019, UK, international premiere
  • Progressive Touch, Michael Portnoy, 2019, Austria/Netherlands/USA, international premiere
  • Sayōnara, William Andreas Wivel, 2019, Denmark, international premiere
  • Sun Dog, Dorian Jespers, 2019, Belgium, world premiere
  • Tendre, Isabel Pagliai, 2020, France, world premiere
  • They Parlaient Idéale, Laure Prouvost, 2019, France/Belgium/Italy, world premiere (festival)
  • Tyrant Star, Diane Severin Nguyen, 2019, Vietnam/USA, international premiere
  • Wong Ping’s Fables 2, Wong Ping, 2019, Hong Kong, European premiere

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