Le spectre de Boko Haram by Cyrielle Raingou (Cameroon, France) wins the Tiger Award at the 52nd International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR). In her debut feature, Cyrielle Raingou follows a group of children as they carve out their own worlds amid the dangers of armed conflict. We meet the precocious Falta, studious and hardworking, eager to process her father’s death in a terrorist attack. Her classmate, Ibrahim, and his older brother Mohamad struggle with balancing their boyhood energy and a traumatic past that strays them from their eight and 11-year-old innocence.
The jury gave a Special Jury Award to Munnel by Visakesa Chandrasekaram (Sri Lanka) describing it as “a great simple story about a young man caught between revolution and authoritarianism.”
They also gave a Special Jury Award to New Strains by Artemis Shaw and Prashanth Kamalakanthan (USA) which they described as “an original vision of life during the pandemic with the actors/directors putting themselves on the line to tell a harrowing and hilarious story of confinement.”
In the Big Screen Competition, Endless Borders by Abbas Amini (Germany, Czech Republic, Iran) wins the VPRO Big Screen Award 2023. The film described as a minimalistic suspense thriller (with Hitchcockian overtones) is set in Balochistan, a small, scarcely ‘wired’ village bordering Iran and Afghanistan where an exiled Iranian teacher helps an Afghan refugee family, triggering a multi-layered crisis of commitment.
The jury stated: “The minimalist scenography and the effective use of silences enhance the focus on the unspoken dynamics within the community. The underlying current of tension, due to the harrowing situation in which the main characters find themselves, keeps you engaged throughout the whole film. We hope that the viewers will gain a deeper understanding of the complexity of making choices in difficult situations.”
The FIPRESCI Award 2023 went to La Palisiada by Philip Sotnychenko (Ukraine) and the NETPAC Award awarded to the best Asian feature film went to Whispering Mountains by Jagath Manuwarna (Sri Lanka).
The winning films from the Ammodo Tiger Short Competition Natureza Humana by Mónica Lima (Portugal, Germany), Tito by Kervens Jimenez (Haiti) and Taylor McIntosh (Haiti) and What the Soil Remembers by José Cardoso (South Africa, Ecuador). The three titles receive equal Ammodo Tiger Short Awards, each worth €5,000.
The Circle of Dutch Film Journalists selected their highlight from the Ammodo Tiger Short Competition for the KNF award which went to Aqueronte by Manuel Muñoz Rivas (Spain).
The fourth annual Robby Müller Award was received by Hélène Louvart. The Robby Müller Award honors an ‘image maker’ (director of photography, filmmaker or visual artist), in the spirit of the late Dutch cinematographer Robby Müller. The Award is a collaboration between IFFR, the Netherlands Society of Cinematographers (NSC) and Andrea Müller-Schirmer, Robby Müller’s wife.
Hélène Louvart received the Robby Müller Award 2023.