This Year’s STIFF Winners Announced!

The audience had the opportunity to see 45 movies at the sixth edition of Student International Film Festival, 42 of which were competing for prizes in fiction, documentary and animated categories, as well as the Audience Award. Apart from films, STIFF had a rich educational programme, case studies, discussions and GIF exhibition.

Best fiction – Territories, Azedine Kasri, Algeria/France, 2018

Fiction jury (screenwriter Giovanni Robbiano, last year’s special mention Damian Kocur and Mara Prpić, student of film direction) gave STIFF Best Fiction Award to “Territories” by Azedine Kasri. This Algeria/France co-production  was awarded for “most compelling story, fliudity and pronounced maturity of the movie, as well as real full-blooded heroes and the emotional ties they form, not just with each oter, but with the audience as well.”

Special mention goes to Nikica Zdunić for “Soviet Space Dogs” for “taking care of each element that makes the film, for creating an innovative film language which is a big enterprise in today’s cinema, and for successfully breaking old-fashioned narrative rules.”

Documentary jury (producer Morana Ikić Komljenović, Diversions selector Antigoni Papantoni and student Maja Stojić) gave STIFF Best Documentary Award to “Sisters” by Michal Hytros for “a subtle and intimate portrait of everyday life in a polish convent where aged nuns share their days, lives and fears with tenderness, tolerance and respect. This discrete film offers an exclusive insight and portrays old age from a different perspective immersing the audience in a life we rarely get to see.”

The jury has decided to grant the special mention to the film “Probably Dead” by Ivan Grgur, a film that “brings us the story of hypochondria in modern times by using unexpected language and style. The fear of death, health anxiety, googling and panicking are shown through creative and organic imaginative metaphors that, sadly, most of us can relate to.” The film also won the STIFF Audience Award.

Animated jury (filmmaker Niko Radas, last year’s winner Lina Tsivian, and Dean Hamer, student of animation) awarded STIFF Best Animation Award to “The Kite” by Martin Smatana for “interesting and functional symbolic portrait of a life time through character design. Graphically and visually rich with textures, atmospheres and palettes, this film speaks to all generations.”

The compelling animated documentary “Worth Every Penny” (Ilona Yudin, Paz Bernstein, Muli Asido, Erika Cumpton, Adam Magrala, Yael Solomonovich, Lara Buyom, Sarai Abergel, Guy Livnat and Noy Friman) got special mention for “using the full potential of animation as a medium to narrate an explicit story, further burdened by the fact that it is based on factual experiences. The film bravely poses questions and points out the problems of exploitation and dehumanisation of prostitution.”

Student International Film Festival is dedicated to student and debutant film. Its purpose is to present the best student film productions from across the globe to the wider audience. STIFF is organised by Filmaktiv and Student Cultural Centre of the University of Rijeka, and co-organised by Art-kino. Financed by Croatian Audiovisual Centre, City of Rijeka, County of Primorje and Gorski kotar, and University of Rijeka. Filmaktiv is recipient of grants from Kultura Nova Foundation and National Foundation for Civil Society Development.