XII RELIGION TODAY FILMFESTIVAL (2009): THE WINNERS

Città del Vaticano
Wednesday, 21 October, 2009
The winner of the Grand Prize “In the Spirit of Faith” of the XII edition of the Religion Today Film festival goes to “Diary of a Mountain Curate”. Today Wednesday 21 October the winners of the 2009 edition were announced at the Sala Marconi at Radio Vatican within the Vatican City itself. 
The International and inter-religious jury also awarded the first prize to “Doubt”; the best feature film, the best short film to the Iranian production “God Sees”; the best documentary went to “Leaving the Fold”. Given the out standing quality of the documentary section, the jury decided to award three special mentions. 
Today, during the awards ceremony, the Director of Religion Today Katia Malatesta reminded those listening of the Film Festival’s commitment to developing quality cinema, one which bears fitness to the complexity of different religions and the wealth of experiences of faith or getting to know our neighbours within the broader context of the problems and challenges of modern society. 
Present at the awards ceremony were, amongst others, Luigi Bressan, the Archbishop of Trento and Franco Panizza, the Councillor for Cultural Activities of the Autonomous Province of Trento. Both highlighted the importance of the Film Festival as a platform for dialogue and sharing between different religions and cultures, with a focus on Religion Today’s path of continuous growth from its humble beginnings to a well-established international dimension.
This year’s theme, “Born from Above. New Life in Faith” invites us all to reflect on religious feeling as something alive and life-giving in the present day. Religion Today 2009 purposely dedicated particular attention to the world of young people, choosing films which document the search for new languages and strategies of communication especially for tomorrow’s adults. 
Some 57 films were admitted to the cinematographic competition this year; they included works from all 5 continents and represented a wide-ranging panorama of different faiths. The internaitonal jury comprised Paola Pannicelli (a Rai Fiction producer), Mordechai Vardi (director of the Screenwriting Department of the Ma’ale Film School), Iouri Goroulev (director of the Belarus Film Festival Magnificat), Lassaad Jamoussi (screenwriter and teacher at the University of Sfax) and Ali Vazirian (filmmaker and artist, winner of Religion Today 2008).
This year a special prize has again been awarded by a SIGNIS jury (World Catholic Association for Communication), composed of Serge Goriely (director and teacher at the Centre d'études théâtrales Université catholique de Louvain), Alessandro Minestrini (artistic director Film Festival Popoli e Religioni), and Samuel Olusegun Job (Università Pontificia Salesiana); other prizes were awarded by the special juries in the cities of the Festival.
 
OFFICIAL COMPETITION
 
RELIGION TODAY AWARD "IN THE SPIRIT OF FAITH"
'Diario di un curato di montagna' (Diary of a Moutain Curate), Stefano Saverioni, Italy
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By connecting the theme of service to the Church in a small corner of the world to that of a spiritual search through artistic creation, this documentary, with its imagery and bright colours, creates a highly aesthetic visual atmosphere. 
 
BEST SHORT FILM
'God sees', Reza Jamali, Iran
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The gentle style of filming, the provocation of the ironic and sometimes comic tone, do not detract from the power of this short film’s theme. Forgiveness and asking for forgiveness, remains at the forefront for the spectator, who is inevitably drawn in by the simple yet dramatic story of the leading character. 
 
BEST FILM
'Doubt', John Patrick Shanley, USA
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For its evident cinematographic quality, supported by outstanding acting; for its balanced mise en scène; for the screenplay and narration in which compassion and mercy on the one hand are paired with strictness and austerity, creating a constant dramatic tension rich in emotions.
 
BEST DOCUMENTARY
'Leaving the Fold', Eric Scott, Canada
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An extraordinary documentary which fully exploits the expressive possibilities of story-telling through images. The rhythm unfolds via the scansion of the narrative structure, which is both meticulous and attentive to the principles of cinematography. A moving testimony which draws you in despite the distance between the author and the protagonists. 
 
MENZIONI SPECIALI:
- 'A Nun’s new Habit', Robyn Hughan, Australia
- 'Her Mate’s Boyfriend', Przemek Mlynczyk, Poland
- 'New Muslim Cool', Jennifer Taylor, USA
Three works which highlight the constant search for meaning, focusing on social change and the virtue of knowledge. The camera accompanies the protagonists on life’s sometimes uncertain journey; taking us back to the extraordinary story of conversion and faith. The style and language highlight the relationship between the author and the protagonists, a worthwhile and necessary choice for transmitting emotions.
 
SPECIAL AWARDS
 
SIGNIS AWARD
'Family on the Edge', Gilad Goldschmidt, Israel
On the basis of a family experience that could look anecdotical, the director manages to evoke metaphorically the mystery of the spiritual challenge of a community. With intelligence, originality and humour, he tackles successfully a present issue and underlines the values of unity and respect in family life, of endurance in the face of basic challenges and of acceptance of one's limits.
 
SIGNIS SPECIAL MENTION
'Every Night, Loneliness', Rasoul Sadrameli, Iran
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With a true sensibility and a high sense of cinematographical language, the film recounts the struggle of a couple trying to escape despair. It points out the importance of the quest as such and also the need of the gift to the other. The final result of the film helps us to reflect on human fragility and our capacity to respond when confronted with adversity.
 
BEST TELEVISION FILM
'Gevald!', Yohai Hakak e Ron Ofer, Israel
 
YOUNG PEOPLE AND COMMUNICATION
Special jury of students from the FSC Università Pontificia Salesiana
'Every Night, Loneliness', Rasoul Sadrameli
 
JOURNEYS OF FAITH
Special Jury Friends of Amici di Religion Today
'Imparare dal mondo', Silvio Cattani, Italy
 
PARENTS AND CHILDREN
Special Jury from Lisignago
'Music Box', Farzad Motamen, Iran
 
PORTRAITS
Special Jury from Valle dei Laghi – Massimo Prevedello
'Anelito di pace. Ritratto di Don Tonino Bello', Sergio Spina, Italy
 
RITES AND BELIEFS
Special Jury from the Nomadelfia Fraternity
'The sacred Dancer', Diego D’Innocenzo, Italy
 
COMPLEX IDENTITIES
Special Jury from Trentino-Alto Adige/Suedtirol
'Leaving the Fold', Eric Scott, Canada
 
RELIGION AND SOCIETY
Special Jury of journalists from Trento
'Zen’s way', Law Suk Yi, Hong Kong
 
INTER-RELIGIOUS DIALOGUE
Inter-religious dialogue jury from Trento - Don Silvio Franch
'Across the River', Abbas Armadi Motlagh, Iran
 
BORN FROM ABOVE
Special Jury of young people from Trento
'New Muslim Cool', Jennifer Taylor, USA