The awards have been presented at the 8th edition of Curaçao IFFR! Tierra adentro by Mauro Colombo takes home the festival’s Yellow Robin Award, and the Caribbean Shorts Award goes to The Girl With Two Heads by Betzabé García. These winners also become our first two confirmed films for IFFR 2020, both will screen as part of Bright Future.
Curaçao International Film Festival Rotterdam is our sister festival in the Caribbean region. The festival’s Yellow Robin Award Competition and the Caribbean Shorts Competition continue to offer regional filmmakers an international springboard. This year’s selections – coming from Cuba, Colombia, Mexico, Argentina, Panama and beyond – showed the audience astounding places and told stories that illuminate the present. Over five festival days it was not only the audience that was able to enjoy these films, but this year’s Yellow Robin Award jury consisting of artist Eva den Heijer, IFFR 2019’s Young Film Critic Becca Voelcker, and IFFR’s festival director Bero Beyer.
Yellow Robin Award winner
Mauro Colombo was happily awarded the seventh Yellow Robin Award for Tierra adentro, his film about the Darién Gap, a dense and mysterious jungle that divides Panama and Colombia. He received a cash prize of $2,500 as well as $7,500 worth of training in the context of talent development in programmes such as BoostNL or CineMart.
Some words from the jury: “Although it deals with weighty political subjects like deforestation and migration, it is not didactic. It understands that one, inflammable shot speaks more than a talking head explanation. It knows that when she’s telling the story of her perilous migration - from Africa to Latin America to the US - it needs no additional explanation. This is a film that understands that plural voices are what define a place, and the many perspectives they offer are what makes cinema so necessary.”
A special mention also went out to Camila Rodriguez Tirana’s En cenizas. In the words of the jury: “It is a feature that delivers a forceful meditation on trauma and loss”, a story that left the theatre with them.
Caribbean Shorts Award winner
The Girl With Two Heads by Betzabé García won the third Caribbean Shorts Competition. This year’s short film jury, Breanne Thomas, filmmaker, film producer Pablo Baksht, and IFFR’s managing director Marjan van der Haar, and praised this film for having a “precise control of the image it presents both on screen to us as the audience and the way image is controlled by its main character. It refuses to waver from its strong point of view and offers a peek into the way two very different worlds choose to interpret that image for better or for worse.”
This competition is the result of a region-wide collaboration between seven film festivals – Cuba, Dominican Republic, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago, and Curaçao. Each festival submitted a short film to enter the Caribbean Shorts Competition. The winning film will screen at all these festivals, as well as the next edition of IFFR.
Next to being officially selected for IFFR 2020, both Tierra adentro by Mauro Colombo and The Girl With Two Heads by Betzabé García will screen at Morelia International Film Festival in Mexico later in the year.
Photo in header: Filmmaker Mauro Colombo