Le spectre de Boko Haram wins the Tiger Award 2023
03 February 2023
Cameroonian filmmaker Cyrielle Raingou’s deeply affecting debut feature wins IFFR’s flagship prize for 2023. 16 titles were presented in the Tiger Competition in 2023 for which Special Jury Awards also went to Munnel by Visakesa Chandrasekaram and New Strains by Artemis Shaw and Prashanth Kamalakanthan. Endless Borders by Iranian filmmaker Abbas Amini took the VPRO Big Screen Award 2023. Read below for full details of the winners including the FIPRESCI, NETPAC, and KNF Awards.
Tiger Award winner 2023: Le spectre de Boko Haram, Cyrielle Raingou, 2023, Cameroon
A deeply affecting documentary following a group of children navigating life in a war zone.
Jury statement: “a story that centres on its filmmakers’ patient and honest gaze on the hovering presence of violence, seen through the eyes of innocents.”
Special Jury Award: Munnel, Visakesa Chandrasekaram, 2023, Sri Lanka
An ex-Tamil Tiger militant returns home in this delicate, impactful portrait of post-war consciousness.
Jury statement: “a great simple story about a young man caught between revolution and authoritarianism.”
Special Jury Award: New Strains, Artemis Shaw, Prashanth Kamalakanthan, 2023, United States
A cheerfully homemade pandemic rom-com set amidst the banality of lockdown life.
Jury statement: “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.”
The festival’s platform for emerging film talent and IFFR’s flagship Tiger Competition presented 16 titles for the 2023 edition. The Tiger Competition Jury consisted of Sabrina Baracetti, Lav Diaz, Anisia Uzeyman, Christine Vachon and Alonso Díaz de la Vega. The jury granted three prizes: the Tiger Award, worth €40,000, and two Special Jury Awards, worth €10,000 each.
Big Screen Competition
VPRO Big Screen Award winner 2023: Endless Borders, Abbas Amini, 2023, Germany, Czech Republic, Iran
An exiled Iranian teacher helps an Afghan refugee family, triggering a multi-layered crisis of commitment.
The Big Screen Competition selection for 2023 was made of 16 films bridging the gap between popular, classic and art house cinema. The jury of film fans that decided the award was made of Heike Bluthardt, Wayne de Boer Didi van der Burg, Annelies van den Houten and Han Nguyen. The film received a theatrical release in the Netherlands, broadcast on Dutch TV by VPRO and NPO, and a €30,000 prize.
Jury statement: “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.”
Winner 2023: La Palisiada, Philip Sotnychenko, 2023, Ukraine
Two gunshots, 25 years apart. A conceptual, visually arresting exploration of the history of 1990s Ukraine.
The jury was made of international film journalists from the Fédération Internationale de la Presse Cinématographique selected to award the FIPRESCI Award to their standout Tiger Competition title. These were Dunja Bialas, Monica Delgado, Francisco Ferreira, Serhii Ksaverov and Boaz van Luijk.
They said: “Punctuated by two acts of violence set apart from each other by more than 20 years, this outstanding feature debut by Philip Sotnychenko is as elusive as it is a direct tale that is connecting past and present in a harrowing way. Skillfully using different aesthetics and mediums, La Palisiada masterfully reflects on cinema as an instrument of intent and its ability to create, multiply and erase different versions of truths.”
Winner 2023: Whispering Mountains, Jagath Manuwarna, 2023, Sri Lanka
The young people of Sri Lanka are committing suicide in droves. The government blames a supernatural virus that must be cleansed by ancient ritual.
The NETPAC Award is awarded to the best Asian feature film by a jury from the Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema. The jury was Roger Garcia, Bradley Lieuw and Italo Spinelli.
Jury report: “The jury gives its award this year to a film that looks at the troubled past of a nation from the point of view of the near future. Combining artistic ambition with commercial convention, this first work from a country whose film industry is emerging as one of the most promising in Asia, we recognise the force of Whispering Mountains, the feature directorial debut by Jagath Manuwarna of Sri Lanka.”
IFFR Youth Jury Award
"Over the last two weeks we have been able to watch a selection of unique films,
we were looking for a film that would be inspiring to us as young film lovers and a film that speaks about a topic we feel is relevant to our generation.
The film we chose showed the struggles of many modern families in a realistic and heartfelt way and managed to leave a lasting impact on us. It showed the normalisation of trans stories in cinema. We hope more films will carry this way of storytelling forward. "
- Valentijn de Man
- Noah van Tilburg
- Lelie Daneshvar
- Louisa Moreau
- Ian Marquez García
Film lovers of 16 and 20 years old
Winner 2023: Aqueronte, Manuel Muñoz Rivas, 2023, Spain
Aqueronte summons the very essence of cinema to transport us to unreal spaces.
A jury from the Kring van Nederlandse Filmjournalisten (Circle of Dutch Film Journalists) selected their highlight from the 24 titles in the Ammodo Tiger Short Competition for the KNF award. The jury was Basje Boer, Ard Vijn, and Kaj van Zoelen.
Jury report: “The short was elegant, assuredly made, beautiful. It makes cinematic use of short film as a medium, and gains power by being watched on a big screen. Shots like a sun visible through foggy trees add to the sedate atmosphere, and the film fully pulls you into its world in its second half.”
Ammodo Tiger Short Competition
Robby Müller Award
Hélène Louvart received the Robby Müller Award 2023.