Directed by Bijan Aarabi, “The Chick” won the CH Cinema Network Award, consisting of CHF 3000, while “Nahid” by Samad Alizadeh received an honorable mention.
In “The Chick”, a cook at a rest stop in the middle of the desert is looking for a solution to rescue her friend who recently emigrated illegally from Afghanistan. Absurd, gripping and full of love, the film was directed by Bijan Aarabi.
“Nahid” features aspects of the patriarchal and traditionalist Iranian society when a woman dies. Although she accepts the wrath of her family, Nahid protests against it.
“‘Nahid’ is an intense and intimate look at an archaic society,” the jury of the festival said in a statement.
“Filmed in two continuous shots, it traces the efforts of the eponymous protagonist to shake up conventions and ensure that when a woman dies, her time on earth is not consigned to oblivion,” the statement added.
“Monsters Never Know” by Chinese director Yang Ming was named best short film in the international section.
The film is about an uptight man who drives for hours through the great wide open spaces, and beside him is his son, all bundled up. A family road trip with a difference and the feel of an oddball western, the two men are on the verge of a nervous breakdown.
The Grand Prix of the festival went to “La Nuit des Rois” by Philippe Lacote.
As a co-production of France, Canada and Senegal, the film tells the story of MACA, the famous Cote d’Ivoire prison, where the prisoners set the rules. Blackbeard, the ageing and ailing leader, is losing his grip on his fellow inmates. He chooses a young pickpocket to help him re-affirm his power. He designates the newcomer as "Roman", a status that traditionally requires him to tell a story until sunrise. This is not a simple prison drama; it is a political fable of Shakespearean beauty.
“Bad Christmas”, a co-production between Argentina and Uruguay directed by Gaston Portal, received the special jury award.