The award is dedicated to the best film about indigenous culture in independent production.
“‘Seven Symphonies of Zagros’ is a lyrical documentary, full of gorgeous scenes of the countryside,” the jury comprising Sandrine Loncke, Meghanne Barker and Ivan Milosavljevic said in a statement published on Friday.
“It presents a timeless portrait of an artist whose flute has united members of his Kurdish community for decades; it presents the gaze of a true author and poet,” the jury added.
Directed by Parviz Rostami, “Seven Symphonies of Zagros” narrates the philosophy of seven musical maqams of the ancient Kurdish wind instrument, shamshal, in the life of the people in the Zagros region.
The film is also the monologue of an old man who spent 65 years of his life playing shamshal. The story of the film is character-oriented and the philosophy of the seven maqams in his life is implied. Seven is regarded as a sacred number in different religions, and the content of the film is related to this concept.
The Dragoslav Antonijevic Award, the grand prix of the festival, was given to “Marija + Toma” by Eluned Zoe Aiano and Alesandra Tatic from Serbia.
“‘Marija + Toma’ is a charming, bittersweet short film,” the jury said.
“Captivating with its deceptive simplicity, this short film condenses many stories – short ones about the local people and their customs and beliefs, as well as long ones about love, life, death and the afterlife,” it added.
Haitian director Val Wilmarc’s documentary “Brave” was chosen as best international film.
The jury called “Brave” a strikingly rich film in aesthetics and content.
“Val Wilmarc offers us, at once, an intimate yet understated portrait of the director’s mother, as she mourns the loss of her own mother, a Haitian priestess, many years after her death, a beautifully filmed depiction of a voodoo ritual, and a poignant look at the cultural disjunctions experienced by the diaspora, between a life as a cleaning lady in Paris and caring for voodoo spirits and their followers in Haiti,” the jury said.
The award for best student film went to “Half-Elf” by Jon Bjarki Magnusson from Iceland.
“This film greatly impressed us with its delicate portrait that masterfully captures the whimsical character of a man determined to see his hundredth birthday, and for whom songs and poetry constitute the fabric of his daily life,” the jury asserted.
“The Dream of a Horse” by Iranian filmmaker Marjan Khosravi was also screened at the Serbian festival, however, it failed to win an award.