Press Releases

Saturday, 11/22/2014

BURUNDANGA Blows Jury Away at Filmschoolfest

Burundanga chosen as Best Film / Two awards for German short Sunny / Altogether ten prizes go to films from eight countries

The award ceremony of the 34th Munich International Festival of Film Schools took place on November 22nd. Burundanga from French film school La Fémis won the VFF Young Talent Award for Best Film and €7,500. The prize giver is the German Film and Television Royalty Collecting Society. A Special Mention went to After All by Zvi Landsman from The Sam Spiegel Film & TV School Jerusalem.

Burundanga is street drug used in parts of South America to incapacitate victims before robbing or otherwise taking advantage of them. Anaïs Ruales' film of the same name portrays a young man who wants desperately to leave his small town in the misty rainforests of Ecuador. Ruales, from Ecuador herself, is a 24 year-old student at La Fémis in Paris. "With a clear standpoint, a tight screenplay and sensitive direction, Anaïs Ruales has given us an extraordinary film", commented the international jury.

German short Sunny by writer-director Barbara Ott from the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg in Ludwigsburg won the Luggi Waldleitner Award for Best Screenplay and its cameraman Falko Lachmund won the Student Camera Award. Sunny deals with a young father who is torn between how the thinks his life should be and his responsibility to his wife and baby. "A world filled with authentic images", so the jury. A Special Mention in the category for Best Screenplay went to Pedro Collantes from the Netherlands Film Academy for Serori.

"Our goal is to present the best films of the year by students from around the world and this year exceeded our expectations", said festival director Diana Iljine. "The ten awards went to very diverse films from eight countries including France, Germany, Israel, China, and Iran that show us what young filmmakers from around the world are moved by. Every one of the films in the competition touched, surprised or impressed us in one way or another."

The ten prizes awarded are worth a total of €45,000. The ARRI Award for Best Documentary went to Iulia Stoian from Romania. Her film Honey on Wounds focuses on widows in a village in Kosovo who overcome their post-war trauma by beekeeping. Iulia Stoian is the producer, director and cinematographer and studies at the National Film and Television School in Beaconsfield, England.

Summer Secret by Zeng Zeng, a student at the Beijing Film Academy, received the Wolfgang Längsfeld Award for Most Original Film. The film takes the audience into the fantasy world of a girl whose father died under mysterious circumstances. The ARTE Short Film Prize went to the animated film My Milk Cup Cow by Yantong Zhu of the Tokyo University of the Arts, and dealt with her childhood in China.

Sophie-Clémentine Dubois, a student at L'Insas in Brüssels, was awarded the Panther Prize for the Best Production of a European Film for The Dandelion (Le Pissenlit). The Prix Interculturel for the Best Film Fostering Intercultural Dialogue was awarded for the tenth consecutive year and went to Deserted (Nivut Golem) by Yoav Hornung of Tel Aviv University. A Special Mention went to Solidarity by Dustin Brown of Santa Monica College.

The winner of the Climate Clips Award is Amin Rahbar from Iran for his short but sweet animated film Scale (Tarazoo). The Hofbräu Trophy for Best Beer Commercial was awarded to Andreas Irnstorfer from the Munich University for Television and Film for The Experiment (Das Experiment).

Altogether 46 films by young directors from 22 countries were in competition and were extremely well received by the Munich public. "It was a great festival week with mostly sold out screenings, exciting encounters and impressive films," said Iljine. "Year after year Munich audiences look forward to these films by the world's future directing stars and that makes us feel good."