Giffoni Film Festival magic is about to come to an end. This year’s edition hosted 4600 youths of all ages from 3 to over 18 years old who, sitting altogether on the chairs of four different cinemas, confronted each other sharing ideas and opinions and judged 101 titles including films, shorts and documentaries shortlisted among over 4500 works received. Impossible missions, mystery hidden behind ghosts haunted houses and delicate themes such as grieving process, self-affirmation in the passage from childhood to adulthood and the brave fight against disease are all themes at the heart of the six winner films, awarded with the Gryphon Award 2017.
The winner in Elements +6 section is MASTER SPY (2016, Holland – released by Incredible Film) by Pieter Van Rijn: 10-year-old Tim is catapulted into a world of special missions and crimes to solve together with Simon, a hibernated spy coming from 1973. A different genre characterizes the film elected by Elements +10: ROOM 213 (2017, Sweden – released by Media Luna New Films) by Emelie Lindblom, which tells of the mysterious death of a young girl, whose spirit seems to haunt all people who stay in room 213. Generator +13, instead, went for THE BACHELORS (USA, 2017 – released by Fortitude Int’l) by Kurt Voelker, a film focusing on the mourning working-through seen from different perspectives. The cast includes Josh Wiggins and Julie Delpy, along with J.K. Simmons, who won best supporting actor Oscar for “Whiplash” (a film which gained 3 Academy Awards in 2015). DO IT RIGHT (France, 2017 – released by Films Distribution), by Chad Chenouga, was crowned by Generator +16. After losing his mother, young Nassim starts living two parallel lives: in the daytime he’s an apparently careless high school student, but every evening he returns to a foster care facility, where he keeps mostly to himself. Generator +18 chose GARDEN LANE (Sweden, 2017) by Olof Spaak. Eric and Elin reminisce about the magical summer when they met for the first time. They were just kids and their parents were drug addicts. During a few months they all lived together as a family but when their parents were torn apart they had to fight to survive, and then learn how to live. Last but not least is the Gex Dox winner, EVERYDAYS HEROES(France, 2016 – released by TF1 Studio) by Anne-Dauphine Julliand. The documentary follows a few kids suffering from serious diseases, who struggle every day unnoticed.
Among the honourable mentions in Generator +13 section, WALKING OUT by Alex & Andrew Smith (USA) is awarded the Premio Cinecircoli Giovanili Socioculturali – “Percorsi Creativi 2017” because “the film deals with the difficult rescue of the relationship between father and son, put in a difficult position by the distance – not only the geographic one – between the two”. LANE 1974 by SJ Chiro (USA) for Generator +16 wins the Aluminium Gryphon –Premio Cial (Consorzio Imballaggio Alluminio) per l’ambiente. The film has been chosen by Cial for “the unique approach used by the director to highlight the relationship with a territory known to few youths, forced to live in spaces that seem to be free and open but turn out to be contradictory and oppressive”. The last honourable mention is the Amnesty International Award: Gex Doc documentary film THEY CALL US MONSTERS by Ben Lear (USA) wins because “ it deals with the potential reinstatement of some guys that, after committing violent crimes, go on trial as adults”.