Saturday, 27 July 2019 15:46

The features winning #Giffoni2019: a journey through courage, imagination and redemption

 

The curtain falls on the 49th edition of the Festival and gives appointment to 2020, year of the 50th anniversary. However, nothing can stop the desire of togetherness: after spending intense days between screenings and debates, it’s time to announce the six features winning the Gryphon Award 2019. The thrilling selection included 100 works in competition, including features, shorts and documentaries, chosen as finalists among 4100 productions coming from all Europe as well as Japan, South Korea, Iran, Canada and USA.

ROCCA CHANGES THE WORLD by Katja Benrath (Germany, 2019), distributed internationally by Beta Cinema, bewitched Elements +6. Brave, funny, and one of a kind: she makes friends with the homeless Caspar, who will turn out to be the bossiest of the class. However, her real challenge is winning her grandmother’s heart. Elements +10 had no doubts when choosing the winner, whose award goes to TEACHER by Siddharth Malhotra (India, 2018), distributed internationally by Yash Raj Films. Naina Mathur is an aspiring teacher who suffers from Tourette Syndrome. After several interviews and numerous rejections, she lands her dream job as a full-time teacher in one of the most exclusive schools in the city. However, she soon realizes that the class she has been assigned comprises of defiant and impish students who can't seem to keep out of trouble. Generator + 13 crowned with glory BLINDED BY THE LIGHT by Gurinder Chadha (United Kingdom). It’s a story of courage, love, hope and family, imbued with music’s ability to lift up human spirit. The film director is already known for Bend it Like Beckham. The feature, set for Italian release on August 29 and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, tells the story of Javed, a British teen of Pakistani descent, growing up in the town of Luton, England, in 1987. Amidst the racial and economic turmoil of the times, he writes poetry as a means to escape the intolerance of his hometown and the inflexibility of his traditionalist father. But when a classmate introduces him to the music of Bruce Springsteen, Javed sees parallels to his working-class life in Springsteen’s powerful lyrics. As Javed discovers a cathartic outlet for his own pent-up dreams, he also begins to find the courage to express himself in his own unique voice.

GIANT LITTLE ONES by Keith Behrman (Canada, 2018), distributed internationally by Mongrel International, was chosen by Generator +16. Franky Winter and Ballas Kohl have been best friends since childhood. They are high school royalty: handsome, stars of the swim team and popular with girls. They live a perfect teenage life – until the night of Franky's epic 17th birthday party, when Franky and Ballas are involved in an unexpected incident that changes their lives forever. THE PLACE OF NO WORDS by Mark Webber (USA, 2019), distributed internationally by Wide Awake Cinema, is the winner of Generator +18 category. Protagonists of the story are three-year-old Bodhi Palmer and his family. Told through both the eyes of a father and his young son, the film is an imaginative adventure that explores how we cope with dying and the love, laughter, and pain we can find within it. The winner of Gex Doc, the section entirely dedicated to documentaries, is IN THE NAME OF YOUR DAUGHTER by Giselle Portenier (Canada/Tanzania/United Kingdom, 2018) distributed internationally by DR TV. Rosie Makore has run away from her home in Northern Tanzania to save herself from female genital mutilation (FGM) and the child marriage her parents had planned for her. Rhobi Samwelly, one of Africa’s most charismatic women, protects the girls – Christians, Pagans and Muslims – at a Safe House, and travels around the countryside fighting against this thousands-year-old tradition.

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