Depicting Humanity in Demand this Year
The festival Grand Prix to Bates, Finnish competition main prizes to Vilhunen, Kouros and Terho

The competition juries took a liking to films which emphasized the human point of view. The main prize was awarded to the Australian Michael Bates's film The Projectionist, and the Finnish winners were Selma Vilhunen's Minun Pikku Elefanttini (My Little Elephants) and the film Ilman tytärtäni (Without my Daughter) by Alexis Kouros and Kari Tervo.

In the award ceremony held on Sunday, the international jury awarded the Australian film with the Grand Prix prize, the "Kiss" statuette and 5,000 euros. The Finnish jury awarded the main prize, the "Kiss" statuette and 5,000 euros both in the up to and over 30-minute film series. Vilhunen competed in the under 30-minute series and Kouros and Tervo in the over 30-minute series.

- The film has created a new technique through the use of images which are both haunting and beautiful. Bates has combined images and sound into an organic unity, and produced a new visual experience, the international jury commented the awarding of The Projectionist.

Vilhunen was awarded for her film's humane portrayal of a woman gently herding cows, sheep, cats, dogs - and men.

- I am very thrilled. This shows that my work is recognized. I'm also pleased for the film's main character, Vilhunen commended the jury's choice.

Films Send Shouting Culture Abroad

The choices of the juries reflect the colourful and inspiring programme of the festival.

- For once, the viewer can take the role of a fish, the jury commented the Diploma of Merit of Jonathan Davies's Kala (Fish) in the Finnish competition.

- The film boosts the exporting of Finnish shouting culture, was said about the recipient of the another Diploma of Merit, Huutajat (Screaming Men), directed by Mika Ronkainen.

The Micromovies Main Prize Shared by Jart and Tscharm

The main prize of the Micromovies competition and 10,000 euros were, unusually, shared between Tero Jartti, the director of Inkkaripäähine (Indian Head Dress) and Ali Tscharm, the director of Circle of Life. The jury considered this to be the fair choice, as it saw both of the films as exceptionally multifaceted.

The Risto Jarva Prize, 10,000 euros in worth, was awarded to Veli Gränö's Tähteläiset (Meet You in Finland). The human longing of the two main characters, faced with an extraordinary phase in life, convinced the Finnish jury. The quality of the films in the Risto Jarva series was considered to be high as well.

- The jury was touched and torn by the high standard of the Finnish competition. So many extraordinary animations and documentaries fought evenly for the main prize.

Some Twenty Prizes and Diplomas of Merit Awarded

The International competition awarded four films with the title of best film, the "Kiss" statuette and 1,500 euros. The Special Prize of the Jury was awarded to the director of Kazan-Moskova-Kazan (Kazan-Moscow-Kazan), Alexei Shipulin from Russia. The Best Animation of 2003 was Dog by the British Suzie Templeton.

Royston Tan, from Singapore, grabbed the Best Fiction award with the film 15. The Best Documentary was considered to be the Iranian Mehdi Nader's film Dokhtaran-E-Aftab.

A film from the International competition was also chosen as the European Film Awards nominee. This Prix Uip Tampere award was given to Norwegian Terje Ragnes's film Redd Barna.

Diplomas of Merit were awarded to the French Laila Marrakchi's Dirhams, the Estonian Riho Unti's Hing Sees, the Indian Kalyan Sagar's Condemning The Recent Communal Carnage and the French Jean-Louis Gonnet´s Comme Un Seul Homme.

Both Finnish competitions awarded special prizes in addition to the main ones. The Special Prize in the over 30 minutes series was awarded to Kaisa Penttilä's Lentoposti (Air Mail), and in the under 30 minutes series to Yksinäisen tähden harhailija (Wanderer of the Lonely Star) by Tahvo Hirvonen. Hirvonen also received the Finnish competition's Public Award.

The Junior Jury considered Jonathan Davies's Fish to be the best film in the under 30 minutes series. In the over 30 minutes series, the Jameson Short Film Award and 6,000 euros were awarded to the directors of Treevil, Aiju Salminen, Aino Ovaskainen ja Christer Lindström.

The resource award and 3,400 euros were snatched by by Marita Hällfors. She won the prize for the best cinematography for shooting Kuoleman Kasvot (The Face of Death), directed by Kiti Luostarinen. The director herself was awarded the third Diploma of Merit.

Text:   Tuomas Massinen
Translation:   Antti Pasanen
Photos: Marko Ylitalo

More on the Web:
Winners of the year 2003 in Tampere Film Festival

Michael Bates
Michael Bates won Grand Prix with his short film The Projectionist.