Arun Bhattarai's project has won the $25,000 IF/Then Grand Prize, while two honorary mentions, each worth $2,000, have gone to Buried Dead Mountain by Primrin Puarat from Thailand and Cemetery of Green Souls by Polen Ly from Cambodia.
The IF/Then Global Pitch for short film projects with a focus on climate change, organized by IDFA in collaboration with Tribeca Film Institute (TFI) and Verizon Media’s RYOT Films, took place yesterday (Tuesday) at the Brakke Grond Rode Zaal.
Six teams of short films from six countries presented their projects to a jury consisting of Tribeca Film Institute's Amy Hobby, Jia Zhao of Amsterdam-based production company Muyi Production, American filmmaker Alison Klayman, IDFA programmer Raul Niño Zambano, and Judy Kibinge of Kenya's Docubox. The awards were unveiled at the annual Sheffield/Tribeca party in De Kring.
The IF/Then Grand Prize, worth $25,000 and sponsored by RYOT Films, went to Mountain Man by Bhutanese director Arun Bhattarai, a story about one of Bhutan’s first glaciologists who hikes for days through dangerous terrain, risking his life to measure the rapidly receding glaciers of the Himalayas.
Buried Dead Mountain by director Primrin Puarat and producer Sirada Bunsermvicha from Thailand received an honorary mention worth $2,000 and sponsored by the Tribeca Film Institute and the International Emerging Film Talent Association (IEFTA). The film explores the dumpsite in Chonburi which is constantly expanding. Composed of over 3 million tons of waste, its notorious stench stretches across several kilometers. While Chonburi was positioned as a central base to drive the Thai economy, its development brings an environmental catastrophe in its wake.
Another, equal honorary mention went to Cemetery of Green Souls by Cambodian director Polen Ly, about a mother who joins her small Indigenous tribe in a fight against commercial loggings in their ancestral forest, enduring countless risks and violence in process.
Read more about all six projects here.