The jury wants to address first a word of support to all the filmmakers who, due to the pandemic, have seen their films amputated of the possibility of a proper theater screening. Even if we all tried our best to find a respectful way to screen the films in competition, we are aware that some had probably lost more than others in this process.
IDFA's selection in the Short Competition has been wide-ranging in terms of cinematic approaches and social-cultural points of views. It was clear that the programming aimed to bring up the experience of people living on five continents, young and old, poor and rich, now and in the past.
Despite this diversity of subjects, curiously, a great number of films had in common the highly personal viewpoint of their filmmakers. Sharing their own story—their own considerations, thoughts, dreams, and fears—was an element most of the films seemed to have in common.
We wonder if the artistic expressions used (a subjective voiceover, experimental formal choices, and a narrow perspective) are an expression of the filmmakers' growing feelings of urgency in creating strong, direct statements in today's social and political turmoil.
In our dangerously polarized world, built on 'likes' and 'dislikes', on being 'against' or 'for', we praise all filmmakers in this competition for creating strong objects of reflection, all relevant and bravely open to discussion, that could hopefully bring their point further and create a space for bridging communication and connecting people who are divided behind strong statements about the common reality we live in.
A tender love story from a place where one would only think of encountering violence. Far from being naive, the filmmaker has achieved a compassionate portrait of an extremely complex character trapped in gang violence and the authorities' indifference. From his intimate perspective, the film confronts the power of the sole moral authority in the country, the church, ready to turn a blind eye toward the cruellest violence as long as people like him cease to exist.
The IDFA Award for Best Short Documentary goes to Marlén Viñayo's Unforgivable.