First 2021 ECFA Awards go to all female directors

The JEF festival in Antwerp (and other Belgian cities) in general is the place to open the new ECFA Award season. During the festival’s closing ceremony it turned out that all winners had an interesting element in common…  With a grand prize for WHEN HITLER STOLE PINK RABBIT, the first ECFA nomination of the year.


All awards in the JEF festival went to female directors “although our choice was based solely on the makers’ merits”, the jury stated. Like for the ECFA Award for Best Feature, that went to WHEN HITLER STOLE PINK RABBIT (Caroline Link, Germany/Switzerland). “European countries are all migrant societies, and some stories are never too outdated to be told, unfortunately you could say. We all need to learn from our common history. This film has a high production value, non-stereotypical parent characters, and a vibrant protagonist. Freedom of speech is a key topic, which adds to the film’s value.


There were awards in all ECFA categories; like ‘Best Short’, handed out to HOWLING (Laura Van Haecke, Belgium) “for its beautiful poeticism and intelligent use of magical realism. The cinematography manages to visually express the inner world of the main character through innovative ways of filming, with artistic ambitions. HOWLING is a subtle yet intense exploration of childhood.” HOWLING also won the Audience Award. It was remarkable how short films scored on the festival online viewing platform, collecting the highest number of views.


The ECFA Doc Award went to GIRLSBOYSMIX (Lara Aerts, the Netherlands, 2020); “we wish everyone’s childhood could be as happy as Wen Long’s.


The ECFA jury were Charlotte Giese, (Denmark), Marga Almirall Rotés (Spain), Sérgio Marques (Portugal) and Maryam K. Hedayat (Belgium).