JEF festival opens new award season

The track record of the Belgian JEF festival always marks the start of a new year for the ECFA Awards. The debates were opened with three new titles, with the documentary WHY DIDN’T YOU STAY FOR ME? as the most notable representative.


The French film CUTIES by Maïmouna Doucouré won the ECFA Jury’s Award for Best Feature, “a raw, realistic film with a powerful lead actress, presenting the challenges of a very young girl with a minority background in modern France, speaking up for an important, yet seldom addressed issue.”

Dutch documentary WHY DIDN’T YOU STAY FOR ME? by Milou Gevers was awarded twice, with the ECFA Doc and the Children’s Jury Award. “This sincere, respectful film dives into the heart of a trauma, bringing to light the balance between grief and relief of four youngsters.” The film follows children who have lost a parent to suicide and asks questions that nobody dared to ask the director when she was a child, confronted with a similar situation.

The ECFA Award for Best Short went to ELEVATOR ALONE by Anastasia Papadopoulou (Greece), “a funny, well-made film that brings a secret camera into the elevator in order to check what we do when we think that no one can see or hear us.”

The ECFA Jury were Sahim Omar Kalifa (Belgian-Kurdish director), Faridah Nabaggala (Norway, Abloom), and Pantelis Panteloglou (Greece, Olympia).


The JEF Festival also awards installations in the JEF XL Medialab. The votes of the Children’s Jury went to Next Level, constructed by Technopolis & partners and teaching children how to deal with artificial intelligence. While building the perfect tower with your team, A.I technique shows you how to do it faster, better and cheaper.