Mo & Friese’s ECFA Short Award for THE DEPARTURE

Mo & Friese (Hamburg) celebrated its 2nd online edition with an ECFA Award for a magnificent short film. And as the festival staff stated: “We are happy twice… Once because all went well and once because it is over…”


Morocco, 2004. Adil, aged 11, spends his summer playing with his friends and waiting for his idol, athlete Hicham El Guerrouj, to compete in his last Olympic Games. The arrival of his father and older brother from France, will mark his life forever. Since the Mo & Friese Festival, French-Moroccan coproduction THE DEPARTURE by Said Hamich is the new title on the ECFA Short Award shortlist.

The story is built up adequately, with every single scene profoundly adding to a final result, situated on the edge of fiction and documentary. Much more than on the physical aspect of migration, the director focuses on the mental journey. Throughout the film the young protagonist establishes a connection with a father he hardly knows, and with a country he hasn’t been to yet. The dialogues among children sound totally natural, and an original way was found to lend the story a touch of hope and pride”, said the ECFA Jury, composed of Jo-anne Blouin (Canada), Julia Fleißig (Germany) and Gert Hermans (Belgium).


The Mo jury’s prize (category 9 – 12 years) went to VANILLE by Guillaume Lorin (Guadeloupe, France & Switzerland) about a little Parisian girl arriving in Guadeloupe. Immersed in an exotic and mysterious adventure, she is confronted with picturesque characters and magical flowers. The film has a remarkable format: almost 30’ long, drawn in clear lines with a very live-action-like approach. “We especially appreciated the original combination of animated film and real landscape shots. Overall, the film is very exciting, never boring, and dramaturgically very well told. We also liked the strong cohesion between the women, especially between Vanille and her aunt”, stated the young jurors.