Few festivals hand out as many awards as the Olympia Festival in Pyrgos, Greece. Not only by combining the festival awards with the Camera Zizanio Awards for young filmmakers, but also when it comes to ECFA Awards! There were three of them, with the remarkable I, JULIA winning as the Best Short.
The Olympia Festival campaigned actively to draw attention to women’s rights, and the prevention of abuse and ill-treatment. The ECFA Award sought to connect with this policy by awarding I, JULIA (by Arvin Kananian, Sweden), about 14 year old Julia, living what seems to be a normal life, but there is a darkness growing, as her father controls the family with physical and mental abuse. The jury stated: “Behind every breakthrough there is a personal struggle. I, JULIA empowers young women to stand up against domestic abuse.” (Interview with Arvin Kananian in the next ECFA Journal)
The ECFA Award for Best Feature went to SPACEBOY (Olivier Pairoux, Belgium), “a true project of passion; the director’s enthusiasm can be felt in every scene and frame. The filmmaker has found an original visual language to tell a story about solidarity, mutual support, and a passion for science.” The ECFA Jury were Xiaojuan Zhou (Attraction, Canada), Catarina Ramalho (Play Festival, Portugal) and Gert Hermans (JEF, Belgium).
The ECFA Doc Award went to A YOUTH (by Giorgio Bosisio, Italy) about an aspiring teenage rapper from Afghanistan, who finds himself stuck in Athens with a group of friends. Through music and poetry he tries to make sense of the world around him. The ECFA Doc Jury were Marije Veenstra (IDFA, the Netherlands), Volker Petzold (Schlingel, Germany) and Tanja Tlatlik (doxs!, Germany).