The 7th edition of the Montreal International Black Film Festival (MIBFF), presented by Global Montreal, announced its 2011 award winners at its closing night ceremony at Cinéma Impérial last night.
The winners were selected by a professional jury. The jury for the narrative feature films category was made up of Don Jordan (Actor and President of ACTRA), Ian Boyd (Producer/Les films de l’Isle) and Danielle Leduc (Actress). The jury for the documentary feature films category consisted of Léo Kalinda (Journalist/Radio-Canada), Nicola Bridge (Journalist and Researcher) and Karim Ouadia (Journalist/Radio-Canada). The jury for the short and medium-length films category was composed of Anne-Marie Dupras (Director), Steve Bastien (Actor) and Will Prosper (Documentary Filmmaker).
BEST NARRATIVE FEATURE FILM
The best narrative feature film award went to Gabriel Range for I AM SLAVE (England). The jury had the following to say: “This extraordinary film fulfills the full criteria in terms of story, direction, casting, acting, cinematography, editing, etc. Apart from the magnificent performance of the lead actress, this film touches both the heart and the mind, and is a true work of art.”
The jury also gave a special mention to LOST IN AFRICA (Denmark) by Vibeke Muasya and to CASE DÉPART (France) by Thomas Ngijol, Fabrice Éboué and Lionel Steketee.
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE FILM
The best documentary feature film award went to Eliaichi Kamaro for A LOT LIKE YOU (Tanzania/U.S.). The jury had this to say about the film: “This story, which borders on a legend, will touch everyone’s heart, regardless of gender, colour, personal history and social condition: the most optimistic of the 10 films we’ve seen.”
The jury also gave a special mention to THE REDEMPTION OF GENERAL BUTT NAKED (U.S., Liberia, Georgia) by Eric Strauss and Daniele Anastasion.
BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM
The award for best animated short went to Shawnee and Shawnelle Gibbs for SULE AND THE CASE OF THE TINY SPARKS (U.S.). In the opinion of the jury: “The story of this film is as magnificent as it is inspiring. Proof that a small short can depict huge and beautiful moments.”
BEST NARRATIVE SHORT FILM
The best narrative short award went to C.R. Reisser for PROTECT THE NATION (South Africa and Germany). The jury had the following to say: “This award recognizes the film’s gripping storyline and script, its skillful directing and its young, very endearing actor. A sensational film that’s hard to forget.”
The jury also gave a special mention to HABIBTI (England) by Nour Wazzi. “It’s impossible not to mention this film in which family, religion and opening oneself up to others are really put to the test through images that are as powerful as they are piercingly truthful. A powerhouse of a film.”
BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT FILM
The award for best documentary short went to Damien Faure for LA COLONISATION OUBLIÉE (France). According to the jury: “A disturbing portrait of the Papuan people of western New Guinea who, for almost 40 years now, have simply been asking to have their existence recognized, politically and culturally.”
BEST MEDIUM-LENGTH DOCUMENTARY FILM
The award for best medium-length documentary went to Manu Gerosa for KAMENGE, NORTHERNS QUARTERS (Italy, Spain, Burundi). The jury had this to say: “This film takes us to a Burundi still torn between the Hutus and the Tutsis, following an ex-journalist fighting for his country, risking his own life, in a country where there is no freedom of speech. Sparkling with truth!”
The Festival has announced that it will be creating an Audience Award in 2012, which is to become an annual tradition.
THE 8TH MIBFF WILL BE PRESENTED BY GLOBAL MONTREAL
FROM SEPTEMBER 20 TO 30, 2012
About the Montreal International Black Film Festival
Presented by Global Montreal, the Montreal International Black Film Festival (MIBFF) was created in 2005 by the Fabienne Colas Foundation, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting Cinema, Art and Culture. The mission of the MIBFF is to stimulate the development of the independent film industry and to showcase more films on the realities of Blacks from around the world. The Festival wants to promote a different kind of cinema, cinema that hails from here and from abroad and that does not necessarily have the opportunity to grace the big screen, groundbreaking cinema that moves us, that raises awareness and that takes us all by surprise. The MIBFF wants to deal with issues and present works that raise questions, that provoke, that make us smile, that leave us perplexed, that shock us... A fresh new look at black cinema from the four corners of the globe!