With a jury made up of world cinema greats like Israeli helmer Shlomi Elkabetz, and Iranian American auteur Ana Lily Amirpour it's no wonder that the films awarded La Cinef's prizes broke boundaries.
Making up the selection, which consisted of 16 student films were an array of nationalities, from Iran to the UK, from India to Brazil, with Germany, Egypt and the USA represented. The selection was made up of 14 short fictions and 2 animated short films, among which a groundbreaking 10 films were directed by women and 7 films by men -- the Iranian entry had two helmers. In total there were 13 countries from 4 continents represented including Morocco, which appeared for the first time in the selection.
The jury was presided over by Ildikó Enyedi, along with Charlotte Le Bon and Karidja Touré rounding out the group.
The Festival de Cannes allocates a €15,000 grant for the First Prize, €11,250 for the Second and €7,500 for the Third. Ayyur (Moon) by Zineb Wakrim, her student project at ÉSAV Marrakech in Morocco, walked away with the Third Prize, while Hwang Hyein from the Korean Academy of Film Arts in South Korea took home Second Prize for Hole.
Wakrim's short is a moody black and white film which has hints of Amirpour's own early work. It tells the story of Hasna and Samad, both 14 years old, as art and painting help them to resist and catch the light in the middle of the darkness.
Hole is the story of Jeong-mi, who during a home visit, discovers a young boy and his little sister living in a house with a large manhole in it and what happens when the children ask Jeong-mi to go down the manhole.
The top award, First Prize, went to Marlene Emilie Lyngstad from Den Danske Filmskole in Denmark for her short film Norwegian Offspring. The film is about what happens when a mother passes away, and her estranged son -- obsessed with theories about the repression of male sexuality in modern society -- starts longing for an offspring of his own.
The Festival de Cannes will hand out its main competition awards on Friday, May 26th, 2023.