Announcing Glasgow Short Film Festival’s 2021 award winners

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The award winners of the 14th edition of Glasgow Short Film Festival were announced on Sunday 28 August during the festival’s online Closing Ceremony hosted by Jonathan Watson. The festival itself beat all previous attendance figures, with approximately 5,800 viewers in attendance, or 150 viewers per programme.

The Bill Douglas Award for International Short Film winner was decided by an international jury made up of Mahdi Fleifel (filmmaker, GSFF 2020 Bill Douglas Award winner), Émilie Poirier (head of the short film and student competition at the Montreal Festival du nouveau cinéma) and Margarida Moz (director of Portugal Film, the Portuguese Film Agency). 

The jury chose Red Aninsri; or, Tiptoeing on the Still Trembling Berlin Wall directed by Ratchapoom Boonbunchachoke as the winner of the Bill Douglas Award for International Short Film. 

The jury said: There is no doubt that the possibilities are endless when it comes to the short film form. Here is a film that left us all cheering in awe. A refreshing approach to a national film tradition and codes used in a unique and contemporary style. With an eerie and outlandish attitude; a sheer confidence in its aesthetic choices, we were amused, surprised and charmed by its originality, both in form and content. In short, this film was pure punk. 

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The jury’s special mention went to Huntsville Station directed by Chris Filippone and Jamie Meltzer

The jury said: A short transit in the lives of men on a crossroad, this film moved us deeply by its quiet and delicate observations. At times humorous, but always deadly earnest, this was a moving and uplifting slice of life.

The International Audience Award as voted by the festival audience went to Store Policy directed by Sarah Arnold.

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The Scottish Competition winner was decided by a jury made up Felipe Bustos Sierra (Glasgow-based filmmaker), Rimantė Daugėlaitė (managing director of Lithuanian Shorts and head of Vilnius International Short Film Festival) and Sven Schwarz (managing director of Hamburg International Short Film Festival). 

The jury chose Expensive Shit directed by Adura Onashile as the winner of the Scottish Competition.

The jury said: A dynamic emotionally tense drama in which the viewer is convinced by every single element of the story’s development. Great casting, amazing cinematography and immersive sound design. It’s a film that would be great in any time period, but its depiction of the vicious circle of exploitation feels particularly relevant to this moment.

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The jury awarded special mentions to two films: Sudden Death directed by Rhona Mühlebach and Green Thoughts directed by William Hong-xiao Wei

The jury said about Sudden DeathA road trip that keeps its tongue firmly planted in its cheek and that made us laugh, which is something we all need right now.

The jury said about Green ThoughtsA film that presents an amazing poetic cinematography that we definitely can’t wait to see on the big screen. 

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The Scottish Audience Award as voted by the festival audience also went to Expensive Shit directed by Adura Onashile. This is the first time in the festival’s history that the Scottish Audience and Jury Awards have been won by the same film.

Festival Director Matt Lloyd said: “Congratulations to all the winners, and in particular to Adura Onashile for this historic double win for her beautifully crafted and timely film. Thank you to the juries, and to everyone who participated in the festival this year: it’s a dubious accolade to be one of the first festivals in the world to deliver two online editions but I’m so very grateful for the support we’ve received, and immensely proud of the team who delivered this edition under very challenging circumstances. We’ll see you all next year in front of the biggest screen we can muster!”

The 15th edition of Glasgow Short Film Festival will take place 23-27 March 2022. The call for submissions will open in June 2021.