ONION MAIN AWARD – A Radiograph of a Family – Firouzeh Khosrovanis
Firouzeh Khosrovanis takes us on a journey into Iran of the late 60‘s and gives us an insight through the lens of her parents’ marriage – her mother from a traditional, religious family marries the progressive, modern medical student and follows him to Switzerland. With the revolution, they return to Iran, where the family grows apart through two ideological lines. Khosrovani manages very skillfully, subtly and poetically to represent the difficulty in the parents’ relationship as well as Iranian society into a visually unique language by leading us allegorically through the parents’ apartment. In her brilliant narrative style, she masterfully interweaves archival material from that time with her own family images and letters, whose cracks and flaws she adds to and unfolds an irresistible pull that generates deeper understanding.
ONION AWARD SPECIAL MENTION – Gunda by Viktor Kossakovsky
The film Gunda gives us insight, cause for thought and reflection on our behaviour as humans. Made with great respect and love for the animals, this film impressed and moved us. Gunda’s stunning visuals insist on showing the lives of animals, reminding us that animals do have a language and for the survival of mankind; we must listen.
MORAL APPROACH AWARD – Garage People by Natalija Yefimkina
After a discussion that quickly led to strong common agreements, the jury decided to give the Moral Approach award to Natalija Yefimkina and her film Garage People. We wanted to pay tribute to the modesty and the intelligence with which the film embraces this gallery of lives that could seem so easily promised to despise and to oblivion. Going back to the DNA of the documentary gesture, N.Y. patiently translates onto the screen the organic reality that she’s observing. She always respect the characters in their natural rhythms, never simplifies the complexity of their existence nor reduces the many layers of their reality, and she never uses their originality or their strangeness to manipulate, judge, or make fun of them. In this way, she does much more than just introducing these lives to us: she fights against the temptation, for the world that surrounds them, to mistake this “garage people” for “garbage” people. Instead, she shows us, behind each of these humble doors, a constant recycling of things, of life, creativity, love, memories and questions. She reminds us that, however limited our human existences are in time and space, they contain great resources of dignity, and that this dignity is at the same time precious, fragile, and beautiful.
YOUNG ONION AWARD – Dida by Nikola Ilich and Corina Schwingruber Ilić
The film that really touched our hearts and we will carry with us is a bitter-sweet portrait. It forced us to confront our own challenges in an honest, subtle and life-affecting way. We are honored to give the 2021 Young Onion Award to Dida.
YOUNG ONION AWARD SPECIAL MENTION – Reconciliation by Marija Zidar
The 2021 Young Onion Award Special Mention goes to Reconciliation. A beautiful film that takes us to a remote place and into a community stuck with lethal tradition. A film about irreconcilable tragedy with hope of resolution through dialogue by human will against all odds.
SLICED ONION AWARD – The Game by Roman Hodel
The Sliced Onion Award for the Best Short Documentary goes to the film that thoughtfully introduces us to the point of view of an individual who is part of a great 90-minute performance shown through a one-act 18-minute drama with exceptional directing and intense sound that deepens and encourages empathy with the protagonist of The Game, directed by Roman Hodel. We follow the main character, Fedayi San while refereeing a football game as the entire stadium watches him. He decides and directs the energy of a stadium. The strong concept of the film and great technical work takes us into an emotional experience and loneliness of a man making decisions. The director offers a new perspective on football, amazing visuals, and audio with an emotional human story.
SLICED ONION AWARD SPECIAL MENTION – A Little Bit of Paradise by Andrzej Cichocki
A magical film that takes the audience into the everyday life of a family that lives on the outskirts. Microcosmos of the family as a happy island at the borders of modernity. We discover and awaken in a magical world, which reminds us of the beauty and richness of small and simple things, and when the imagination rules the everyday life of a humble family, we get A Little Bit of Paradise.
ONION SEED AWARD – I Don’t Feel At Home Anywhere Anymore by Viv Li
Documentary as an invitation to travel to foreign countries, worlds, dimensions and eventually is bridging to distant worlds and is opening a space for sharing and feeling of experiences that are not subject to any other means of communication. This film gave us the opportunity of experiencing deep sadness and homesickness combined with ironic moments. The feeling of anxiousness in the passage of time is lying beneath structured rhythm in everyday life. This story of China today is told by Viv Li in partialized tableaus without talking heads, moments of happiness, boredom and loneliness. And this quintessence of global cinematic language doesn’t need any translation.
The main Onion Seed Award goes to I Don’t Feel at Home Anywhere Anymore by Viv Li.
ONION SEED AWARD SPECIAL MENTION – Once Upon a Youth by Ivan Ramljak
To reconstruct the life of a friend just with photographs left behind after his death and recorded interviews with his friends is a successful attempt to narrate a story of growing up in Zagreb in weird times at the end of 20th century. The film that captures the spirit of early adulthood with all its fragility as well celebrating the life of a talented artist, friend and loved one.
The jury wants to mention a special award to Once Upon a Youth by Ivan Ramljak.