Many films showcased and awarded at this year’s Atlas Awards International Film Festival have screened internationally, garnered critical acclaim, and won prestigious prizes — even before arriving at the Atlas Awards. Here are some of the highlights of this year’s Official Selection:
- The Short Film Corner of the Cannes Film Festival screened two films selected for this year’s festival: Mousse and Where Are You My Love?, the latter of which is also the recipient of this year’s Human Rights Award.
- Abbas Rafei’s narrative feature Oblivion Season, which follows the travails of a former sex worker in present-day Tehran, features as its lead actress Sareh Bayat — recipient of the Silver Bear for Best Actress at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2011 for her role in Asghar Farhadi’s acclaimed (and Oscar-winning) A Separation.
- Nina Gilden Seavey, the director of Parables of War, this year’s Best Documentary Short Film, is the Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker of A Paralyzing Fear: The Story of Polio in America. (Her films have been nominated for five National Emmy Awards.) She is the recipient of the Erik Barnouw Prize for Best Historical Film of the Year, The Golden Hugo, Cine Special Jury Prize, The Italian National Olympic Cup for Best Sports Film, among many other awards. Seavey is the director of The Documentary Center in the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences at The George Washington University, which she founded in 1990. She has been named one of the top 50 professors of journalism in the U.S., was named a Woman of Vision by Women in Film and Video, and received a commendation for Outstanding Service to the Industry by Discovery Communications.
- Tim Labonte, director of the documentary Who Did It? The Clue VCR Game, also worked on the documentary Haiti: Triumph, Sorrow, and the Struggle of a People, which won an Associated Press Award for Best Documentary and was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Societal Concerns Program in the Boston/New England Chapter.
- Pechorin, from Russian director Roman Khrushch, won Best Feature Film at the London Film Awards, Best Director at the New Hope Film Festival, and the Platinum Remi Award at the 46th Worldfest-Houston International Film Festival. (Khrushch can now count Best Production Design and Best Costume Design in this list — both awarded to Pechorin at this year’s Atlas Awards.)
- Agnus Dei, Agim Sopi’s feature drama from Kosovo and the recipient of two Atlas Awards this year, was also awarded Best Foreign Film at the London Film Awards, Best in Festival at the London Crystal Palace International Film Festival, Best Feature Film at the Ionian International Film Festival, and many other awards.
- Helio, this year’s winner of the Atlas Awards for Best Action Film and Best Science Fiction Film, has also been awarded Best Cinematography at the Widescreen Film Festival and Music Video Awards in Miami as well as Best Short Sci-Fi and the Audience Award at the Miami International Science Fiction Film Festival.
- New Generation Queens won Best International Documentary at last year’s Manhattan Film Festival.
- The Berlin International Film Festival hosted the world premiere of Rosso Papavero, the Slovakian film by Martin Smatana that won the Atlas Award for Best Animated Film this year.
- Miss C, the officially-selected screenplay by Kelly Jean Karam, won Best Screenplay at the Peachtree Village Film Festival and Best Feature Script at the California Women’s Film Festival.
- Grace, the officially-selected screenplay by Lynda Lemberg and Jeffrey Allen Russel, is the recipient of 71 awards, including the Grand Prize at the Hollywood Hills Screenplay Competition.
- Saman Hosseinpuor, the director of Autumn Leaves and Fish, both in this year’s Official Selection, won his second Atlas Award for Best Director, becoming the only filmmaker to win the award two years in a row — and the only filmmaker to win multiple Atlas Awards in multiple years.
- The Man Who Fed His Shadow has been officially-selected at 140 festivals (including at Raindance, at which it was nominated in the category of Best International Short), has received 32 awards, and has qualified for the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.
- Baobabs between Land and Sea has screened in film festivals, received awards, and has been featured internationally in news outlets such as RFI (Radio France Internationale). The film’s director, Cyrille Cornu, is a researcher at CIRAD, ‘the French agricultural research and international cooperation organisation working for the sustainable development of tropical and Mediterranean regions’, and is one of the world’s leading specialists on the baobabs of Madagascar.
- The Best Horror Film this year was The Eve, also the recipient of more than 50 other international awards. ■
For the full 2016 festival schedule with film synopses, visit this year’s festival page.
For more information about the Atlas Awards, visit our Awards page.