Wiz-Art 2023 Winners

On December 17, the winners of 15th Lviv International Short Film Festival Wiz-Art were announced.

The winners were selected by an international & national jury: Jukka-Pekka Laakso from Finland, Lauma Kaudzīte from Latvia, Anna Onufriienko, Kateryna Slipchenko, Anton Frolov, Valerii Myrnyi and Oksana Volosheniuk from Ukraine – as well as our audience.

29 films were competed for the jury and audience attention: 19 films in National and 10 in International Competition.

International Competition

Best film (jury statement)

NEIGHBOUR ABDI 29 min Douwe Dijkstra Netherlands 2022

Jury statement: “The main prize goes to a film that introduces a new unordinary way to talk on the screen about traumatic experiences with irony, creativity, and tenderness. It tells the story of a young man who overcame a lot of troubles, but despite that, did not lose his optimism and sense of humor. This film masterfully uses and at the same time playfully reveals the cinematic illusion, showing the other side of the filmmaking process, and breaking the borders between reality and fiction. The main prize goes to the film Neighbor Abdi by Douwe Dijkstra”.

Synopsis: How can you understand a violent past? Somali-born Abdi is furniture designer and support worker. He reenacts his life, marked by war and criminality, with the help of his neighbour and filmmaker Douwe. Through playful reconstructions in a special effects studio, Abdi and Douwe embark on a candid and investigative journey through a painful history, focusing on the creative process throughout.

 

International Competition

Special mention 1

BERGIE 7 min Dian Weys South Africa 2022

Jury statement: “A special mention goes to a seemingly simple film, with just one continuous shot. We follow a man for 7 minutes who is assigned for a simple task, but finds himself surrounded by people left behind in our progressing world and people who would like to be able to ignore them. Bergie, directed by Dian Weys deserves a special mention for asking a lot of questions about human values, dignity and responsibility and leaving the answers to us, the spectators of this short film”.

Synopsis: A law enforcement officer has to remove people that are homeless in order to make way for a 10km fun-run.

International Competition

Special mention 2

FLORES DEL OTRO PATIO 15 min Jorge Cadena Switzerland 2022

Jury statement: “A brave and powerful short that convinces us with not only its incredible visuals and beautiful sounds, but also with its important story that shows that love and celebration is an act of resistance in itself. The special mention goes to Flores del Otro Patio by Jorge Cadena”.

Synopsis: In the north of Colombia, a group of queer activists use extravagant performative actions to denounce the disastrous exploitation by the country’s largest coal mine.

International Competition

Audience Award

CHLORINE 20 min Thanos Psichogios Greece, Germany 2022

Synopsis: The 9-year-old girl spends the day swimming in the pool. Her eyes sting from the chlorine in the water. The man’s eyes are red too although he spends the day in the bedroom. The sun is shining. The house is clean and tidy. A father and a daughter keep hiding from each other.

National Competition

Best film (jury statement)

EXPLOSIONS NEAR THE MUSEUM 14 min. Roman Khimei, Yarema Malashchuk Ukraine 2023

Jury statement: “The documentation of war crimes is combined with an extraordinary artistic form. It is a convincing proof that a civilization of barbarism is one that first tries to destroy with narratives, then with weapons”.

Synopsis: The filmmakers captured images and sound in the city of Kherson itself, just recently liberated, and inside the Museum, situated 2 km from occupied territory and 6 km from the positions of Russian troops. This Museum of Regional History housed one of Southern Ukraine’s largest and oldest collections of antiquities, with over 173.000 objects spanning seven thousand years, from Scythian gold to World War II weaponry. But between 24 and 26 October 2022, two weeks before Kherson was liberated by the Ukrainians, the museum was looted by Russian occupational forces, in a strategic theft of centuries of Ukrainian history.

National Competition

Special mention 1

VOICE MESSAGES FROM BAKHMUT 15 min. Ihor Babaiev Ukraine 2023

Jury statement: “The film is striking in its combination of voice and visuals, a powerful and moving work“.

Synopsis: Bakhmut, Donetsk region, 2022. A story about an attempt to restore intimacy at a distance of the war told via the voice messages of a foreign correspondent in a front-line city.

National Competition

Special mention 2

ONE ALOE, ONE FICUS, ONE AVOCADO AND SIX DRACAENAS 8 min. Marta Smerechynska Ukraine, France 2022

Jury statement: “The film skillfully combines sound and image, creating a contrast between the personal and the universal, between warm and cold, between present and absent. It is a sense of catastrophe that is conveyed through everyday trifles”.

Synopsis: There is a washing machine wrapped in tape, meter-long indoor plants with roots, and children’s drawings among the hundreds of boxes on which addresses of Ukrainian cities are written.
This place resembles a warehouse of lost things.

National Competition

Audience Award

STORKS ALWAYS COME HOME 29 min. Halyna Koziutynska Ukraine 2023

Synopsis: Gala and Viktor are searching for their Heaven on earth. Even during the war. That’s why they buy an abandoned house in the Carpathian Mountains and start repairing it. It’s a place of peace and calmness, where they can grow their own food, be silent, be defenseless, and drink coffee overlooking the mountains and a stork’s nest. But winter comes, the apple tree in the yard freezes, and the War reaches Heaven.

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