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Eco-Security Forces, Meeting with Ghosts and Influencers' therapy. Here Come The Winners of Papaya Rocks Film Festival 10.03.2021

"Polaris" short movie still /

Even though the third edition of the event took place online, it nevertheless offered many promising filmmakers a great space to express their creativity.

Papaya Rocks Film Festival was brought to Genesis Cinema in London at the beginning of 2020. Unfortunately, due to the epidemiological restrictions concerning the COVID-10 pandemic, organising the offline event with the filmmakers and the audience this year was impossible. Nevertheless, the organisers didn't surrender and moved the screenings to the online platform, Cinenso. Nearly 200 shorts were submitted, 60% of which were directed by women. The verdict was a tough call as the selected productions oscillated around various themes and styles, as well as depicted intriguing characters. The full list of the winners (stated below), includes dystopian, cosmic, influencer-like, and coming-of-age stories. –  I have been impressed by the passion and the willingness of contestants to explore the creative opportunity that these challenging times have offered them – told Niger Asije, the programmer of Papaya Rocks Film Festival. 

More details on the event, which ran in the last week of February, can be found HERE

Jury Award – Best Film 

Stray | dir. Wanjiru Njendu / US / 2’ 
A spirit metes out vengeance by luring their children away when a young girl ignores her mother's warning about the Pied Piper myth.

Polaris: TRAILER / autor: Ellen Gordon

BULLDOG | dir. Kieran Sringfellow / UK / 6’30 
After spending the night in a cell, a rough sleeper has a score to settle.

Best Student Film 

Polaris | dir. Ellen Gordon / UK / 4’ / animation 
Graduate film. When Ursa Minor falls out of the sky in a storm, he must embark on an adventure to find his way home - with the help of a new friend.

Stray Trailer / autor: Wanjiru Njendu

Best Micro-short

The Last Oak | dir. Annabel Vine / UK / 1’30 
The only surviving soldier of an eco-security force must overcome his inexperience and complete an important mission that will save his future in more ways than one. 

The Last Oak / autor: Annabel Vine

Best Animation 

Grandad Was a Romantic | dir. Maryam Mohajer / UK / 4’39 / animation 
My grandad was a romantic. He once saw a picture of my granny and realised that she was the love of his life. One day he decided to go meet my granny.

Grandad was a romantic. Trailer / autor: Maryam Mohajer

Best Debut 

Round Round Baby Round Round | dir. Toby Parker Rees / UK / 6’38 
A short film on birth, buffering and death.Kay’s on-off boyfriend has come up with a perplexing new reason she should keep his baby. She calls her friend Em to try and talk it all out, but can’t quite get through.

Round Round Baby Round Round trailer / autor: Ritual Images

Best Director 

As We Fell Into The Sun | writer: Ivory Campbell / UK / 4’46 
The movie follows the life of a young boy named Vincent and the relationship that he has with the spirit of his grandfather.

As We Fell Into The Sun / autor: Ivory Campbell

Best Screenplay 

Influencers Anonymous | writer: James Vincent / Spain & UK / 4’58 
A group of ex-social media influencers share their stories at a group counselling session.

Influencers Anonymous – Trailer / autor: Ross McClure

Best Cinematography 

Joannie | cin. Catherine Derry / UK / 4’42 
Based on Rosie's experience with her own Mother, this film sympathetically deals with what it's like to have, or deal with someone suffering from dementia.

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