French director wins the highest award at Taipei Fest

According to the organizers, French actor, film and theater director and screenwriter Samuel Theis won the highest award for his new generation drama “Softy” at the Taipei Film Festival’s International Rookie Talent Competition.

In a statement, the jury said, “Softy uses a realistic approach to portray how the tender young soul is strengthened throughout the episode he faces.” It stood out from the 11 nominated works.

The jury was also praised for presenting “amazing precision in film technique”, “acting actors confidently show his mature staging ability, and the powerful relief of the finale is ours. It’s memorable. “

The film also won the Taiwan Film Critics Association Award for its fifth year of performance and camerawork, “capturing the resilience of the protagonist in a growth story beyond the pain and turmoil of growth.”

Set in a harsh region of eastern France, the 95-minute color film tells the story of 10-year-old Johnny, who shows his age-old sensibility, intellect, and interest.

Johnny’s life changes when a new teacher from outside the town takes over his class. Johnny is intrigued by the sophisticated young teacher who sees the boy’s potential and strives to open up a new world for him.

Theis said the film was based on his personal experience when he was 10 years old, living in poverty with his family.

He described the film as a childhood portrait of eastern France.

“I was very interested in this age of 10 being a time when we really have a lot of charm, a lot of dreams, a lot of feelings and a lot of discoveries,” said Theis. Said. “But there is also gravity, and there is a lot of seriousness at this age.”

Born in Creutzwald, a small town on the border with Germany in 1978, and raised in nearby Forbach, Tais studied acting at the National School of Drama Technology (ENSATT) in Lyon and then wrote a script at La Femis in Paris. ..

Softie is the second feature film directed by Theis after co-directing Party Girl.

Meanwhile, Icelandic director Gemundur Arner Gemundson’s second film, “Beautiful Beings,” won the Special Jury Award.

“The surreal vision pervades the anxieties of a group of teenagers in the village of Iceland, providing a punch of realism and a touch of fantasy,” the jury said in a statement.

“We look forward to seeing his further potential as we witness the director’s courage to challenge existing narration patterns and visual languages,” said the jury.

Winners of the Grand Prize and Special Jury Award will receive NT $ 600,000 and NT $ 300,000 (US $ 20,146 and US $ 10,073), respectively.

The International Rookie Talent Competition is Taiwan’s only award for its debut and second feature film made by new filmmakers around the world.

Part of the Taipei Film Festival, the competition selects 10-12 films each year, focusing on new director composition, storytelling, theme understanding, and aesthetic style possibilities.

The film festival, which began on June 23, ended yesterday with the award ceremony of the Taipei Denkage Lion Awards. At this festival, 30 films, including feature films, documentaries, shorts and animated films, competed for NT $ 1 million for the highest award.

This year’s Taipei Denkage Lion Award received 400 entries for 51 special features, 75 documentaries, 209 short films, and 65 animated films.

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