The 2020 Prizes !





Despite the cancellation of the 35th edition, we have decided to carry on with the 2020 edition with a winners’ list, as the prizes are necessary for the acknowledgement, the career of young filmmakers. 


The International Jury composed of Philippe Azoury (journalist and critic), Frank Beauvais (filmmmaker, music consultant and film programmer), Bruno Deloye (TV Channel director Ciné+ Classic & Club), Amélie Galli (critic and programmer at the Centre Pompidou) and Sarah Leonor (filmmaker and screenwriter) has awarded the 4 prizes of the International Competition.



Awarded to a feature film and provided by the city of Belfort


The jury's note:

The jury unanimously chose to give the Janine Bazin Grand Prize to Joël Akafou’s After the Crossing for the way it so accurately broaches its subject, how artfully it tells the story, the exact distance it never fails to keep with its subject and its acute sense of humanity. At a time when freedom of movement and the right to seek asylum are severely undermined by the powers that be, the vital, tenacious protagonist, Bourgeois, echoes deep within us all with such dramatic intensity that it transcends (what is regarded as) the frame of documentary genre.  

The winner's note:

I would first like to express my sadness about the poor souls weeping in the Mediterranean…
I dedicate this Grand Prize to them. I would like to thank the jury who has acknowledged the true value of this film. I would also like to thank the whole production team: Vrai Vrai Films with Florent Coulon and Faissol Gnonlonfin, Les Films du Djabadjah with Berni Goldblat and of course Quentin Noirfalisse’s Dancing Dog Production. I would also like to thank the crew, Corneil Hounsou, Olivier Danuzeau, Matteo and Jeanne for the editing, as well as those who have taken part in it, be it financially or artistically. After the Crossing, is for me a unique experience; I crossed the Mediterranean listening to those young people, sobbing like a child, and depressed as I alone could not tell these youths that they were men as much as anybody else… Some of these youths dream of the Promised Land that has, in their eyes, fallen apart. Others are just free men, free to move, free to settle where they want while respecting others, humans… What we call globalization is skewed because the free movement of people hardly extends to everyone alike…
To finish, like Bourgeois, I am a migrant, I am Joël Akafou, a man from the Ivory Coast, like Bourgeois, but who is allowed travel because he looks like a good guy…
I say no, because like Bourgeois, I am a man who wants to go where nature takes him, where my soul can live comfortably.
Thank you 



Awarded to the French distributor of the film: the award represents the purchase of the rights to broadcast the film on Ciné+ Club channel

EYIMOFE by Arie et Chuko Esiri

(2020 / 114’ / Nigeria)

The jury's note:

The jury were unanimous in choosing Arie and Chuko Esiri’s Eyimofe as the winner of the prize for distribution: a first, remarkably successful cinematic oeuvre, a masterful scenario, a journey deep into a bustling city, with spot-on acting and directing that convey this universal reality of our longing for somewhere else, staying clear from any naïve optimism. This prize is an opportunity for this rising African start to be added to the map of world cinema, thus helping Nigeria – beyond Nollywood – to make its first steps on the Western stage.  

The winner's note:

We are incredibly thrilled at the news of Eyimofe winning the Cine + Distribution Support Award. Oftentimes one feels, working in the part of the world that we do, that you’re in a perpetual shadow. Every project is birthed with the understanding that it may not escape the dark and to be given this opportunity to share our work with a wider audience is truly a life line. We want to thank Entrevues for inviting us and providing such a magnificent platform and we also want to thank the jury for bestowing us with this honour.; we are filled with at once with immense joy, disbelief and gratitude - thank you for seeing us.


Awarded to a medium length or short film


(2020 / 14’ / Argentina)

The jury's note:

Unanimously, the jury decided to give the short-film prize to Agustina Comedi’s Playback. Ensayo de una despedida, a staunch, vital defense of the power of friendship and resistance. From gripping 80s footage, the filmmaker conveys a stirring story that teaches us about a part of Argentinian history we know little about (the beginning of AIDS in the gay community as the dictatorship is coming to an end) while also bringing its characters’ potency to our present time. The director merges intimate and political elements, and in what seems to be a light form, briefly resorts to fiction to introduce possible reparations, and provides us with a life-affirming ode to freedom. A vital film, in every sense of the word.  

The winner's note:

Hi everybody, my name Agustina Comedi, I’m the director of Playback.
I feel very, very honored to receive this award. We’re coming out of an eight-month lockdown, the summer is coming, this award came… so it feels like something nice is happening.
I wanted to thank the festival for the opportunity to show our film, for all of their efforts. I know the problems you’ve been going through with Covid. So thank you so much for your efforts. I hope next here the festival can happen face to face, and we can all be there celebrating.
I also wanted to thank the jury, for choosing our film; it’s amazing and we’re very happy.
And I want to thank my team because, at least here in Latin America, it’s difficult to gather funding to make a short film, so most of the short films that are made are made with the collaboration and the will of many people who work for free. They’re my friends and my team, so thank you so much; the film would have absolutely not been possible without you.
Time to say goodbye. Hope to see you next year. There, maybe, hopefully.
Take care. Bye.  



Awarded to a film for the remarkable and innovative musical spirit of the film

THE WORKS AND DAYS (of Tayoko Shiojiri in the Shiotani Basin) by C.W. Winter et Anders Edström

(2020 / 480’ / USA, Sweden, Japan, United Kingdom)

The jury's note :

The jury chose to give the One+One prize for music and sound work to Anders Edström’s and C.W. Winter’s film: The works and days (of Tayoko Shiojiri in the Shiotani basin). This unanimous decision rewards the film for the way it carefully listens to life as it flows by, for the hypnotic quality of some of the scenes (particularly the nature scenes), its silence and its precise, unadulterated work, consistent with its musical choices (Tony Conrad, Eliane Radigue, Phill Niblock, Keiji Haino, Bill Evans, and the list goes on). All of this, sustained over a remarkable 8 hours, generates a real sound landscape.

The winner's note:

On behalf of our whole team, we would like to offer our thanks to the jury for this prize. To win any prize at Belfort is an honor. Though as this prize is one of the only prizes in the festival world to recognize achievement in musicality and sound, we are especially pleased, as sound is such a foregrounded concern for us. So thank you.
We would also like to thank our Re-Recording Mixer Rob Walker and the team at Creativity Media in London for being wonderful collaborators.
And lastly, we would like to thank Elsa Charbit and all of the organizers of the festival for their commitment to carrying on with the competition despite the festival’s cancellation. This sort of prize recognition is so valuable to films that fall outside the dominant economy. And so we are grateful to the team at Entrevues Belfort for their sensitivity to this.



Made possible by the sponsorship of Fondation de France, this prize rewards a young French filmmaker for his/her first narrative feature film released this year.

The jury is composed of Laurent Achard (filmmaker), Emmanuelle Cuau (filmmaker) and Gaël Teicher (producer, distributor, publisher) has awarded the Gérard Frot-Coutaz Prize, provided of 5000 euros to:

ABOU LEILA by Amin Sidi-Boumédiène

(2020 / 135' / France)

The jury's note:

Because it is today more urgent than ever to believe in cinema and because this film believes in it fully, perfectly, wonderfully, and makes us believe in it fully, perfectly, wonderfully. Because there’s no more beautiful first feature than one that doesn’t care it is a first film, but rather cares it is a film, fully, perfectly, wonderfully. Because there is not a more beautiful film that the one in which we get lost, wander about, walk back on our own footsteps - unaware they are ours - without ever being taken by the hand, as the film trusts us fully, perfectly, wonderfully. Because Gérard Frot-Coutaz would have loved this film for its boldness, the scope of its mise-en-scène, the beautiful men that inhabit it, the belief that art is what makes life bigger than art itself. Because any reality is a construction and directing is key in this construction. Because behind the desert’s white looking glass hides the beasts that look like us and this is where cinema brings us together. Because cinema is a journey south and filmmakers are our compass on this journey. Because it breathes without a mask and walks without fear. Because cinema hangs by a single look. Because Abou Leila is a great film, as Renoir defined it “an open window on the world” regardless the state of the world, we are happy to give this film the 2020 Gérard Frot-Coutaz prize.

The winner's note:

It’s always a surprise for me to receive a prize, especially for a film that wasn’t really crafted to be acclaimed by all. So I am delighted every time one understands (or “feels”) the film and I would like to thank the jury both for their appreciation of the film and their kind words and support. Also I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to Fondation de France and the whole team of the Belfort Festival for its considerable efforts in putting on an event whose primary purpose is to gather films and audiences, and where arthouse films can be given the spotlight they deserve. I accept this award, not only on my behalf, but mostly on behalf of the whole team who made this difficult film possible (the technical team, the production team and the actors). Thank you all.



As soon as possible, we will organise screenings of the 2020 selection at the Pathé Cinéma in Belfort; an opportunity for the audience to discover the films and to award the two prizes for the short and feature films.



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