These are the winners of the Nara International Film Festival which took place from September 17 – 24, 2022 in Nara, Japan.
Golden Shika Award
The aftermath of Babri Mosque demolition and the Bombay blasts in India, 1992-’93, found its violent echoes even in a remote village of West Bengal adjacent to the India-Bangladesh border where the story begins to unfold. A story of friendship between two little boys belonging to two warring religious communities. Palash (8) is the son of a Hindu Brahmin while Safikul (8) is the son of a Muslim weaver. The innocence of Palash and Safikul receives its sustenance from nature. The greenery of the village, the river and the vast stretch of paddy fields playfully rebound the echoes of the voices and the laughter of the boys. However, relentless fate arrives quietly, when separation becomes the destiny of their friendship. How the boys face the farewell and spread wings to fly again. (NaraIFF2022)
7-year-old Nora and her big brother Abel are back to school. When Nora witnesses Abel being bullied by other kids, she rushes to protect him by warning their father. But Abel forces her to remain silent. Caught in a conflict of loyalty, Nora will try to find her place, torn between children’s and adults’worlds. (NaraIFF 2022)
Special Jury Award
PUSHING BOUNDARIES accompanies athletes from the Ukrainian Paralympic National Team who have lost their training base in Crimea due to the Russian annexation. They try to adapt to the new historic conditions in their private as well as in their professional lives and to qualify for the next games. (NaraIFF 2022)
Student Film Category
Golden Kojika Award
That night was a little bit special… because of that feeling that young people have when summer is coming to an end. Yamanobe and Kimi are jobhunting, but their scheduled interviews have suddenly been postponed. Syuichi makes a phone call to Rinko, who used to be a caretaker for his baseball team. Kento and Kyoko are working part time at a convenience store. In a seaside town, their unforgettable night begins. (NaraIFF 2022)
Naoto, who has been wandering in a big city for a long time, always remembers that Takumi treated him kindly throughout his painful childhood. However, Takumi faded away from his life without a trace, which was very hard for Naoto to come to terms with.
Naoto returns to his hometown to look for Takumi. Standing in the place where these memories were made, his memory mingles with reality and everything seems to return to the beautiful old days. (NaraIFF 2022)
Special Jury Award
In China, keeping human remains perfect, as per tradition, is believed to be the best offering for those who have passed away. This is why many people in poor regions or rural areas who suffer from educational inequalities, reject the idea of donating bodies to science. On the other hand, in new cities like Shenzhen, more and more people accept these donations and quite a few young people offer to donate their bodies after death. Today, the gap between those who follow the traditional idea and those who understand the modern system, is widening in China.
This film follows Gao Min, China’s leading coordinator for body donations, as he works and describes how painful it is to live, die, love, and say goodbye, through the stories of three body donations. (NaraIFF 2022)
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