Amar Colony by Siddharth Chauhan (India), and About Us But Not About Us by Jun Robles Lana (Philippines) were awarded at the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival (PÖFF) which took place from November 11 – 27, 2022 in Tallinn, Estonia.
First Feature Competition
Special Jury Prize #2
Meera is beautiful, pregnant and in search of some spice in her life. Mohit is young, idle, and lives next door with Devki, his abusive mother. Meera has a boring and absent husband. But wait to see what the guy is hiding. Her aunty Dunga is old and hopes to become immortal, her other half has a secret in his shop nobody knows about, except his young grandchild who is smarter than it seems. They all live in a dilapidated building called Amar Colony.
Jury comment: “This film delighted us with a bold and innovative presentation of a small town community whose frank sensuality and unabashed pursuit of urges, both human and divine, are set against the resonant backdrop of a culturally rich and deeply personal setting. The director daringly takes us by the hand and leads us on a journey to his world, introducing us to his characters and their lives with affection and often with humor. We present the Special Jury Prize for originality of vision to Amar Colony.”
Critic’s Picks Competition Prize
Masterfully orchestrated – with only a small budget, the setting basically consisting of a table, two chairs, two persons talking, one mysterious manuscript and some little food in-between – this two-men drama reminds me of Robert Bresson’s famous words about filmmaking: “Two types of films: those that employ the resources of the theatre (actors, direction, etc.) and use the camera in order to reproduce, and those that employ the resources of cinematography and use the camera to create. (Robert Bresson. “Notes on the Cinematograph”, New York Review of Books, 2016) – Niki Nikitin
Jury comment: “A thrilling psychological chamber drama with surprising plot twists. An unexpected realtime masterpiece, with minimal but perfect film making, About us is not about us but about how to make cinema with what we have.”
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