Thursday, October 06, 2011


Narrative loops and stunningly powerful performances inspire the winning films at Filminute, the international one-minute film festival.

TORONTO/BUCHAREST/LONDON, 6 October 2011 – After a month of online screenings, Filminute 2011 announced the award winners for this year’s film festival. LOOP, a smart and skillfully directed film by Spain’s Aritz Moreno, has been awarded BEST FILMINUTE honours by the seven-member international jury. The film’s unique ability to reproduce itself and play with time while remaining highly entertaining wowed the jury and the audience. This film also marks Spain‘s first big win at Filminute.

The online festival audience, each responsible for one vote and representing 132 countries, selected the film OBLIVION for the People's Choice Award. OBLIVION, a film from the Netherlands, narrowly beat out films from South Africa and Australia in a record year for online engagement and voting at the festival. 

The top-rated film was NO MAN’S LAND, which features a brilliant and jarring performance by Australian actor Mirko Grillini. The film averaged a 5-star rating — a first for any film in the festival’s history.

The San Sebastián–based director of LOOP, Aritz Moreno, presents film fans with a protagonist that is both dead and alive at the same time. Beautiful camera work and editing come together with a story that serves up a poignant commentary on time and routine. The many subtleties in direction and the stellar sound design also contribute to a film that one juror summed up as “begging to be watched over and over and over.”

John Ketchum, Filminute’s co-founder and head of jury, commented about LOOP, “In a year brimming with powerful, masterfully made films, LOOP still managed to stand out as the favourite — a testament to its originality, subtlety and the way it rewards the viewer.” The film also features one of the most visceral moments of any film in the collection. Interestingly, a glance through the festival’s very active and informative Facebook page shows a great number of other filmmakers themselves awed by what Moreno was able to accomplish in this film.

OBLIVION won the People’s Choice award by generating a base of fans from both near and far beyond the Netherlands. Director Shariff Nasr raises our attention to issues around patient care, aging, and Alzheimer’s in his film. Dutch actor Raymond Thiry’s performance is as touching as it is harrowing, as the film’s protagonist struggles to comprehend where he is and what is happening to him. 

“Marko Grillini (NO MAN’S LAND) and Raymond Thiry (OBLIVION) highlight what we have always believed possible in a one-minute film. They delivered memorable performances that stick with you long beyond the 60-second constraint of the film,” says festival co-founder and head of jury John Ketchum. We know of several directors this year who patiently sought out the best actors they could find and the results are clearly stunning.”

The Filminute 2011 jury awarded commendations to five films, ranked in the following order:

REVERIE (Belgium) Directed by Jaro Minne
Innocence and love shine through in this film. The child actors draw the audience into the dream of a united humanity and we are startled by the outcome.

OBLIVION (Netherlands) Directed by Shariff Nasr
A powerful and masterfully directed film that touches on how we might feel to be isolated, abandoned, and powerless. This film generated more reactions and ratings than many other films combined.

HAMBURGZ (USA) Directed by Jordan Schmelzer
This is a delightful heist film that references the photo-montage technique made famous by Chris Marker’s 1962 film La Jetée. Such stylish and cool drama — over a hamburger.

NO MAN’S LAND (Australia) Directed by Dominic Jackson Chambers
We are treated to a spare, mesmerizing, and shocking performance in this film. If there were a Best Actor prize to be awarded at Filminute 2011, Australian actor Mirko Grillini would surely be in the running.

DOT IN THE LINE (Pakistan) Directed by Basir Mahmood
Part contemporary art, part philosophical exposition, the director takes the audience for a dramatic and surprising run before landing us in the middle of a very familiar story.

This year’s award winners were selected from a lineup of 25 films from 18 countries, ranging from Argentina to India to the USA. The shortlist of 25 was narrowed from a field of more than 2000 film and animation screenings and submissions. The range of countries participating and stories presented affirm Filminute’s dedication to levelling the playing field in film. Indeed, no country has a monopoly on great stories. Many of these films immediately inspire an immediate second and third viewing.