Cannes sings ‘Anthem’ to shorts

Short Film Corner awards prizes

CANNES — Israel’s Elad Keidan stepped onto a Palais des Festivals stage Friday evening to receive the first official selection prize from Cannes 2008: best Cinefondation short for “Himnon” (Anthem).

Set in Jerusalem, the Jacques Tati-esque tale ran 36 minutes.

Keidan received the prize to applause from an audience largely comprised of fellow student filmmakers: Cinefondation, the Cannes Festival’s inhouse new talent initiative, draws its competition shorts from film schools all over the world.

France’s Claire Burger took second prize for “Forbach,” a docudrama-style study in contrasts about a young but now famous TV actor returning to his native mining town.

Third prize was shared between Park Jae-ok’s  “Stop,” a snappy black-and-white crayon animated pic about a man attempting to retrieve his senile mother from a car crash, and Fin Juho Kuosmanen’s psychological drama “Road-Markers,” about the hidden tensions between three workers marking out lines on a Finnish country road.

Reviewing the 17 competing short- or medium-length features, Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao Hsien, the Cinefondation jury president, emphasized their wide-ranging styles.

“The films were very different, happily so. Cineastes still shoot films in very different ways in different countries. The young generation has to keep its own cultures. Variety is very important,” he said.

Of Cannes Market Short Film Corner prizes, “Historial de un letrero,” Mexican Alonso Alvarez Barreda’s tale about a blind beggar, won the National Film Board of Canada prize, while Ismael El Maoula El Iraki won Gallic pubcaster France 2’s award for futurist “Twisted Metal.”

Granted by the Auteurs website and Flip Video, the Cannes a la Flip $16,000 Grand Prix went to Vincenzo Cosentino’s mock Cannes glory-fixated “The Flip Trip,” recorded on a Flip camcorder during the festival. Celluloid Dreams’ prexy, Hengameh Panahi, presided over the jury.

Meanwhile, Belgian Bouli Lanner’s offbeat road movie “Eldorado” nabbed two sponsors’ prizes in Cannes Directors’ Fortnight: the French government’s Regards Jeunes and Europa Cinemas awards.

Brazilian Tiao’s “Muro” took the Neuf Cegetel short film award for artistic boldness; Slovak Jurah Lehotsky’s docu “Blind Loves” won the Cicae indie cinemas kudos; Claire Simon’s abortion mockumentary “God’s Offices” picked up France’s Societe des Auteurs et Compositeurs Dramatiques award.

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