Filmmaker praised for her 'bovine aesthetic'
Students win at film festival
by Sylvain Comeau
Third-year film student Michel Simonsen took the Norman McLaren Award for director of the best film in the 29th Canadian Student Film Festival, part of the Montreal World Film Festival (MWFF).
Simonsen wasn't present to accept his award (and the winner's cheque for $1,000) at the awards ceremony on September 7. "I didn't show up because I didn't think I had much chance of getting any awards," Simonsen said. "I entered it in a small festival in Ste-Thérèse, and it didn't win anything, so I didn't expect much at the MWFF."
Simonsen feels that his creation was not typical film-fest fare, which may have worked in its favour. "My film is light and entertaining, not heavy and serious, like most film-fest movies. Maybe that's why it stood out for the jury."
Second-year Film Production student Karolina Jonsson won best fiction film (honourable mention) for The Monk, The Apple, The Cow and its Influence. The jury cited her work for "the originality of its subject and of its theme, its ability to create a unique atmosphere, and its bovine aesthetic." Jonsson's film is about a lonely monk who falls in love with a cow.
"I wanted to examine and question the issues of authority, judgmental attitudes, guilt and sin," Jonsson said. "I'm grateful that the jury was able to look beyond the potentially shocking storyline."
Third-year Film Production student Araz Artinian won for best documentary video. His documentary Survivre sur l'échelle Richter focused on survivors of an Armenian earthquake of 1988, which took 100,000 lives.
In the main competition, the media darling -- and Concordia's -- was Manon Briand, a 1989 Concordia Cinema grad who took four prizes, including people's choice and a $25,000 cash prize, for 2 Secondes, a crowd-pleasing feature about a Montreal bicycle courier.