This year’s edition saw the event finally taking place in person after two pandemic-era hybrid editions, with the attendance levels and atmosphere somewhere back to normal.
Director Cyrielle Raingou accepting the Tiger Award for Le spectre de Boko Haram
A total of 242 feature films (including 97 world premieres) unspooled, as well as 213 short and mid-length titles (of which 110 were world premieres), and the festival played host to 2,481 industry guests and a total of 252,000 public visits.
IFFR 2023 unveils main competition winners - Deed News
Festival director Vanja Kaludjercic, capping off her first in-person gathering at the helm, said: “What an emotional and rewarding experience it was to finally see IFFR back in full splendour – reuniting audiences and filmmakers from far and wide in packed venues. In addition to cinematic cultures that IFFR has been supporting for decades, we also looked deeper into regions that are often overlooked or underrepresented. By doing so, we continue expanding and diversifying our core.”
A jury composed of president Lav Diaz, Sabrina Baracetti, Anisia Uzeyman, Christine Vachon and Alonso Díaz de la Vega gave the Tiger Award (worth €40,000) to Le spectre de Boko Haram by Cameroonian documentarian Cyrielle Raingou. In a short statement, the jurors hailed it as “a story that centres on its filmmakers’ patient and honest gaze on the hovering presence of violence, seen through the eyes of innocents”. Set near where the filmmaker herself was brought up in northern Cameroon, the picture depicts the notorious terrorist organisation through the eyes of children.
Special Jury Awards in this section were also given out to Munnel by Sri Lankan filmmaker Visakesa Chandrasekaram and New Strains, a lockdown-set comedy by US directorial duo Artemis Shaw and Prashanth Kamalalkanthan.
In a section “bridging the gap between popular, classic and arthouse cinema”, the Big Screen Competition top prize – specifically, the VPRO Big Screen Award – was given to Endless Borders, a tense Iranian drama by Abbas Amini, focusing on a teacher who assists an Afghan family fleeing the Taliban. The jury noted “the minimalist scenography and the effective use of silences [that] enhance the focus on the unspoken dynamics within the community. We hope that viewers will gain a deeper understanding of the complexity of making choices in difficult situations.”