Winners announced at Curtocircuíto

Sound Of A Million Insects, Light Of A Thousand Stars among awards.

by Rebecca Naughten

Winners of this year's awards
Winners of this year's awards Photo: Tamara de la Fuente/Curtocircuito
Sound Of A Million Insects, Light Of A Thousand Stars and Blood Below The Skin were among the winners at the 12th edition of Curtocircuíto - Santiago de Compostela International Short Film Festival as it drew to a close this evening.

The two main strands of the festival's programme are 'Explora' (focussed on experimental works) and 'Radar' (films that are more narrative-led, but encompassing fiction and non-fiction) - each carries the prize of a trophy and 3,000 euros (£2,224) for the category winner.

In Explora, the recipient of the prize (and a haiku written by the jury) was Tomomari Nishikawa's Sound Of A Million Insects, Light Of A Thousand Stars (2014) - a visual poem in which light and colour scrabble across the frame with increasing density, the result of using 35mm film that had been buried under fallen leaves in a supposedly decontaminated zone at Fukushima, Japan. The Explora jury also gave special mentions to Embargo (Johann Lurf, 2014) and Scrapbook (Mike Hoolboom, 2015).

The Radar award went to Jennifer Reeder's Blood Below The Skin (2015), which chronicles a week in the life of three high school girls in the countdown to Prom Night. The jury for this category also gave special mentions to Impressions Of A War (Camilo Restrepo, 2015) and Becoming Anita Ekberg (Mark Rappaport, 2014).

Curtocircuíto takes place in Galicia (north west Spain) and the third official jury at the festival chooses from the selection of homegrown talent in the line-up. They gave their award (including 2,000 euros (£1480)) to Neither God Nor Santa María (Helena Girón and Samuel M Delgado, 2015), saying that "Voices from the past and images from the present remain in the timeless limbo of myths. This film achieves something that seems impossible: filming the past". The Galiza jury gave special mention to Agility Test (Jaione Camborda, 2015) while Neither God Nor Santa María also won the Gadis audience award, with a prize of an additional 1,500 euros (£1112).

The festival's youth jury gave their award (and prize of 1,000 euros (£742)) to Terence Nance's Swimming In Your Own Skin Again (2015), a coming of age tale that celebrates the spiritual feminine in the heat of the American South. Special mention went to The Island Is Enchanted With You (Alexander Carver and Daniel Schmidt, 2014).

Away from the official festival juries, the regional professional associations of writers (AGAG) and directors (CREA) awarded Cruz Piñón (Xisela Franco, 2015) and The Discovery of Américo (Miguel Mariño, 2014) respectively. The former is a split screen diptych depicting two sides of one woman's life (her everyday routine in a rural environment vs her creativity and desire to learn new things), while the latter sets up a mystery surrounding three cans of film depicting journeys made by a group of friends in the mid-Sixties. Both films experiment with film form in a way that reflects the story they are telling and also engages the viewer. Experimentation was also prized by the CAMIRA (Cinema and Moving Image Research Assembly) jury - the critics had the choice of the whole programme and selected Lois Patiño's Night Without Distance (2015), a tale of smuggling on the Galicia-Portugal border that utilises visual experimentation to render the nocturnal landscape in phantasmal form.

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