After four days of screenings, debates, workshops, concerts and many special meeting with filmmakers and environmental professionals, Pelicam, the International Film Festival on Environment and People has come to an end.
The movie Behemoth (Liang Zhao, 2015, China/France) has won the Grand Prize at Pelicam 2016 with a story about environmental destruction and transformation of people, linked with cultural and spiritual references that are fundamental for humanity.
The jury members – Vlad Alexandrescu, former Minister of Culture, Levente Molnar, actor and Margaret Parsons, film curator at the National Gallery of Art in Washington – were touched by the new cinematic language through which the film addressed mining in China, pointing to the devastation.
The jury of the official competition gave a special jury prize to the film Poached (Timothy Wheeler, 2015, UK/USA) which brings nature in an extremely complex psychological context. The film tells the story of collectors of eggs from rare birds, convicted for their illegal obsession. “Man’s love of nature is also a problem of identity, for each of us”, has motivated Vlad Alexandresc, jury member.
Black Sea Docs competition was won by the film The Babushkas of Chernobyl (Holly Morris, Anne Bogart, 2015, USA/Ukraine) which tells an impressive story of the grandmothers who could not bear relocation after the nuclear disaster and returned to live in the prohibited area.
The jury consisting of Florentina Ciuverca, film critic, Gaetano Capizzi, the director of CinemAmbiente Film Festival in Turin, and Mircea Toma, journalist and founder of ActiveWatch has awarded the prize unanimously. “It is a film that excited and entertained us, which showed that the human spirit is stronger than anything”, said Florentina Ciuverca.
Fresh Perspectives competition was judged by five youngsters from Tulcea, coordinated by film critic Ileana Bîrsan. They chose a film that breathes new life into a widespread and highly commented idea. The winner is Poverty, Inc. (Michael Matheson Miller, 2014, USA/UK) which investigates the poverty industry in the third world countries, a place where Western aid is creating a dependency, those benefiting from it being trapped in a troubled life.
The jury of the short documentaries was made of Séverine Lenglet, director and activist, Heinz Hermanns, found of the festival InterFilm in Berlin and Cristi Mărculescu, film critic. The winner of this section is Bird Strike (Edward Cook, 2015, the Netherlands), a film that investigates the relationship between animal life and human safety – how birds are being killed in order to avoid airplane accidents.