Universo Corto 2023: The winners
The Swiss-French short film “Fairplay” wins the main prize, a critical reflection on the role that competition has in our societies
The XVI edition of Universo Corto, International Short Film Festival, ended with the awards decided by the two official juries and by the public of the three evenings of screenings which were held in the setting of the La Nunziatina Garden.
We must thank the Mayor Michele Conti and the councilor for culture Filippo Bedini for motivating us to “return”, the Tuscany Region, and the other partners, starting with the ETS Publishing House and the Rotary Club Pacinotti. We are particularly satisfied above all with the public’s interest in a space, such as that of the Nunziatina, which is particularly suitable for promoting cultural events and which already hosts other high-level initiatives, demonstrating how even in the city center entertainment can easily be combined with the promotion of culture thanks also to a humus of participation that is being revived.
Over time, Universo Corto has become an international festival that allows us to propose some of the most important short films produced in the world which, however, often struggle to reach the public at a time when not only auteur cinema but cinema in general is experiencing a moment of widespread crisis. This is also why the attention shown by the municipal administration is particularly significant, the reflection of a city that we have found, also in the public interest, more attentive than the one we left.
There were two official juries of the Festival: the technical one (made up of Luca Cappelli, Chiara Spinelli, Massimo Missoni and Paolo Biondi), and that of the Sakura Special Prize, (made up of Flavia Monceri, Luisa Azzena, Paolo Heritier, Francesca Ronca, Mauro Sylos Labini).
UNIVERSO CORTO 2023 AWARD
Fairplay (Zoel Aeschbacher, CH/FRA, 2022)
“For the way in which it manages to trigger a critical reflection on the role that competition plays in the so-called contemporary societies of well-being. For the way in which it highlights the increasingly marked overlap between the concepts of “competing” and “playing” as equivalent means to obtain fame, wealth and prestige. Finally, for the innovative way in which the short uses editing, juxtaposing images and visions coming from very different contexts with a tight and pressing pace of the story, which culminates in an epilogue with tones that are both apocalyptic and parodic.”
Surfaces (François Larpin, FRA, 2022)
The jury decided to award the 2023 Best Director Award, focusing on the impeccable direction of the protagonists, the atmosphere of suspension in the staging and the ability to create tension and comedy with minimal means, highlighting a story that makes us reflect on the creation of stories themselves.
SPECIAL JURY AWARD
Las Visitantes (Enrique Buleo, ES, 2022)
For the originality in the choice of theme, for the light and sharp humor in the writing, for the direction, which plays perfectly with the comic timing of the story. Because the short film knows how to tell a small and universal story with an intelligent and refined touch, but also accessible and popular.
The Sakura Prize was awarded ex aequo to the following works:
Guerra tra poveri (Kassim Yassin Saleh, ITA, 2022)
Split Ends (Alireza Kazemipour, IR, 2022)
Ivalu (Anders Walter, Pipaluk K. Jørgensen, DK, 2023)
Motivations of the Jury
The three short films awarded ex aequo make us reflect on the very current but eternal theme of marginality, which affects contexts, places and people in equal measure.
In WAR AMONG THE POOR, marginality is the socio-economic one that drives the violent struggle for survival, justified by the most various prejudices, here the ethnic-racial one.
In SPLIT ENDS, marginality is that compared to the dominant morality, which condemns the protagonists to the only alternative between resignation and rebellion.
In IVALU, the only apparently personal marginalities also hide profound geopolitical dynamics of marginalization and exclusion from the benefits of democratic societies in a world that thinks it is global.
The audience of the three screening evenings awarded the following works:
Awama (Mourad Kalai, TUN, 2022)
The Silent Echo (Suman Sen, IND, 2021)
Fairplay (Zoel Aeschbacher, CH/FRA, 2022)