Maija Blåfield’s and Sami van Ingen’s films were awarded at Ann Arbor Film Festival, held from March 26–31 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. This year’s jury consisted of Bryan Konefsky, Akosua Adoma Owusu, and Stacey Steers.
Maija Blåfield’s On Destruction and Preservation (2018) was awarded with Ken Burns Award for Best of the Festival, worth $3,000.
Premiered at Visions du Réel, Nyon, On Destruction and Preservation consists of five separate documentary stories. One was filmed in arctic Svalbard on a guided tour on a rainy February day. The focus of the sightseeing changes to something not originally intended and becomes an introduction to climate change. The identifiable and endearing humanity of the characters appearing in the story make the topic easier to address. And there is also humour. The other stories correspond and react to this setting in different ways. Stories include a discussion about saving the world, a famous Swedish eel who lived alone in a well over a century, a luggage lost in the ocean due to a wreck of a container ship and a sex scene of fungi giving birth to new life in a deteriorating house.
Sami van Ingen’s Flame (2018) won the Cutters Studios Archival Film Award – $1,000 in film scanning services.
Flame is a fractured melodrama, based on damaged frames from the last minutes of the only remaining nitrate reel of the lost feature film Silja – Fallen Asleep When Young (1937) directed by Teuvo Tulio. All screening prints and the negative of the film were destroyed in a 1959 studio fire. A sequence from the middle of the film was found at La Cinémathèque Française in Paris in 2015.
Flame has won the Grand Prix at Split International Film Festival, Videorama Award for the Best Experimental Film at Timishort Film Festival, Romania, the Best Film by Audience Jury Award at Fronteira International Documentary and Experimental Film Festival, Brasil, a honorary mention at Art Film Fest, Košice, Slovakia, and a diploma of merit in the national competition of Tampere Film Festival. It has been screened at several international film festivals, including Rotterdam, Edinburg, Karlovy Vary, and London BFI Film Festival.
The 57th Ann Arbor Film Festival, March 26–31 2019, Michigan, U.S.
More information: AAFF