Maija Blåfield’s The Fantastic (2020) was awarded with the first prize “Danzante” in the documentary short film competition of Ciné de Huesca, held from June 11–19 in Huesca, Spain. The award is worth 5000 € and a trophy. The award makes The Fantastic also directly classified to the pre-selection of the next Hollywood Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Documentary Short Film Award. The jury awarded the film for “A magnetic reflection on the power of image that brings us to other ways of interpreting the world”. So far, The Fantastic has received eight awards and one honorary mention.
The Fantastic is a film about encountering the unknown and the relationship between imagination and reality. The film is built on interviews with exiled North Koreans, who describe what they imagined the outside world to be like, based on their experiences of watching smuggled western fiction films. Alternating documentary footage and visual effects, the film raises the question of how reality is defined and what we wish to believe in. The Fantastic reverses the set-up where westerners are peeping in on the everyday life of the closed-off state. In this film, it is the North Koreans who direct their curiosity at the outside world and imagine what life in Western countries is like.
Maija Blåfield is an artist and an experimental documentary filmmaker from Helsinki, Finland. Her works often combine documentary and fiction in some way, exploring the fantastic side of our everyday life and digging up the stories from its events. She was granted the State Prize for the Media Arts in 2014 and in 2017, she was a nominee for Ars Fennica award for contemporary art. Her works have been screened in internatonal and national festivals, television, art museums and exhibitions.
Festival Internacional de Cine de Huesca, 11 – 19 June 2021, Huesca, Spain and online
More information: Ciné de Huesca