OFFICIAL AWARDS of the 19th MATSALU NATURE FILM FESTIVAL

Grand Prix

Earth: Muted, Sweden

Directed by Mikael Kristersson, Åsa Ekman, Oscar Hedin

Jury: A great film tells more than any jury summary can tell in a few sentences. The Grand Prix of Matsalu FF 2021 goes to a very special film that grabs its viewer from the first shot, where we see treetops heavy with cherry blossoms. They are not surrounded by bees though, but instead being pollinated by an old Chinese couple with sticks. People doing the work of bees, is a stunning metaphor to the absurdity of being human - possessing the ability to dominate other species, in a system where domination itself inevitably means perdition. A beautiful and delicate reminder that one can not have their cake and eat it too, but that as a humankind, we’ll all stand eye to eye with our choices sooner rather than later.

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Maa: Helitu / Earth: Muted

Maa: Helitu / Earth: Muted

Best Director (Nature)

Wild Horses - A Tale from the Puszta, Germany/Austria/Hungary

Directed by Zoltan Török

Jury: The story of endangered species of wild horses is the best told and wholesome, it focuses on one foal's life and her family. From the movie you can find funny as well tragic moments, which both engage the audience. Likewise the film shares moments from other wildlife, who live together on this landscape, giving an additional educational value.

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Metshobused - pusta lugu / Wild Horses - A Tale from the Puszta

Metshobused - pusta lugu / Wild Horses - A Tale from the Puszta

Best Director (Man and Nature)

Earth: Muted, Sweden

Directed by Mikael Kristersson, Åsa Ekman, Oscar Hedin

Jury: A deeply multilayered film that conveys a universal message. In a delicate manner, without opposition, but through connection, the authors depict a painfully familiar conflict - the difficulty to choose between your dear ones’ immediate needs and the bigger picture, the well-being of the planet and mankind itself. Through three characters the filmmakers unroll a profoundly felt story that should provide food for thought for every viewer.

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Maa: Helitu / Earth: Muted

Maa: Helitu / Earth: Muted

Best Cinematography (Nature)

My Dragon River, Germany

Cinematographed by Georg Rüppell, Dagmar Hilfert-Rüppell, Beat Schneider, Jan Rüppell

Jury: "My Dragon River" stands out for the simplicity and for the fact that even with the more basic equipment it is possible to capture beautiful images – underwater shots with GoPro etc. Yet, the footage itself was well captured and refined the story. Also we enjoyed the beautiful close-up sequences of dragonflies in flight.

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Mu kiilide jõgi / My Dragon River

Mu kiilide jõgi / My Dragon River

Best Cinematography (Man and Nature)

Overland, USA

Cinematographed by Benjamin Pritchard

Jury: This film walks simultaneously on the borders of many different spheres of being: historical and modern, sky and earth, animals and people, our deep inner needs and instincts versus invasion from the outside.
The camera work supports the story with sensitivity and great empathy, depicting the relationship between man and bird in a very complex way, as well as the environment and the mental and physical world in which the action takes place.

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Üle maa / Overland

Üle maa / Overland

Best Editing (Nature)

Leopard Legacy, Austria/South Africa

Edited by Alan Miller B.F.E.

Jury: "Leopard Legacy’s" edit was on point - sound design and music well balanced. Throughout the film there were many gems hidden inside the edit. For example the close-up sequence of the leopard's paw when walking and the next shot was the crane's leg. Also the seamless transition between two shots of the river raised the value of the edit.

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Leopardi pärand / Leopard Legacy

Leopardi pärand / Leopard Legacy

Best Editing (Man and Nature)

Animals, Germany

Edited by Ulrike Tortora

Jury: A story told with elegance, style and precision that keeps the viewer in its grip from the first shot to the last. The result is a truly unexpected film carried by a deep sense of irony. Humorous and tragic at once, it turns the mirror on humans’ alienation from other species and quite possibly themselves.

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Loomad / Animals

Loomad / Animals

Special Jury Prize (Nature)

My Dragon River, Germany

Directed by Dagmar Hilfert-Rüppell, Georg Rüppell

Jury: It is a beautiful documentary and has captured the life of dragonflies very well through beautiful slow motion sequences. It gives a very good educational aspect and everyone can learn more about dragonflies. Nevertheless, there are many funny moments that will make the audience laugh.

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Mu kiilide jõgi / My Dragon River

Mu kiilide jõgi / My Dragon River

Special Jury Prize (Man and Nature)

Animals, Germany

Directed by Jonas Spriestersbach

Jury: The film has a good sense of humor and irony. The story is well-developed, many-layered and metaphoric. Characters are amusing and at the same time, though at a different angle, you feel the deep melancholy of their life.

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Loomad / Animals

Loomad / Animals

Special Mention (Nature)

Leopard Legacy, Austria/South Africa

Directed by Will Steenkamp, Lianne Steenkamp

Jury: In addition to superb storytelling and editing we point out masterful cinematography, especially moving shots of wildlife filmed with a zoom lens on a gimbal.

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Leopardi pärand / Leopard Legacy

Leopardi pärand / Leopard Legacy

Special Mention (Man and Nature)

The Shamans' Nightmare, Austria

Directed by Natalie Halla

Jury: The jury would like to turn your attention to the very strong and thorough anthropological work of this film. The director takes us to unique indigenous peoples in different parts of the world, and introduces their lifestyle and their fight for survival as well. Through her lens, she preserves what is close to being lost. The film brings out very clearly the close connection which people have with their environment and the delicate balance between them: if the natural living environment of a group of people perishes, the people connected to it are also doomed.

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Šamaanide õudusunenägu / The Shamans' Nightmare

Šamaanide õudusunenägu / The Shamans' Nightmare

Special Prize of Matsalu National Park

A young Crane's long Journey, Finland

Directed by Jouni Hiltunen

Environmental Board: The film has very good nature educational content, it gives good overview of life of cranes. It fits well with Matsalu birds paradise and has direct views from Matsalu National Park.

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Kurepoja pikk teekond / A young Crane's long Journey

Kurepoja pikk teekond / A young Crane's long Journey

Special Prize of NGO Mondo

TripleF***, Bulgaria

Directed by Simona Theoharova

Mondo: The film has a truly global reach - climate activists and environmental problems are filmed on six continents and the film itself is made in collaboration of more than 30 film makers each in their locations to avoid flying of a single crew. If we could only keep that spirit of cooperation when we fight climate change! From Mondo's perspective, we also value that the film has given voice to both indigineus people as well as representatives of different generations. This is only the first episode of a five part series, we are excited to see how the story develops!

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TripleF***

TripleF***

Special Prize of Tallinn Zoo

Pumas - Legends of the Ice Mountains

Episode 01 & Episode 02, Austria

Directed by Dereck and Beverly Joubert

Zoo: We would like to express our sincerest thanks to Dereck and Beverly Joubert for their stunning nature film "Pumas - Legends of the Ice Mountains". The film gave us a chance to journey into the secretive wilderness of Patagonia and follow the life of a puma family. A deeply moving, fascinating and enlightening experience in the mountains where not many will venture to.

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Puumad - jäämägede legendid / Pumas - Legends of the Ice Mountains

Puumad - jäämägede legendid / Pumas - Legends of the Ice Mountains

Special Prize of Tartu Nature House

Nature's Nurseries, Germany

Directed by Jan Haft

Nature House: An educational, clear and beautiful film about the continuity in the animal kingdom, the different ways of parental care and the balance that emerges from the points of contact between different species. Great stories of playing, learning and training of different species are very expressive. The film probably helps young viewers to appreciate the care of their parents and supports the knowledge that continuous learning to cope with life is not only important for humans, but is also very common in the animal kingdom.

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Loomalapsed / Nature's Nurseries

Loomalapsed / Nature's Nurseries

Audience Award

Wild Horses - A Tale from the Puszta, 

Germany/Austria/Hungary

Directed by Zoltan Török

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Metshobused - pusta lugu / Wild Horses - A Tale from the Puszta

Metshobused - pusta lugu / Wild Horses - A Tale from the Puszta

 

Congratulations to the winners!

Thank you to everyone with a film at the festival!

 

Supporters

Lihula Gümnaasium · Lihula Muuseum · Lihula Kultuurimaja · Lihula Raamatukogu · Lääneranna Noortekeskus · Võrgukuur · Tallinna Loomaaed · Pürksi Kultuurimaja · Vändra Kultuurimaja · Kilingi-Nõmme Kultuurimaja · Vaba Lava Narva Teatrikeskus