The award winners of the summer season of Montreal Independent Film Festival were finalized on August 12th, 2021. MIFF is a seasonal and annual event which is a blending of traditional forms of festivals with a new form of an online virtual festival that could create further opportunities for independent film projects and artists to be noticed, promoted, recognized, screened and awarded.
The winners of each season are further nominated to be an official selection of the annual festival with live screenings of films, online events, red carpet and award ceremony in Montreal. All the seasonal winners go through another round of programming for the annual event and can request for a bonus in order to promote, market and screen films online. All the winners are also promoted through social media and various platforms.
Arsalan Baraheni, the artistic director of the festival brings together filmmakers, critics, distributors, actors and film scholars as jury members who vote for the best of each category. The award winning artists of the previous editions can join as a jury member in a new edition as well.
Emerging and established artists working in media compete together in various sections of the festival. It is our pleasure to announce the latest winners of MIFF which has turned into one of the most popular festivals.
Best Narrative Feature & Best Director
My Dearest Enemy
Director: Tzipi Trope
A friendship between Alice, a Muslim woman and Maya, a Jewish woman becomes impossible when Alice’s old lover returns to her life, bringing with him the reality of the conflict between their people.
Best Narrative Short
Director: Michael G Kehoe
A stranger offers people an opportunity to change their immediate future, an offer that could save them from danger.
Best Short Docu
Director: Michael Joseph McDo
Three Georgians with cerebral palsy fight to live life on their own terms. But as their families bind together, state policy tries to tear them apart.
Best Feature Documentary
Director: Bo Yang
The contemporary Chinese artist Liu Xiaodong traveled to the border of the United States and Mexico for his new painting project. Faced with complicated border and refugee issues, a foreign country, and stranger people, he used his Chinese sensibility and artist's simplicity to find inspiration for his creation.
Best Independent Film & Best Female Director & Best First time filmmaker
Director: SOPHIE LEVY
Romane and Clemence are between 25 and 30 years old, they are sisters and live together. Romane has to look after Clémence, who is disabled since they had a car accident, when teenagers. Romane was not hurt, but Clemence had a cerebral vascular accident which lets her completely unable to speak and to walk in a normal way.
Honorable Mention Short
Director: Eliza McKenna
After learning she has chlamydia, a high school student enlists a friend to help call the boys who may have infected her.
Best Music Video
Director: Edward Taveras and Cashavelly Morrison
A woman in crisis leaves her life of luxury for the wilderness, where a mysterious man leads her to unexpected revelations.
Best Student Film
Director: Jane Stephens Rosenthal
No longer girlie enough for her girlfriends and starting to become too girlie for her guy friends, and eager to grow up, Nika, a 14-year old tomboy, is just trying to figure out her place in the adolescent world. When she hears a rumor that her mother is a stripper, she at first doesn’t know what to do. Shocked, dismayed, and then curious, Nika decides to investigate. When she sneaks into the Hideaway, the strip club on the edge of town, she is ushered into adulthood, changing her relationship with her mother forever.
Best Experimental Feature:
Director: RICHARD C LEDES
With realistic acumen and artistic expertise, Adieu Lacan portrays the struggles of a young woman, Seriema, who is trying to understand why her path to motherhood has reached an unbearable impasse. Following two miscarriages and the possible loss of her marriage, Seriema travels to Paris in 1972 to undergo psychoanalytic treatment with the maverick French analyst, Jacques Lacan. Her analysis is an attempt to help her to disentangle the enigma of her question: why has motherhood become a seeming impossibility? Inspired by the story of Betty Milan, a Brazilian psychoanalyst and writer, it follows closely her own actual psychoanalysis with Lacan. Based on two books, Goodbye Doctor and Lacan’s Parrot, in which Milan recounts her analytic work, Adieu Lacan offers an insightful and accurate account of an actual psychoanalytic cure.
Director: Gianfranco Gallo
2016. Andrea Michelini debuts in theaters with the fifth edition of "Banana Blu", his own version of "La cage aux folles".
Andrea, also called Gigì, is very famous and he is also a vintage homosexuality icon.
In the second replica he discovers he has a terrible leukemia. The doctors advice him to stop performing on stages but he refuses... he knows he doesn't have much time left.
He has decided: he will perform until the end in order to persuade his son to take his place on stage once he will pass away.
Best Science Fiction
Director: Eddie Arya
Disaster unfolds in Badger, a farming town in the state of New York when a meteor strike contaminates the air, turning it toxic. People begin to die. The entire town drop dead -plants, animals, and humans. Lauren, an exobiologist, tracked by Homeland security, is called in to find answers for this unearthly event. She reluctantly gets involved in the effort to solve the ensuing crisis. Meanwhile, a gigantic tree, an other-worldly object has grown at the site of the meteorite impact. It becomes apparent, once was speculated to be a meteorite is in fact an experimental seed sent our way, in search of a new home.
Best Human rights Narrative & Best Producer & Best Editor
A Burning Season
Producer: Dave Kabbe
Director: Andrew Kabbe
A young (20) Yazidi woman, captured by ISIS, calls her father for help. He sets out across the mountainous terrain, encumbered by two Americans he rescues along the way. The girl escapes and unites with her would be liberators, only to find themselves trapped on Shingal mountain and far from safety as ISIS advances ever further across the brutal heat of the desert landscape. As they run from ISIS toward safety, they each face horrific choices as they discover the magnitude of the catastrophe that surrounds them.
This film is based on true events and shot on locations where these events took place and produced by the Yazidi community in Kurdistan.
Best Human Rights Documentary
Exiled inland. Cassures II
Director: Cassandre Thrasybule
Human rights violation; family dislocation in a film documentary that presents the situation of houseworkers in Haiti, maids and housekeepers, who migrate from the country side to go to Port-au-Prince looking for a better life, while leaving children behind for others, sometimes just friends, to take care of.
Best Short Horror
Director: Jeremy Zelikovic
A dying vampire is forced to choose between her mortal companion or living to see another day- but the arrival of a young girl complicates matters even more.
Best Short Comedy
Truth: 1 Night,1 Room, 3 Baddest Bitches
Director: Yukihiko Tsutsumi
A Japan-set battle-royale comedy over a vial of sperm is centered around three women on the verge of a nervous breakdown from hearing their biological clock ticking away; a doctor and manager of a sperm bank Sana Kobayashi (Tomomi Kono), a single-mother Maron Kuribayashi (Ayano Fukumiya), and an alluring receptionist Mayumi Kujyo (Kotoha Hiroyama). They affirm their real love for Makoto and reveal his true wishes.
Best Short Animation
Director: Alex Tullo
When the entire British Royal family tragically dies, the Queen’s corgi finds himself next in line for the throne and in the seat of power.
Director: Nicolas VASSEUR
Sean Daniels is a thirty something with no ties or work who seeks to by all means escape his responsibilities. His life is at a standstill and it only gets worse when Robyn - his girlfriend leaves him. He has to win her back, but there is still a long way to go. His corrosive personality will lead him to live situations as funny as embarrassing.
Best Experimental Short
Director: Kobi Vogman
A ladder is coming to life in a dismantled world, walking into a journey between landscapes, structures, and movements.
Best Environmental Short
Director: Samuel Bossman
In a world devastated by climate change, a man swims against hope to find life and survive in a perilous world.
Best Short Thriller
Director: Jorge Alejandro Gonzalez Ley
A man comes back to the ruins of a town to search for his daughter in this homage to no country for old men and the leone westerns.
Les Notes is a short cinematic film drama shot on location in Venice. The film tells the story of two lovers on a getaway with this infinite zest for life visiting their special place. Full of passion.. piercing emotions.. exploring.. relishing the moment.. feeding their souls with the energy that is Venice but.. some times the heart escapes the past.
Starring: Daniel Brindley
Director: Mei Bignall
After the death of his sister, a young man on the autism spectrum struggles to find his way in the world without her. Until one day, he meets the new waitress in his favourite cafe.
Starring: Lena Shan
Director: Franck Lahoui, Jowkid
Hanakotoba is the poetic love story of a woman, Claire, and a man, Guillaume in which the elements and life drag them into a whirlwind of worries. Their lack of communication will get the better of them.
Writer: RJ Watson
A mother and daughter from Connecticut and a victim of sex trafficking from Haiti are drawn into a dangerous web of exploitation on the streets of San Francisco.
Best Youth Director
Director: Arielle Keach-Tremblay
Arielle Keach-Tremblay is a first time director/writer.
This bilingual 9- year-old actor, writer, grade 3er, wrote Moving Past Goodbye at age 8. Arielle Keach-Tremblay is directing this time-bending short movie about a young military BRAT "Stevie" that decides to run away rather than go through yet another military family move, narrated via three characters that represent Stevie at different ages, as time passes.
Stevie takes us on a journey as she ages about moving past goodbyes and hard lessons about running away from your problems.
Composer: Rory Chenoweth
Director: Winston Stemler
In the small town of Aiona, Italy, the Mafia Ministry rules all. The titles and positions of the Dons - each more absurd than the last - remain public. And all remains well.
Best Film Soundtrack:
Best Canadian Indie Feature
Director: Marc Joly-Corcoran
Marc Joly-Corcoran, director, editor and scriptwriter, has been teaching film at the University of Montreal for 10 years. The Mirror is about Jean who has not seen his mother, Diane, for the past five years, due to an incident he is not ready to forgive her for. When she commits suicide in Belgium, Jean must go there to retrieve her ashes and deal with the estate. At his mother's house he meets Fabrice, Diane's very young husband. He also meets Juliana, a good friend of his mother, whom Diane has entrusted her holographic will. Jean learns that his mother has left him an antique mirror of great value.
Best Canadian Indie Short
Director: Cameron Veitch
In an effort to save a dying stranger, Martin drags himself and the unlucky customers of a roadside diner into a bloody fight against violent forces.
Honorable Mention Canadian Indie
Director: Eric Dubois
After the sudden and mysterious death of his girlfriend, Alex (Nikola Masri) and his best friend John (Gabriel Meacher) uncover a hidden family secret originating from John's dad's (Paul Burke) notebook that can bring Sarah (Emma-Elle Patterson) back from the dead.
Best Canadian Indie Documentary
The Day I Met Hitler
Director: Ronen Israelski
Ronen Israelski, Toronto, is a documentary filmmaker. Ronen has been involved in the media industry for over 20 years working in Israel and Canada. 75 years after the end of World War II
The son of Holocaust survivor embarks on a journey to find the last living people in the world Who Met Hitler.
Honorable Mention Canadian Indie Documentary
Circle of Eagles
Director: Merv Thomas
Indigenous Brothers, Elders and Parole Officers share powerful stories of hope and healing from the legacy of Canadian residential schools, foster care, and systemic racism. The film centers around a unique halfway home that imparts Indigenous culture and ceremony to recover from trauma on the road from prison to community.