The winners of the 21st edition of ShorTS International Film Festival

The 21st ShorTS International Film Festival ended Sunday 12 July with the awards ceremony live from the studios of Telequattro in Trieste and streamed on MYmovies and on the official Facebook page. An extraordinary public success in this online version, with over 100 thousand viewings from all over Italy.

Extensive virtual participation from Lombardy, the region with most followers of the Festival online. In second place we find Friuli Venezia Giulia, followed by Veneto in third place. The shorts without Italian geo-localisation were seen from 13 different countries – alongside Italy, Algeria, Australia, Sweden, the UK, Honduras, Germany, the US, Nepal, Colombia, Argentina, Slovakia and Canada also took part virtually in the Trieste event.

This is the comment from director Chiara Valenti Omero and co-director Maurizio di Rienzo: “This online formula and visibility of the Festival, which came from a somewhat difficult decision yet one that was immediately seen to be necessary due to the world health crisis, in the end turned out to be a move we’re very pleased with thanks to the considerable increase in our audience. This is a result we want to reflect on in order to build the future of ShorTS as we believe we cannot step aside from this type of execution of screenings and interaction with the talents, to be placed alongside and correlated with the regained physical and tangible system of organising the Festival”.

The Trieste event has announced the 2020 winners in the various competition sections, confirming its commitment to seeking out new cinema scenarios.

Winners of the 21st ShorTS International Film Festival



(Jury: Assaf Machnes, Jukka-Pekka Laakso, Alessandra Pescetta)

EstEnergy-Gruppo Hera Award

Best short film:

She Runs by Qiu Yang (China, France 2019)

Reason: “The laboured breathing, psychological pressure and unspoken thoughts of a young athlete weigh down on the knees that want to stop running. The dilemma is whether to continue very reluctantly or disappoint the expectations of school and family. The acid tones of the splendid photography reflect the girl’s self-destructive thoughts and sublimate the tense and dramatic atmosphere.

With a subtle, poetic idiom, the director has succeeded in immersing viewers in a cross section of daily life with camera movements and frames that eliminate the superfluous and seem to bore right into the lead character, moving across her emotional state to reach the bone”. 

Special mention to:

Exam by Sonia K. Hadad (Iran, 2019)

Reason: “A special mention goes to a a film that combines a small but relevant story, excellent direction, meticulous editing and really great performance by its lead actress. A story of a young girl trapped between repressing society and exploitation by a parent gives us an insight into her life and lives of too many people alike.”

Special mention to:

Stay Awake, be Ready by Pham Thien An (Vietnam, South Korea, USA, 2019)

Reason: The special mention of the jury goes to Stay Awake, Be Ready for its original reflection of human condition. The film is both natural and staged, personal and alienated, zooming in by zooming out – following little pieces of life and its fragility. With this strange mix of contradictions, the film somehow manages to paint an effortless yet chaotic picture that leaves one thinking.”

AcegasApsAmga Award

Best short film:

Il primo giorno di Matilde by Rosario Capozzolo (Italy, 2019)

Reason: Given the high calibre of the shorts in competition the choice was not easy and demanded extensive discussion by the jury who were seen to be strongly engaged in selecting the winner. Nevertheless, the result at the end of voting was no surprise, with agreement by all jury members on the merits of the short which in fact has the ability to keep tensions high with a certain pathos and an understated, melancholic irony. It succeeded in tackling the delicate subject of the relationship between fathers and children, also subtly weaving in the issue of male identity crises.

To sum up, for the sensitivity and originality with which extremely profound subjects are depicted, the narrative technique which accompanies viewers in constant new perspectives, reassessing the characters as they are seen, and the dialogue which succeeds in being moving and raising a smile at the same time, right up to the finale, the AcegasApsAmga prize for the best Italian short goes to Il primo giorno di Matilde by Rosario Capozzolo.”

Prem1ere Film Award

Best short film film non distributed

Figurant by Jan Vejnar (France, Czech Republic, 2019)

AMC Award

Best Italian editing

Il nostro tempo by Veronica Spedicati (Italy, 2019)

Reason: “For the controlled and simple way it handles various levels of the narrative without indulging in gratification of form.”

Special mention to:

A colloquio con Rossella by Andrea Andolina (Italy, 2019)

Reason: For the way in which, through a planned and formally accurate approach on the sequence level, it succeeds in skilfully handling the narrative, carefully manipulating time and space.”

Trieste Caffè Award

Best short film voted by the public

Lost & Found by Andrew Goldsmith, Bradley Slabe (Australia, 2018)



(Jury: Anna Menini, Paola Rodari e Erika Rossi)

ESOF2020 Award

Best short film

Absence of Light by Beatrice Aliné (Germany, 2019)

Reason: “Thanks to skilful editing and use of the found footage technique, where the narrative construction is left to the processing of the sounds and images alone, Absence of light shows us the world through the eyes of Science. We see the macroscopic and the microscopic in their immense diversity and also in their co-existence. Nature, society and science interact and question viewers, leaving each one to form their own responses.”

Special mention to:

Story by Jola Bańkowska (Poland, 2019)

Reason: “With great inventive ability and simple and appealing graphics, Story underlines the inhuman and occasionally violent use of digital technology, showing us with considerable irony that there is no longer any certainty between where the screen ends and where the real world begins.”


(Jury: Fabio D’Innocenzo, Damiano D’Innocenzo, Elisabetta Olmi e Linda Caridi)

Nuove Impronte Award

Best film

Faith by Valentina Pedicini (Italy, 2019)

Reason: “For its piercing creativity and incredible focus, for having succeeded in narrating a dark story with glowing tenderness, promoting profound and passionate debate, the prize goes to Valentina Pedicini for Faith.”


Best production

Tony Driver by Ascanio Petrini, with Special Mention for “Tutto l’oro che c’è” by Andrea Caccia.

Reason: “The Premio Agici for Best Production goes to Dugong Films for Tony Driver by Ascanio Petrini, with Special Mention for Tutto l’oro che c’è by Andrea Caccia. As in every year, the aim of the prize is to find in the Nuove Impronte selection of ShorTS the film that has a well-structured production system that can add value to the subject and also launch a new directing talent on the international scene. Dugong is represented in the selection by two films, creative documentaries and both international co-productions with the support of regional, national and extra-national funds. Films for which the production practice has been excellent, with a preview at major European festivals and foreign sales assigned to top-level companies. Despite these difficult times, Tony Driver is screened in Italian cinemas, theatrical release with Wanted Cinema, from 26 June.”


Best screenplay

Faith by Valentina Pedicini (Italy, 2019)

Reason: “Valentina Pedicini’s project and film stand out through the vividness of the style and the symbolic power of the situation and extreme vocations, in which the director moves around without judging her sharply observed subjects and without superimposing a theory on the strength of the facts and characters, which can inspire an interesting fiction film.”


(Jury: Paola Casella, Adriano De Grandis, Sergio Sozzo)

Best feature film voted by the jury of the Italian Film Critics Union

Los fantasmas by Sebastiàn Lojo (Guatemala, Argentine 2020)

Reason: “For the way in which Guatemala City weaves in and out of the images, giving us the palpable perception of an unresolved anxiety which moves among the shadows, corners and roofs of the capital. Ghosts that are as pulsating and persistent as ever in an urban blues which instead gradually reveals itself to be a spiritual of rising up, in a free finale that opens up the heart and vision beyond the night and the tarmac.”

Special mention to:

The Trouble with Nature by Illum Jacobi (Denmark, France 2020)

Reason: “For the ability to narrate with subtle irony the divide between Nature and Culture through the contrast between two symbolic figures: the philosopher Edmund Burke, frosty and obsessed with pursuing the Sublime, and his maid, a native of humble origins yet with the great ability to live in harmony with her surroundings. For the discreet and wise handling of highly topical issues – social and ethnic inequality between individuals and classes, the relationship between humans and the environment and also that between men and women, rational thinking and innate spirituality”.

MYmovies AWARD

Best film voted by the public

The Trouble with Nature by Illum Jacobi (Denmark, France 2020)


Shorter Kids Award

Best short film

All in Good Time by Bonnie Dempsey (Ireland, 2018)

Shorter Teens Award

Best short film

Rain di Piotr Milczarek (Poland, 2019)

Cinema del Presente Award

Saverio Costanzo

Prospettiva Award

Giulio Pranno

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