Toprak, the story of a Turkish boy who longs to escape his uncle’s rural ways and pursue an education in the city, won best feature at this year’s Evolution Mallorca International Film Festival, where the droll German dramedy Baumbacher Syndrome won the Evolutionary Island Award for the best film shot in Mallorca.
The festival, headed by festival founder and director Sandra Lipski, follows the mantra “Bridging Cultures — Bridging People,” and this year’s event in Mallorca, Spain did exactly that, albeit with masks and social distancing.
Your humble correspondent was honored to serve on the panel that chose Toprak (the word means “soil” in English), the first feature for Sevgi Hirschhäuser, an independent Turkish film director, writer, and editor who is based in Munich, Germany.
Baumbacher Syndrome, the third film from German director Gregory Kirchoff, follows a TV talk show host whose voice suddenly becomes a monstrous baritone.
The winners in the six main categories receive a combined total of 15,000 euros in equipment rentals, including 5,000 euros worth of rentals for the winner of best feature. Submissions for the 10th edition will open Jan. 4 via Filmfreeway.com.
“You might think that due to the world pandemic we organized less activities this year, but quite the contrary is true,” Lipski said on closing night. “We organized workshops in collaboration with Actors LAB Mallorca, I AM Actor Mallorca, our own Casting Workshop with Nancy Bishop and for the first time our brand new EMIFF 48HR Film Competition. This edition would not have been possible without our partners: The Official Festival Hotel El Llorenç, Moviescreens rentals and Rialto Living.”
The festival has welcomed an Oscar winner to the festival for each of the past five years. This year’s Oscar-winning guest was Spanish moviemaker Fernando Trueba, who won for Best Foreign Language film for Belle Époque in 1994.
The programming this year was bold and experimental, including films like the slow-burn Greek drama The Waiter, by Steve Krikris, which earned a special mention in the feature film category, and iGilbert, which tests and pleasantly challenges audiences’ sympathies with a story of a man who secretly films women, but ends up doing a very good deed. It’s directed by and stars Adrian Martinez, who earned best actor in a feature film.
The Evolution Mallorca film festival is a regular on MovieMaker’s annual list of 50 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee, which festival goers dub the “Mediterranean Sundance” and which we called “one of the brightest, most cosmopolitan festivals on the planet, and one of the fastest-growing in Europe.”
Here’s the full list of winners:
Best Experimental Short Film
Exhalation, director Al Díaz (España)
Best Music video
Complication, director Pere Sala Bastardes (España)
Best International Documentary Short
A Syrian Women, directores: Khawla Al Hammouri, Louis Karim Sayad DeCaprio (Jordan)
Special Mention – International Documentary Short
Woman, director Raúl de la Fuente Calle (España)
Best Made In Baleares Documentary Short Film
Running Home, director Michelle-Andrea Girouard (España)
Best Made In Baleares Documentary Feature Film
Revealing Mario, director Simó Mateu
Special Mention – Made In Baleares Documentary Feature Film
Dorothea y el Myotragus, directoras Nuria Abad, Marta Hierro
Best International Documentary Feature Film
Mujereando, The lament of a goddess, directora Carmen Tamayo (España)
Best Short Film Screenplay Competition
Pass, de Elika Abdollahi (Iran)
Best International Short Film
Pa’lante, director David Van (Republica Checa)
Special Mention International Short Film
October Winds, director Heinz Köbernick (El Salvador)
A Complete Woman, director Ceres Machado (España)
Best Actor in a MIB Short Film
Lucas Nabor en GREEN SILK, de la directora Marina Wagner Moll
Best Actress in a MIB Short Film
Rosa Cadafalch en DONA, de la directora Marga Meliá.
Best Made In Baleares – Short Film
Tongue with Capers, director David Mataró (España)
Special Mention MIB Short Film:
La leyenda de Oriol, director Rubén Jiménez Sanz
El Resort, directores Pedro Deltell-Colomer, Paula Galimberti y Gonzalo Piñán
Best Feature Film Screenplay
Tau Emerald de Tamara Vogl (United Kingdom)
Evolutionary Island Award
Baumbacher Syndrome de Gregory Kirchhoff (Aleman)
Best Actress Feature Film
Andrea Sawatski en Zoro’s Solo (Aleman)
Best Actor Feature Film
Adrian Martinez en iGilbert (Estados Unidos)
Special Mention Feature Film
The Waiter de Steve Krikris (Grecia)
Best Feature Film
Toprak, de la directora Sevgi Hirschhäuser (Turkia)
Evolution Honorary Award
Evolution Honorary Award
Evolution Vision Award