MIFF Schools Announces Youth Jury Award Winner

September 11, 2020

Following the successful delivery of the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) 68½ public program, MIFF has commenced its education program, MIFF Schools, which streams nationally until 17 September. Today, the program’s first-ever Youth Jury announced the winner of the 2020 Outstanding Film award: Anca Damian’s Marona’s Fantastic Tale [pictured], with a special mention given to Samuel Kishi Leopo’s Los Lobos.
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MIFF Schools Announces Youth Jury Award Winner

Following the successful delivery of the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) 68½ public program, MIFF has commenced its education program, MIFF Schools, which streams nationally until 17 September. Today, the program’s first-ever Youth Jury announced the winner of the 2020 Outstanding Film award: Anca Damian’s Marona’s Fantastic Tale [pictured], with a special mention given to Samuel Kishi Leopo’s Los Lobos.

Selected in partnership with ACMI, the inaugural Youth Jury includes some of the best and brightest of this year’s VCE Top Screen finalists, with the 2020 jury comprising Jasper MargaritisGriffin O’Neill and Kate Keenan.

Commenting on the winning film, the Jury stated: “A fresh take on the ‘dog’s life’ story, this French animation follows Marona, a newborn puppy who goes from owner to owner, to explore themes of humanity, existence and relationships. Through the use of fluid and colourful mixed-media animation, Marona’s Fantastic Tale introduces a cast of characters that are ingeniously designed to personify emotion and the human psyche.

Although told from the perspective of a dog, the film is a raw reflection of humans as we navigate life – self-consumed but, fortunately, unconditionally loved by our pets. Marona’s Fantastic Tale is visually emotive, touching and intimate. Prepare for laughter, tears and a stunning display of modern animation and storytelling.

The Jury also gave a special mention to Los Lobos (The Wolves), stating: Profoundly moving, the film shares the story of a single mother immigrating to America with her two young sons. Open in its tragedy and beautiful in its depiction of family, it offers an intimate insight into the director’s own experience as an immigrant.”

Now in its 13th year (previously part of MIFF NextGen) and for the first time available to teachers and their students all across Australia, MIFF Schools enriches the cinema experience for younger viewers, presenting diverse films in languages taught across Australian schools including French, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin and Spanish.

“Given the exceptional circumstances in which we all find ourselves in 2020, I am really pleased with the final five films included in the MIFF Schools program,” said MIFF programmer Kate Fitzpatrick. “From the gorgeous, innovative animation of Marona’s Fantastic Tale and White Snake, the quirky Japanese humour and imagination of Bento Harassment to the socio-realist drama of Nevia and Los Lobos, this year’s program is rich in diversity and quality filmmaking, providing much for students to discuss in the classroom and beyond.”

MIFF Schools films are selected for their ability to address the Victorian curriculum learning areas for the arts, humanities, science and languages, with many of the films containing themes and issues relevant to the curriculum’s critical and creative thinking, ethical, intercultural and personal and social capability criteria. Each film is accompanied by a webinar, with experts in film analysis and language providing additional resources, strategies and ideas for incorporating screenings into students’ learning.

MIFF Schools is supported by ACMI and Modern Language Teachers Association of Victoria.

2020 MIFF Schools films: Renpei Tsukamoto’s Bento Harassment (Japan); Samuel Kishi Leopo’s Los Lobos (South Korea); Anca Damian’s Marona’s Fantastic Tale (Russia); Nunzia Garrone’s Nevia (Italy); and Jiakang Huang and Ji Zhao’s White Snake (China).

  • MIFF Schools streams online from 3-17 September
  • Explore the program and book tickets at miff.com.au/schools
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