On October 8, the Topkapi Award for Best Fiction Film was awarded as a part of the annual Nederlandse Filmacademie Festival Keep an Eye.
This year’s prize, a festival trip of choice for the crew, was won by Harmonia.
The jury consisted of Emo Weemhoff (D.O.P.), Giancarlo Sanchez (director), Achmed Akabi (actor and showrunner), Sacha Gertsik (creative producer, script editor & founder of ‘De Ontmoeting’) and Max de Wolf (producer at Topkapi Films).
From the jury report:
While the world outside has literally come to a standstill, within the walls of the Film Academy very special, artisanal, impressive films were created this year. This batch is full of confidence, as if they are yelling at the industry: Come on, then! They treat large themes in small and large stories. The jury would like to tell them in name of the industry: your ambition and talent has been seen. This makes choosing the best fiction film for the Topkapi Award even more difficult. After hours of fierce debate the choice fell on a graduation film that wouldn’t let go of them. The tension build-up in the story, that was reached through ominous sound design and stylistic camera work, demonstrates confidence and shows that the crew moved harmoniously during the making of this film.
The narrative is cohesive but leaves enough room for the audience to engage. It is a daring film, in which many plates are kept spinning and in which, in all honesty, also a couple of those plates are shattered on the floor. But the plates that stayed intact, amongst which a bold move to capture a grand story within one single moment from a single life, stand out more than the missed opportunities. The originality to choose to tell a story on a something that plagues an entire generation in such a stylized manner, and the beautiful end scene that shifts this one life to a much wider perspective in a single shot, have made us decide that this film should be celebrated.
While Philine tries to secure a seat in the most prestigious boat of her university rowing club, a mysterious voice penetrates her university campus. The voice is looking for unity and connectedness in a world where everybody, trapped in isolation, is pursuing their individual goals.