Cannes: Cinefondation Awards First Place to 'Needle'

Jane Campion - P 2012
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Iranian director's short film wins the student film competition section.

CANNES – Iranian Anahita Ghazvinizadeh’s Needle was awarded the Cinefondation’s first place prize for best student film at the Cannes Film Festival, jury president Jane Campion announced Friday.  Ghazvinizadeh, currently a student at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, will take home not only the top honor, but the €15,000 prize for her 21-minute short film about a pre-teen girl getting her ears pierced.  First place also guarantees a future slot in the Cannes program for her first feature.

The second place prize went to Belgian Sarah Hirtt for En Attendant le Degel (Waiting for the Thaw), the story of a family on the road. The second place prize is €11,500.

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The Palme d’Or winning Campion was joined on the jury by producer Maji-da Abdi (Bamako), actress Nicoletta Braschi (Life is Beautiful), director Semih Kaplano?lu (Bal), and actress Nandita Das, who served as a member of the main competition jury in 2005.

“The Jury were unanimous in their choice for the awarded films and want to congratulate the filmmakers for the excellence and maturity of their cinematic voices,” said Campion. 

Though the jury decided unanimously, they weren’t able to decide on third place, instead awarding a joint prize to two films. Romanian Tudor Cristian Jurgiu’s In the Fishbowl and Czech Matus Vizar’s Pandas will share the €7500 prize.

The Cinéfondation Selection consisted of 18 student films, chosen out of nearly 1550 entries coming from 277 film schools around the world.