Documentary short film Horse Rider has won the inaugural Academy Awards qualifying Grand Prix Documentary Short Award at the 64th Cork Film Festival. Directed by Anna Gawlita, the film joins the Academy Awards longlist for 2021.
The awards were presented ahead of tonight's Closing Night Gala at the Everyman, when The Other Lamb, directed by Małgorzata Szumowska will get its Irish premiere.
The Cork Film Festival is the only Irish film festival with three Academy Awards qualifying places. Tristan Heanue’s Ciúnas, winner of the Grand Prix Irish Short Award, and the Christopher Andrews directed Stalker, winner of the Grand Prix International Short Award, will both also be on the Academy Awards 2021 longlist.
Cork Film Festival Director and CEO Fiona Clark said: “As Ireland’s only film festival to present three Academy Awards qualifying awards, we are delighted to announce Anna Gawlita’s Horse Riders as the winner of the Grand Prix Documentary Short Award at the 64th Cork Film Festival. It is an exceptional documentary short and one that is thoroughly deserving of being longlisted for an Oscar®. The eye-catching film tells the story of an annual horse pilgrimage in a Polish village, an old regional tradition being kept alive in southern Poland.
“Tristan Heanue’s Irish-language short film Ciúnas (Silence) took home the second Academy Awards qualifying award, the Grand Prix Irish Short Award, and is the winner of the €1,500 prize fund. It is a stunning film about a couple who embark on a journey in the midst of a family crisis. Stalker, directed by Christopher Andrews, was awarded the Grand Prix International Short Award, our third Academy Awards qualifying award. Set in the remote forests of the Scottish Highlands, the film sets the scene of an ageing stalker as he goes up against a young poacher who is taking the heads off his best stags.”
Commenting on the Awards, Fiona added: “Cork Film Festival’s awards demonstrate our commitment to presenting and celebrating excellence in filmmaking, championing new and emerging voices, as well as established filmmakers. The Festival embraces features and short film with equal respect, and as a growing destination for feature documentaries as well as narrative work, we pride ourselves as the platform to showcase the very best of Irish and international film in Ireland. Our Awards Ceremony honours the diverse talent presented during the 64th Cork Film Festival and this year’s winning films exemplify the quality and diversity we have showcased. We are delighted to close out the Festival with the Irish premiere of new Irish drama, The Other Lamb, a film supported by Screen Ireland, and the English-language debut of director Małgorzata Szumowska, one of the most thrilling emerging voices in world cinema.”
Speaking on the 64th Cork Film Festival, Fiona Clark stated: “It has been an exciting, thought-provoking and inspiring 11 days of stunning film here in Cork. The breadth and quality of the programme, with over 300 films and 63 countries represented, has made this year’s Festival an unforgettable experience for everyone involved.
“With 20,000 people attending this year’s Festival, we look forward to building on this success in 2020, our 65th anniversary, and beyond, and would like to thank all our funders, sponsors, partners, friends, jurors, filmmakers and audience who together make Cork Film Festival possible.”
The Irish Examiner are media partners for the Cork Film Festival. The full list of winners is below: