Monday, August 26, 2013

2013 Award Winners

Winning director Jimmie Wing with producer Joyce Wing. 
Congratulations to this years prize winners! Supporting local filmmakers through cash prizes continues to be a priority for Urban Nomad, and we are happy to see that the field of entries continues to grow, as does the audience for these short gems. Screenings took place in an open air cinema for six consecutive days, with directors present at each screening for Q&A. This years Big Nomad Prize went to Australian director Jimmie Wing for his 27 minute short EXPATZ and the Jury Prize went to Rob Jabbaz for his scabrous parody of early Disney animation. It is the first time that both Urban Nomad jury awards went to expatriate filmmakers.

The Big Nomad Prize, Jury Award and a Special Mention Award were selected by three jurors, film critic Dan Tong-mo (但唐謨), film director DJ Chen Yin-Jung (陳映蓉) and rock musician Dupi (肚皮). The Audience Choice Award was calculated from audience ballots at each short film screening, and a parallel award was given by Toshiba. You can see the results below!

EXPATZ director Jimmie Wing (left) receives his BIG NOMAD PRIZE from jurors Dang Tan-mo (center) and DJ Chen. 
The Big Nomad Prize
Prize: NT$20,000
Film: Expatz
Director: Jimmie Wing
Film info:  2012 / Thailand, Taiwan / 27min / English / Chinese subtitles
Synopsis: A foreign television reporter specializes in interviewing bizarre foreigners living in Wighland. The reporter and his local partner “Professor Roasted Squid” take off to find an especially peculiar retired American military officer. Ordinarily the boss of a local hamburger joint, the retired officer hides a secret culinary technology. When a few of the reporter’s foes show up on the scene, they get caught up in a long and unexpectedly strange trip! The hilarious antics and cross-cultural relationships of these crazy white people perfectly set the scene for a wild adventure.

Jurors Statement: Adopting a humorous and visually alluring style, Expatz describes the strange and twisted stories of Western tourists in Asia and the adventures of one Asian people’s turnabout in fortunes. This film satirizes the ridiculousness of the superiority of Westerners and lampoons standards of racial stereotyping. Through extreme subversion and sabotage, the film presents a multi-faceted view of the relative relationship between the West and Asia within the ecology of Southeast Asian tourism.

FIENDISH FUNNIES director Rob Jabbaz (left) receives prize from Mike Huang of

Jury Prize
Prize: NT$10,000
Film: Fiendish Funnies 
Director: Rob Jabbaz
Film info:  2012 / Taiwan / 3min / no dialogue
Synopsis: In a spooky forest represented in the style of 1920s Disney animation, a group of animals, like the Night Parade of 100 Demons, slowly marches into a small hut. Will they sing? Will they dance? Take a guess.... This trip goes from white to black, from yin to yang, casting aside all propriety and childrens story sugarcoating. This one is for grown ups only. No kids allowed.

Jurors Statement: In both style and concept, this short is perfectly done, and the black humor is completely on the mark. Whether you, as a viewer, are repulsed or excited, the film has succeeded in stimulating an emotional response. From the first frame to the last, both video and music are perfectly matched to achieve maximum effect.

PIG BOX by Han Tsai jun. 

Special Mention 
Film: Pig Box
Director: Han Tsai-jun (韓采君)
Film Info:  2013 / Taiwan / 3min / no dialogue
Synopsis: During the annual cleaning that takes place before Chinese New Year, a little girl with orange hair, Xiao Chu, removes a heavy chest, and in the process rouses a small bird from its winter slumber. The winter chill causes the bird to erupt in a volcanic sneeze, and the bird becomes curious about what could possibly be hidden in that aged wooden chest? In a warm tapestry of animated color, a lovely little ditty of a story follows.

Jurors Statement: Succinctly conceived and emotionally rich, simple subject matter harbors real feeling. This is a touching and affectionate short.

STRAY DOG, by Lin Ying zuo.
Audience Choice Award

Prize: NT$10,000
Film: Stray Dog (流浪的狗) 
Director: Lin Ying-zuo (林英作)
Film info:  2012 / Taiwan / 38min / Taiwanese and Chinese / English subtitles
Synopsis: A meandering life, like that of a stray dog. Director Lin Ying-zuo has previously given us documentaries on traditional puppet operas in Yilan County, Taiwan and how school mergers are shrinking the school system. This time he follows one of the few remaining public school instructors of the Taiwanese language, Mr. Lin Jing hsian, a poet and songwriter who travels all over northern Taiwan teaching Taiwanese to elementary school children.

Directors statement: Sitting shoulder to shoulder under open sky and soft breezes is one of the unique and romantic qualities of short film screenings at the Urban Nomad Film Fest. STRAY DOG is honored to screen as part of this years festival, so that it can share this story of independent spirit and idealistic persistence, the qualities that give value to our human existence. I am grateful that people were able to identify with this film and enjoy it. Only by looking into the lives of others are we ultimately able to find mutual respect.

Non-Jury Award: TOSHIBA Happiness Award 

Film: Our Date (我們的約會) 
Director: Feng Guang-wei (馮光偉)
Film info:  2012 / Taiwan / 25min / Chinese / English subtitles
Synopsis: Do you know what it means to long for someone? Do you know how to speak of your longing? The language in this short film comes from modern poetry, the story is of a date. What is expressed here is a lifetimes worth of longing for a certain someone....

Reason for award: This is a moving story that gives a diary-like account of happiness as it drips down, one drop at a time.