Saguenay international
short film festival

After screening nearly 200 short films on the big screen and welcoming more than 400 guests to the city in the last few days, REGARD, the Saguenay International Short Film Festival and its five juries recognized 14 filmmakers with awards for their entries in this year’s festival, in addition to awarding six special mentions.

The awards include more than $100,000 in money and services, presented to several directors from around the world. The films can be watched and rewatched on the REGARD festival’s online platform from March 27 to April 9.

Official Competition 

The jury for this year’s Official Competition comprised Charles Tesson (France), artistic director of Critics’ Week at Cannes from 2012 to 2021; filmmaker Maxime Giroux (Quebec, Canada); actress Sophie Desmarais (Quebec, Canada); Mia Falstein, programmer at the Melbourne International Film Festival (Australia); and Samir Karahoda, filmmaker and programmer at the DokuFest Documentary and Short Film Festival (Kosovo). The jury’s mandate was to select the winners of five awards from among the 56 films in the Official Competition. 

The Grand Prize, presented by Festival REGARD, went to Natureza Humana directed by Mónica Lima (Portugal/Germany). 

Sèt Lam, by director Vincent Fontano (France), received a special mention by the jury of the Official Competition as part of the Grand Prize.

The Canadian Grand Prize, presented by the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi and MTL Grandé, was awarded to Charles-Émile Lafrance (Québec/Canada) for his film La trente-deuxième saison.

Meanwhile, the Jury Prize, presented by the Directors Guild of Canada, went to the short film Invincible by Vincent René-Lortie (Québec/Canada).

The short film Tskaltubo by Toby Andris (Quebec/Canada/Georgia) received a special mention in the Jury Prize.

In the Best Animation Short Film category, presented by Rodeo FX, the short film Ice Merchants by João Gonzalez (Portugal/UK/France) took the crown.

A special mention for this award was given to the film Eeva by Lucija Mrzljak and Morten Tsinakov (Estonia/Croatia).

Lastly, the five members of the Official Competition jury honoured Douwe Dijkstra (Netherlands), director of the film Buurman Abdi, with the award for Best Documentary Short Film, presented by Tënk Canada.

FIPRESCI and AQCC juries

The FIPRESCI International Critics’ Prize, presented by the Bureau du cinéma de Saguenay and SLA location, which honours a Canadian film in the Official Competition, went to Madeleine by Raquel Sancinetti (Québec/Canada). The jury was composed of three film critics: Enoe Lopes Pontes (Brazil), Michela Manente (Italy) and Patrick Mullen (Canada).

The Quebec critics’ jury (AQCC), made up of specialized Quebec-based journalists Jérôme Delgado, Marc-Antoine Lévesque and Shelagh Rowan-Legg, named the winner of the AQCC Quebec Critics’ Award, presented in collaboration with Lussier & Khouzam: Salomé Crickx (Belgique), director of Se dit d’un cerf qui quitte son bois.

The Jury also decided to give a special mention for this award to the film An Avocado Pit by Ary Zara (Portugal).

Finally, the Audience Award for the Official Competition, presented by Outpost MTL, went to Ary Zara for they film An Avocado Pit (Portugal), based on audience votes cast from March 22 to 25 at the theatre exits and on the festival’s website.

Parallel Competition 

Recognizing an independent film from Quebec made without financial support, the Shoot No Matter What Award, presented by Unis Tv, Spira and the Consul General of France in Quebec, went to the short film Bergen, Norvège, directed by Alexia Roc

A mention for this award was also given to the film Printemps by Sebastien Duguay.

The Americana Award, for an emerging filmmaker from the Americas, is presented by the Centre de solidarité internationale du Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean. This year’s winner is Entre dos islas, directed by Hideki Nakazaki (Cuba/Spain). 

Director William Pagé (Montérégie/Québec/Canada) received the Philippe Belley Award for his film Au bout du monde, screened as part of the 100% Regions program. This award is presented by Cégep de Chicoutimi, La Bande Sonimage and PEAK expérience visuelle et sonore.

Finally, the new Short & Queer Award, presented by Fierté Montréal, went to the short film Nuit blonde by director Gabrielle Demers (Québec/Canada). 

An Avocado Pit by Ary Zara (Portugal) once again caught the attention of the jurors as it was also awarded a special mention for this prize.

The jury for the Parallel Competition, composed of Chloe Roddick, senior programmer at the Morelia International short film Festival (Mexico); filmmaker and documentarist Nicolas Paquet (Quebec, Canada); and Charlie Boudreau, executive and artistic director of the Image+Nation Festival (Montreal), chose the winners of these four awards. 

The Audience Award for the Parallel Competition, presented by Romeo & Fils and Post-Moderne, was presented to Jean-Martin Gagnon and Guillaume Harvey for their film Bonne fête le désordre (Quebec/Canada).

As for the award for Best Youth Short Film, presented by Hydro-Québec, director Justine Gauthier took the honours with her film À mort le bikini ! (Québec/Canada). 

A special mention was also given to the Quebec film Simo by director Aziz Zoromba.

This is the first year in which REGARD has had a professional jury for this prize. Three experts in youth cinema had the mandate of choosing the winner: Sylvie Poisson (Quebec, Canada), who founded REGARD’s youth section and programmed it for 20 years; Jake Laystrom of the Chicago International Children's Film Festival (United States) and filmmaker Sophie Farkas Bolla (Quebec, Canada), whose first family-oriented feature film, Jules au Pays d’Asha, will be released this July.

Province-wide screenings of the winners

In the next two weeks, more than ten venues across Quebec will screen a selection of the winning films from the 27th edition of the festival. It’s a great opportunity for cinephiles who were unable to visit Saguenay for the event. 

  • March 26: Ciné-club de Roberval
  • March 27: Ciné-club de Chicoutimi
  • March 27: Ciné-club de Jonquière
  • March 29: Café du Clocher, Alma
  • April 3: Paraloeil, Rimouski
  • April 3: Paraloeil, Trois-pistoles
  • April 3: Cinédit, Rivière-Du-Loup
  • April 4: Ciné-club de Jonction/Gatineau
  • April 5: Ciné-club de Malice/Matane
  • April 6: Circuit Beaumont, Quebec City
  • April 7: Cinéma Moderne, Montreal 

REGARD online

To see all the shorts in this year’s program, including the award winners, REGARD’s online platform is available for $45 until April 9.