Saguenay international
short film festival

After screening nearly 200 short films on the big screen and welcoming more than 500 guests to the city in the last few days, REGARD, the Saguenay International Short Film Festival, and its five juries recognized 15 filmmakers with awards, in addition to awarding nine special mentions.

The awards include more than $120,000 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 25 to April 7.

Official Competition 

The jury for this year’s Official Competition comprised actress Anne-Marie Cadieux (Quebec); well-known short-film producer, publicist and programmer (TIFF, Palm Springs, Aspen, Seattle, Tribeca, Hot Docs) Kathleen McInnis (United States); multidisciplinary Tyendinaga Mohawk artist and programmer of the Toronto Queer Film Festival Nishina Loft (Ontario); director of the film Richelieu Pier-Philippe Chevigny (Quebec): and Theodore Ushev (Canada), the Bulgarian-born animation filmmaker whose films have won more than 100 awards and distinctions around the world. The jury’s mandate was to select the winners of five awards from among the 62 films in the Official Competition. 

The Grand Prize, presented by Festival REGARD and CineGround, went to Cross my heart and hope to die directed by Sam Manacsa (Philippines). 

« A film that is striking in both its visual and storytelling acuity. The film speaks in an authentic cultural voice, with exceptional cinematography and a surprising, tension-filled storyline filled with well earned mis-direction. » - Official Competition jury

A special mention for this award went to the film Audio y el Caimán by Andres I. Estrada (Quebec/Venezuela).

The Canadian Grand Prize, presented by the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi and MTL Grandé, was awarded to Phillip Barker (Ontario/Canada) for his film Earthworm.

« The Jury was captivated by this surrealist world where everything is possible, and where the rules of gravity are as challenged as are the rules of storytelling. Aesthetically beautiful, with  strong, compelling visuals; the outstanding production design and art direction impressed the jury with its visual richness. The disturbing strangeness of this world is brought to life by equally disturbing and yet delightfully strange performances. » - Official Competition jury

A special mention for this award went to the film Juste un toît by Emmanuel Rioux (Quebec/Canada).

Meanwhile, the Jury Prize, presented by the Directors Guild of Canada and Post-Moderne, went to the short film Et eksempel: Dem på gulvet by Selma Sunniva (Denmark).

A special mention went to the film Des rêves en bateaux papiers by Samuel Suffren (Haiti).

In the Best Animation Short Film category, presented by the REGARD Festival, the short film A kind of testament by Stephen Vuillemin (France) took the crown.

A special mention went to the film Circle by Yumi Joung (South Korea).

Lastly, the five members of the Official Competition jury honoured Aylin Gökmen (Switzerland), director of the film O Gün Bu Gündür, Uçuyorum, with the award for Best Documentary Short Film, presented by Doc Quebec.

A special mention went to the film Our grandmother the inlet by Kayah George and Jaime Leigh Gianopoulos (British Columbia/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 Extras by Marc-Antoine Lemire (Québec/Canada). 

A special mention went to the film Mothers & Monsters by Edith Jorish (Quebec/Canada).

The jury was composed of three film critics: Davide Abbatescianni (Rome, Italy), Diego Faraone (Uruguay) and Rachel Ho (Canada).

The Quebec critics’ jury (AQCC), made up of specialized Quebec-based journalists Jules Couturier, Mathieu Bédard and Sarah-Louise Pelletier-Morin, named the winner of the AQCC Quebec Critics’ Award, presented in collaboration with Lussier & Khouzam: Nienke Deutz (Belgium/Netherlands/France), director of The miracle.

Finally, the Audience Award for the Official Competition, presented by Outpost MTL, went to Marc-Antoine Lemire for his film Extras (Québec/Canada), based on audience votes cast from March 20 to 23 at the theatre exits and on the festival’s website.

Focus Competition 

New this year, the Indigenous Perspectives Award, presented by the Canada Media Fund, is awarded to Bay of herons by director Jared James Lank (United State). 

A special mention went to the film A Bear Named Jesus by Terril Calder (Canada).

Recognizing an independent film from Quebec made without financial support, the Shoot No Matter What Award, presented by Unis Tv, Spira and PRIM, went to the short film Unclean, directed by Simon Chouinard. 

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 AliEN0089, directed by Valeria Hofmann (Chilie/Argentina). 

Director Chantal Caron (Chaudières-Appalaches) received the Philippe Belley Award for her film Marée noire, screened as part of the 100% Regions program. This award is presented by Cégep de Chicoutimi and La Bande Sonimage.

Finally, the Short & Queer Award, presented by Montréal Pride, went to the short film  Dildotectonics by director Tomás Paula Marques (Portugal). 

The jury for the Focus Competition, composed of Maxime Robin (Québec), author, director and actor; Julie Groleau (Québec), producer and co-founder of Couronne Nord; Alisi Telengut (Canada), an Indigenous artist and filmmaker; Miguel Dias (Portugal), a programmer of Curtas Vila do Conde - International Film Festival; and Sheenah Ko, an Irish-Chinese producer and composer based in Saguenay, chose the winners of these five awards. 

The Audience Award for the Focus Competition, presented by Romeo & Fils, was presented to Andres I. Estrada for his film Audio y el Caimán (Quebec/Venezuela).

As for the award for Best Youth Short Film, presented by Hydro-Québec, director Filip Diviak took the honours with his film My name is Edgar and I have a cow (Czech Republic/Slovakia). 

A special mention went to the film Gaby les collines by Zoé Pelchat (Quebec/Canada).

Three youth cinema enthusiasm had the mandate of choosing the winner: youth author and cultural mediator Chloé Varin (Quebec), filmmaker Lucie Lambert (Quebec), and Manon Musset (France), editorial director of the Benshi youth cinema platform.

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 7.