FESTIVALS: The Metamorphosis of Birds Wins Vilnius IFF

    Audience Award Winner -  Jan Komasa’s Oscar-nominated Corpus Christi Audience Award Winner - Jan Komasa’s Oscar-nominated Corpus Christi

    VILNIUS: The Metamorphosis of Birds / A Metamorfose dos Pássaros from Portuguese director Catarina Vasconcelos, an engaging portrait of a family, was awarded Best Film in the European Debut Competition of the 25th Vilnius International Film Festival, which was held online from 19 March to 2 April 2020.

    The Audience Award went to Jan Komasa’s Oscar-nominated Corpus Christi / Boże Ciało, which will continue to be available on-demand alongside other winning films. In order to spotlight the fraught situation of film theatres, Xavier Dolan’s closing film Matthias & Maxime played in empty auditoriums after the awards ceremony ended. 

    Eleven feature films were selected for the European Debut Competition. The winners were chosen by director Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė, programmer of Rotterdam International Film Festival Evgeny Gusyatinskiy, film critic Boyd van Hoeij, artistic director of Göteborg Film Festival Jonas Holmberg, and Katarzyna Siniarska head of sales at New Europe Film Sales. The Short Competition included 30 contenders, with Lithuanian director Andrius Blaževičius, Greek director Konstantina Kotzamani and Berlin International Film Festival selecting committee member Simone Späni choosing the winner. The juries decided on the award winners online.

    The films in the online programme of the Vilnius IFF were streamed 55,000 times during two weeks – a sign of considerable support for the digital edition of the festival.  


    European Debut Competition:

    Best Film:
    The Metamorphosis of Birds (Portugal)
    Directed by Catarina Vasconcelos

    Best Director:
    Fyzal Boulifa for Lynn & Lucy (UK)

    Best Actresses:
    Nichola Burley and Roxanne Scrimshaw for Lynn & Lucy (UK)
    Directed by Fyzal Boulifa

    Best Actors:
    Jérémie Laheurte, Djanis Bouzyani and Anthony Bajon for You Deserve a Lover (France)
    Directed by Hafsia Herzi

    Cineuropa Prize:
    Nova Lituania (Lithuania)
    Directed by Karolis Kaupinis
    Produced by M-Films
    Supported by the Lithuanian Film Centre

    Best Short Film:
    Journey Through a Body (France)
    Directed by Camille Degeye

    Special Mention:
    Inflorescence (Germany)
    Directed by Nicolaas Schmidt