The 2021 GdA Director’s Award goes to Imaculat

Imaculat by Monica Stan and George Chiper-Lillemark beat out the other nine films in competition to win the 2021 GdA Director's Award at the 18th edition of Giornate degli Autori. The award was assigned by the 27 Times Cinema jury, made up of young representatives of every country in the European Union and headed by the filmmakers Mina Mileva and Vesela Kazakova. The jury's final deliberations were live-streamed on Giornate degli Autori's Facebook page.

All the jury deliberations were moderated by Karel Och, artistic director of the Karlovy Vary Film Festival, who guided the young jurors and their two presidents in their discussions as they worked to select the winning film. The GdA Director's Award carries a cash prize of €20,000, to be split equally between the director and the international distributor of the film, to promote its circulation.

The jury has issued the following statement:
"Imaculat is a potent film with a message that is masterfully conveyed through the eye of the camera. Imaculat represents the voice of two filmmakers who take interesting cinematic approaches to putting a young female drug addict's experience with rehabilitation on screen, in arresting, restrained performances. The film focuses on the interaction between patients in a rehab facility, and the facility itself, while the physicians' point of view takes a back seat. Dealing as it does with other issues like toxic relationships and abuse, Imaculat epitomizes, in our view, everything that cinema should be: a mirror held up to society, a society in which women are cornered into the claustrophobia of subjugation. Imaculat is a cri du coeur that urges us to confront one another, feel our shame, anger, and desire to fight for a better world. As young people ourselves, we believe that this powerful film is also as fragile as its characters, and we aspire to be its ambassadors in order to make its voice known, thanks to the GdA Director's Award we are pleased to bestow on it."

As agreed with Giornate degli Autori, Mina Mileva and Vesela Kazakova also decided to assign a Presidents' Special Mention to the film Shen Kong by Chen Guan, and issued the following statement:
"Humour, freshness, audacity, and the removal of artistic borders are rarely found all together in auteur cinema. This subtle film succeeds in evoking a philosophical meditation on solitude, isolation, love, tenderness, and the meaning of life. We hope that Chen Guan will never lose this inner artistic freedom that cannot be censored."