The Awards and Jury of Encounters

The members of the 2023 Encounters jury - Dea Kulumbegashvili, Paolo Moretti and Angeliki Papoulia - award the following prizes:

Award for Best Film

by Bas Devos

Jury Statement:
For the ability to create an enchanted cinematic space, where sensorial perceptions expand a traditional narrative approach, inviting the viewer to experience the intangible nature of human relationships, the Best Film Award goes to Here by Bas Devos.

Award for Best Director

El eco (The Echo)
by Tatiana Huezo

Jury Statement:
For the gentle confidence and uncompromising honesty in directing, which magnifies both the powerful human qualities of its protagonists as well as their connection with nature, the best director award goes to Tatiana Huezo for her film El eco.

Special Jury Award

(ex aequo)
Orlando, ma biographie politique (Orlando, My Political Biography)
by Paul B. Preciado

Jury Statement:
For the in depth and unmediated account of affirmation of self identity, for the innovative and multi-layered, politically rigorous yet formally playful, approach, the Special Jury award ex aequo goes to Orlando, ma biographie politique by Paul B. Preciado.

(ex aequo)
by Lois Patiño

Jury Statement:
For the capacity to embark the viewer on a unique and transcending audio visual journey, which goes beyond narrative conventions and explores in a bold and daring way the potential of the medium, the Special Jury award ex aequo goes to Samsara by Lois Patiño.

Encounters Jury 2023

Dea Kulumbegashvili (Georgia)

Born in 1986, filmmaker Dea Kulumbegashvili garnered international attention with her first full-length fiction film Beginning in 2020. After screening in the official programme at Cannes, the film went on to win not only the FIPRESCI prize in Toronto, but also Best Film in San Sebastián, along with awards for its direction, screenplay and female lead. In 2014, her first short film Invisible Spaces competed for the Short Film Palme d’Or in Cannes, and in 2016, her film Léthé celebrated its world premiere at Quinzaine des Réalisateurs. Her audio-visual installation Captives was part of the exhibition “Vive Le Cinema” at the Tabakalera Art Centre in San Sebastián in 2022 and is currently exhibited in the section Art Directions: Installations at the 2023 Rotterdam International Film Festival.

© ECAL Santiago Martinez

Paolo Moretti (Italy)

Paolo Moretti worked for several film festivals and institutions including the Pompidou Center, Filmoteca Española, Cinemateca Portuguesa, Leeds Film Festival and Cinéma du Réel. From 2008 to 2011 he was assistant director and programme advisor at the Venice Film Festival. He later worked as a programmer for FIDMarseille, Visions du Réel, the Rome Film Festival, and directed La Roche-sur-Yon IFF for six years. Between 2018 and 2022 he was general delegate and artistic director of Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes. He is currently the head of the film department at ECAL, Lausanne’s university of art and design, curator of Fondazione Prada’s film programme in Milan and directs the Grütli arthouse film theatre in Geneva.

© Dirk Michael Deckbar

Angeliki Papoulia (Greece)

After graduating from the Empros Theatre Drama School in her hometown of Athens, Angeliki Papoulia founded the blitz theatre group in 2004, where she was active as a writer, director and actor in Europe for 13 years. In front of the camera, she caused a sensation in Dogtooth (2009) by Yorgos Lanthimos, which won an award in Cannes and was nominated for an Oscar. She then starred in Lanthimos' Alps (2011) and The Lobster (2015), as well as Syllas Tzoumerkas' A Blast (2014) and The Miracle of the Sargasso Sea (2019). In 2022 she was a guest at Berlinale Encounters with I Poli ke i Poli by Christos Passalis and Syllas Tzoumerkas and A Little Love Package by Gastón Solnicki. She also played in Human Flowers of Flesh (2022) by Helena Wittmann.