MIFF Schools 2020 sees the festival welcome its first ever youth jury, a panel of three jurors who will deliberate on which film from the MIFF Schools program they deem the best.
In partnership with ACMI, the youth jury has been selected from the list of finalists for Top Screen 2020. The inaugural jury includes some of the best and brightest among this year’s Top Screen participants, including a keen animator with a wicked sense of humour, another with a penchant for time travel and the director of the winning film, Kobold.
Outstanding film as chosen by the jurors
Marona’s Fantastic Tale
Director: Anca Damian
Suitability: Ages 12+
A fresh take on the ‘dog’s life’ story, this French animation follows Marona, a newborn puppy who goes from owner to owner, and explores themes of humanity, existence and relationships. Through the use of fluid and colourful mixed-media animation, Marona’s Fantastic Tale introduces a cast of characters that are ingeniously designed to personify emotion and the human psyche. Although told from the perspective of a dog, the film is a raw reflection of people as we navigate life – self-consumed but, fortunately, unconditionally loved by our pets. Marona’s Fantastic Tale is visually emotive, touching and intimate. We warn you to prepare for laughter, tears and a stunning display of modern animation and storytelling.
The jury collectively would like to give a special mention to Los Lobos (The Wolves). This film was profoundly moving, sharing the story of a single mother immigrating with her two young sons to America. We felt honoured to have been allowed into the directors’ experience as an immigrant, open in its tragedy and beautiful in its depiction of family.
Meet the 2020 youth jury
Jasper Margaritis is an 18-year old freelance artist currently enrolled in RMIT’s animation and interactive media course. Drawing, art and comics have been Jasper’s passion since a young age. He particularly enjoys creating quirky and entertaining stories. Jasper was awarded the 2020 Top Screen Jury Prize for his short film Kobold. He aims to continue working and pursuing animation and comics in the future.
Griffin O’Neill started making films to document his family’s adventures, leading to it becoming part of his school life wherever possible. He likes to make balanced films that are both fun and contain important messages, an ethos he tries to keep in the forefront of his mind when creating. Griffin was very excited to have his short film, Time Well Spent, be part of Top Screen 2020. First year at university sees him studying a music performance course, through which he hopes to explore the relationship between film and music while keeping a firm grounding in storytelling.
Kate Keenan is a first-year student at RMIT, studying animation. She placed as a Top Screen 2020 filmmaker with her film Wing Man, which aimed to change the conversation around menstruation. Hoping to make storytelling her career, she is particularly fond of narratives that playfully challenge audiences. She is grateful to be working with MIFF, an organisation clearly aligned with her passion for giving all voices a platform.