Grand Prix for “Ich bin’s Helmut” in Tokyo
Nicolas Steiner’s eleven-minute fiction film “Ich bin’s Helmut” – a Swiss-German coproduction – was honoured with the Best Short Award, endowed with 600,000 yen (CHF 6,200), and also the Grand Prix at the 13th Tokyo Shorts Film Festival. As the winner of the highest award at the short film festival in Japan, the film is in the running for an Oscar nomination in the Live Action Short Film category. Director Nicolas Steiner, from Valais, attended the festival in Tokyo to accept the prestigious awards personally.
The jury, comprised of five Japanese film professionals, selected "Ich bin's Helmut" as the winner of the award for Best Short Film and the festival's Grand Prix. The latter was selected from the three award winners of the International, Asia International and Japan Competition. The jury emphasised in its statement that "this is a unique film that could only be produced in this format, for it would have been impossible to shoot it as a feature film. The film has a great deal of imagination, originality and new techniques." The short film "Ich bin's Helmut" celebrated its premiere and won an award at the International Short Film Festival Winterthur 2009. It has since garnered 30 international awards at more than 70 festivals all over the world.
Three other Swiss film productions and coproductions also won awards at international festivals: Kamil Polak's animation film "The Lost Town Of Switez" (coproduction: Archangel Film Group, Savosa) won the Best Animation Short Award, endowed with 2,000 dollars, at the 17th Palm Springs International ShortFest (June 21-27, 2011), while Robert-Jan Lacombe, student at the ECAL in Lausanne, won the Best Student Documentary Short Award for his film "Kwa Heri Mandima." And at yet another festival in the USA the feature-length documentary film coproduced in Switzerland "Scoala Noastra" by Mona Nicoara and Miruna Coca-Cozma was honoured with the Sterling Award for Best US Feature, amounting to 5,000 dollars, at the 9th Silverdocs AFI/Discovery Documentary Film Festival in Washington (June 20-26, 2011).
Geneva, June 27, 2011