Oslo/Fusion Jury Award winners 2023

Presenting this year's Jury Award recipients! Congratulations to all the winners, and a heartfelt thank you to all the filmmakers and storytellers for sharing their passion and enriching the world of cinema, as well as our lives.

Our jurors have spoken and made their choices, and here are the films who will take home this year's awards for Feature Narrative, Feature Documentary, Short Film, and Youth Film, along with the respective jury's statements. Each winning film receives a trophy designed by Aurora. In addition, the three main categories (Narrative, Documentary and Short Films) will receive 10.000 Norwegian kroner, generously sponsored by Aftenposten.

And if you haven't yet met this year's jurors, here they all are in all their glory: https://oslofusion.no/en/the-festival/juries

Best Feature Narrative: THE PEOPLE'S JOKER

A transgender journey as origin story, this funny, fresh, and layered film takes you on a ride using well-trodden source material in inventive and surprisingly emotional ways, and despite limited resources proves that the only limitations we face are those in our minds.
The jury feels confident that both comic-loving queers and film fans will go batty for THE PEOPLE’S JOKER, directed by Vera Drew.

Honorable Mention
A haunting drama about religion and folklore, this film about a teenager facing what kind of person he is, stood out to us. With striking cinematography and evocative soundscape as it questions what is truly dangerous in society, the jury decided to give an Honorable Mention to ALMAMULA, directed by Juan Sebastián Torales.

Best Feature Documentary: QUEENDOM

We may have encountered this format before: an inconspicuous documentarian shadowing an individual and narrating their tale. Yet, in this film, this format is executed in a truly captivating manner, where vibrant and impactful costumes and performances are paired with exceptional cinematography.
This film touches on the many layers and nuances of its protagonist’s life: the affection and support from grandparents, juxtaposed with the disregard for their queer identity. We are shown how Gena’s life is absorbed by surrounding circumstances such as the mistreatment of queer people in Russia, and Russian invasion of Ukraine. At the same time the film showcases our contemporary moment: how phone cameras are everywhere, of visibility as activism, and the performative aspects of social media. The jury award for Best Feature Documentary goes to QUEENDOM, directed by Agniia Galdanova

Honorable Mention:
Our honorable mention goes to a film with a poetic and tragic depiction of a generation of queer people born during war. Part documentary and part fiction, it captures the experience of otherness in the queer scene of Medellín, Colombia. We were moved by the last testimonies of the individuals depicted, which the director honors beautifully. An Honorable Mention goes to ANHELL69, directed by Theo Montoya.

Best Short Film: FINAL FOREVER (Endelig uendelig)

Alongside the hardships that come with the queer experience, there is also the joy. In this film, our disbelief is successfully suspended as we follow the caricatured lives of two older women and their relationship, one we rarely get to see on screen. It manages to carry us through an entirely original story of both heartwarming and heartbreaking proportions, demonstrating the power of ambition, queer partnership, and the sheer willpower and determination of a woman with a dream. The winning film is a testament to the glory in both endings and new beginnings, shot with as much personality as the characters it holds. Which is all quite the exceptional feat for a student film. The jury award for Best Short Film goes to FINAL FOREVER (Endelig uendelig), directed by Tess Quatri.

Honorable Mention:
Though queer cinema can be saturated with stories of trauma, violence and erasure, this film is a vital reminder of how much more complex those stories can be in other parts of the world than our own. With no more than a single location, two characters, and circumstances of an unbearable magnitude, this film unveils the layers of grief and denial. Its simplicity, conviction, and conflict held an exceptional gravity, producing an unforgettable and conversation-starting film. An Honorable Mention goes to OUR MALES AND FEMALES, directed by Ahmad Alyaseer.

Youth Jury Award: ANHELL69

Over the last week we have been moved and touched by the variety of films and stories we have witnessed. Our selected film is one that gets to the heart of living as a young person in a nihilistic world where the future seems uncertain and bleak. Yet it remedies itself by celebrating the endeavouring creative process of cinema both in its failures and its successes, which inspire us immensely as young filmmakers.
The recipient of the youth jury’s award is a film that creates undeniable beauty from immense pain. It weaves a deep tapestry of love, life and death using documentary as a flexible genre which blurs the line between reality and fantasy and has moved us deeply. The film is both a letter to the beauty of the queer imagination and an epigraph to the tragedy that many still experience.
This is why we decided that the 2023 Youth Award goes to ANHELL69, directed by Theo Montoya.

Honorable Mention
We would to give an honorable mention to a film that challenges the film medium, while also succeeding in telling a personal, funny and critical story about modern America, relationships and trans-hood.
We find this to be a very brave film, both in its form and way of taking ownership over cultural icons. We are looking forward to following the filmmaker in the future.
Our Honorable Mention goes to Vera Drew for THE PEOPLE'S JOKER.

01. October 2023