A Good Hunting Season for Cinema

圖 photos eduardo martins
An Argentinian film was the big winner of the 2nd International Film Festival & Awards‧Macao
Natalia Garagiola’s Hunting Season was presented with the Best Film Award at the Closing & Awards Ceremony of the 2nd International Film Festival & Awards‧ Macao (IFFAM). The international Competition Jury, comprising Jury President Laurent Cantet and jury members Joan Chen, Jessica Hausner, Lawrence Osborne and Royston Tan, decided the distinction. 
The Competition line-up includd ten films from first and second time directors. As well as their award, Garagiola and producers Santiago Gallelli, Matias Roveda, Benjamin Domenech and Gonzalo Tobal received a cash prize of US$60,000. 
In this Argentinian film, Ernesto is a respected hunting guide in Patagonia, where he lives with his new family. After his first wife dies, he is forced to look after his grieving teenage son Nahuel, whom he hasn’t seen for more than a decade. Confronted with the past he left behind, Ernesto struggles to contain the violent outbursts of his son. Without the sympathy of his new family, Nahuel stretches the conflict with his father to the limit. Their mutual resentment gives way to a possible relationship when they go hunting in nature.  
“When we watch film awards, this always happen to others, so we had never imagined that we would be standing up here to receive an award for my first feature film,” Garagiola said when accepting the award at the awards ceremony at the Macau Cultural Centre.
“The jury was impressed by Hunting Season’s fluid style and construction and by the precision of its directing. The film deals with subjects both difficult and delicate: mourning for a mother’s death, the reconciliation between estranged fathers and sons, the loneliness of young men. For all these reasons, but also for the quality of its acting, the jury has awarded Hunting Season the prize for Best Film of the Festival,” said the President of the Jury, Laurent Cantet.
Other Official Competition awards included the Jury Prize for Wrath of Silence, Best Director for Xavier Legrand, with Custody; Best Actor for Song Yang in Wrath of Silence; and Best Actress for Jessie Buckley in Beast. Samuel Moaz got the Best Screenplay distinction for Foxtrot. Borg McEnroe got the Macau Audience Choice Award. And actor Udo Kier received the Career Achievement Award.
“After an enchanting seven-day cinematic journey, the 2nd IFFAM draws to a close. We have done our best to shape every section into profound and rewarding experiences, building on our strong commitment to helping young filmmakers to venture into the global film industry and reach new heights,” said the President of Organizing Committee of IFFAM, Helena de Senna Fernandes.
Looking to the future
The president of the Organizing Committee of the International Film Festival & Awards Macao (IFFAM) Helena de Senna Fernandes is considering creating a section for films from Portuguese-speaking countries in next year’s edition of IFFAM. 
“I had a meeting with the artistic director and with our ambassador, who was chairman of the jury last year, and with other consultants. There is the possibility of creating a section for Asia or a section for Portuguese-speaking countries. We are now working on new ideas, of course it is still early, but these are some of the things we are thinking about,” Senna Fernandes said.
“Starting this year [the festival] is for filmmakers on their first or second ‘feature film’. I believe this approach has generated good feedback from the industry because they think that as we are a very new event. It is also good to have an association with young filmmakers. From now on, in principle, this will be maintained,” she added.
The Organizing Committee president said that there are still changes to be made in the organization of the festival, but that she is satisfied with the feedback she has received from the industry on a global scale.
“Going forward we are going to take stock, we are going to look at the weaker points, where we still have to do some maneuvering. I’ve heard a lot of compliments from the international industry. We will be able to work more closely with them, to attract them”. 
And will Mike Goodridge remain as IFFAM’s artistic director next year? 
“Yes, yes. It is our intention and I think Mike also had a good collaboration with us.  I think he too would like to stay.  The team is stabilizing and because of that I think it’s good for future growth,” she shared.