And the winners are... | Tromsø International Film Festival

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TIFF 2020 13-19 January



January 13-19 2020

And the winners are...

Happy as Lazzaro (2018)
We proudly present this year's winners of TIFF's own Aurora Prize, the international critics award Fipresci and the Don Quijote award which is awarded by the International Film Club FICC, The Tromsø Palm for the best film in the Films From the North programme, and The Faith in Film Award and The Norwegian Peace FIlm Award.

Six awards were handed out tonight during Tromsø International Film Festival closing ceremony.


An exclusive selection of the best and most exciting films from the international arena are nominated to compete for TIFF's Aurora Prize. The films must have their Norwegian premiere at TIFF to be eligible.

The winner film receives a diploma and NOK 50.000,-, provided by Samfunnsløftet, Sparebank-1 Nord-Norge.

Jury statement:

We would like to thank all the organizers, volunteers, and people of Tromsø who made this a very special festival with lots of powerful, engaging and surprising films.

We the jury made a unanimous decision: The Aurora prize goes to a modern fairy tale that resonates with world’s struggles on many levels. The film invites us on a heartfelt cinematic journey with its angelic protagonist, colorful ensemble of characters and seamless visual style. Despite its portrayal of our unfair society, this film does not leave its viewers in despair. As jury we are “Happy as Lazzaro” in awarding this film with the Aurora prize.

Christine Dollhofer
Festival Director, Crossing Europe Film Festival, Linz, Austria
Ahmet Gurata
Film scholar and critic from Istanbul, visiting Professor University of Agder, Stavanger, Norway

Marja Bål Nango
Filmmaker, Gálgo/Skibotn, Norway

The winner is: HAPPY AS LAZZARO by Alice Rohrwacher.


Founded in 1930, FIPRESCI (Federation Internationale de la Presse Cinematographique) is the name of the international umbrella organization for professional film critics and film journalists. FIPRESCI works to promote film culture and safeguard professional interests.
FIPRESCI is well known for its involvement in juries at film festivals. Presently, there are FIPRESCI juries at almost 70 international film festivals. The FIPRESCI jury awards «The International Critic’s Award», which often is regarded as equally important as official jury prizes. The aim of the FIPRESCI award is «to promote film art and to encourage new and young cinema».

Jury statement:

In this heart-warming film we meet a complex character full of contradictions and enthusiasm. Based on the true life-story of a musician and miner, Alexander Scheer embodies his character with full force, while also daring to look awkward.

The FIPRESCI jury awards its prize to GUNDERMANN by Andreas Dresen - for his touching biography showing us that Eastern Germany, the former GDR, was not just black and white but also full of colours.

Cüneyt Cebenoyan 
”Birgün” and ”Milliyet Sanat”, Turkey
Susanne Schuetz
”Die Rheinpfalz”, Germany

Geir Kamsvåg
”Cinema”, Norway

The winner is: GUNDERMANN by Andreas Dresen. 


The Don Quixote Prize is awarded by FICC (Federation internationale des cine-clubs). Founded in 1947 during the Cannes Film Festival, FICC/IFFS is an international umbrella organization for film societies and non-profit cinemas. The Italian film director Gianni Amelio is the honorary president of the FICC.
One of the aims of FICC is to promote outstanding films for a broader audience. FICC awards the Don Quixote Prize at selected film festivals, such as Berlin, Cottbus, Karlovy Vary and Locarno. TIFF had the honor of hosting FICC for the first time in 2000.

Jury statement:

The FICC/IFFS jury of the 29th Tromsø International Film Festival have chosen Birds of Passage for the Don Quixote Prize.

We chose Birds of Passage not only because of it´s beautiful cinematography, but also because it addresses the ever growing issue of drug trafficking in South American countries spanning over several generations. We also believe Birds of Passage will encourage discussions in film clubs all across the world.

Christian Sæther Riksheim
Tromsø Children’s Film Club, Norway

Malek Shafi’l
Afghanistan Cinema Club, Afghanistan

Kornelia Stefania Musiałowska
Film Society “Olbrzym”, Poland

The winner is: BIRDS OF PASSAGE by Cristina Gallego & Ciro Guerra​.


The Tromsø Palm is awarded to the best film in the sidebar Films from the North. The director of the winning film is given 5000 Euros – offered by the  resource centers for film in the Barents Region:

Filmpool Nord, Luleå, Sweden
Film i Västerbotten, Umeå, Sweden
Nordnorsk Filmsenter, Honningsvåg, Norway

Jury statement:

This film convinced us with its clear artistic vision. Interweaving past and present, personal and universal history in an impressive combination of visual techniques. The director succeeds in addressing complex issues in a very short time: Less is more and still it lingers on. The Tromsø Palm 2019 goes to THE POWER GRID by Clara Bodén.

Jing Haase
Festival Manager Shorts and Docs, Swedish Film Institute

Sarah Adam
Freelance curator and programmer, Germany

Christof Wehmeier
Head of Festival Promotion, Icelandic Film Centre

The winner is: THE POWER GRID by Clara Bodén.


The FAITH IN FILM award was given for the first time in 2017. It was established by Center for Art, Culture and Church, Norwegian Church Academies and Tromsø Church Academy in collaboration with the Tromsø International Film Festival. The winner film should engage and stimulate to reflection and critical thinking about the religion’s place in society and in people’s lives.

The winner of the FAITH IN FILM AWARD receives a hand-painted icon, made in the Carmelite monastary in Tromsø. 

Jury statement:

The award goes to a film which questions political and ethical issues in our time, such as oppression, poverty and the exploitation of refugees. The director, sensitively and humbly, describes the role of religion both as a repressive institution but also as a magical element of hope. The intermingling of the forces of goodness with the forces of destruction gives the film a layer of fragility in the storytelling. It is this fragility which brings people together and also, ironically, separating them. The director creates a timeless voyage by giving the power of wind to the oppressed people, so the burdens of social reality transforms to a spiritual fable. All the members of the jury cordially wish that we will see more films in which female directors, cinematographers and editors collaborate within the art of storytelling, like they have done in our chosen Faith in Films award winner "Happy as Lazzaro" (Lazzaro Felice).

We congratulate cinematographer, Hélène Louvart, editor, Nelly Quettier and director & screenplaywriter, Alice Rohrwacher.

Nefise Özkal Lorentzen
Turkish-Norwegian writer, filmmaker and producer, Nesodden

Tor Sørby
Musician and administrator, Moss

Stig Lægdene
Theologist, former Rector, now Dean, Tromsø

The winner is: HAPPY AS LAZZARO by Alice Rohrwacher.


The Norwegian Peace Film Award is given to a film spotlighting direct, structural or cultural violence, and which in a creative way contributes to a deeper understanding of conflicts and violence.

The award is presented by TIFF in collaboration with the Centre for Peace Studies at the University of Tromsø and the Student Network for Peace.

Jury statement:

BLINDSPOTTING av Carlos López Estrada konfronterer tunge temaer som rasisme, politivold og gentrifisering samtidig som den hele tiden flommer over av dynamisk energi, og føles således som en slags spirituell oppfølger til Spike Lee-klassikeren DO THE RIGHT THING, satt til vestkysten.

Juryen beskriver filmen slik: "We live in a society in which we, to a large extent, are judged on basis of stereotypes, prejudices and racial discrimination. In this year’s winner of the Norwegian Peace Film Award, we follow Collin – a black convicted felon during the last few days of his probation. What seemingly begins as a typical buddy comedy quickly turns into a powerful movie about identity, tolerance and respect in a society struggling with racism, gentrification and police violence.

Unleashing the power of language, supported by highly dynamic and memorable images, the director impressively demonstrates that movies about peace and conflict do not need to be cumbersome, melancholic or dwelling, but can be accessible, educational and at the same time entertaining.

In a creative manner, the director, as well as screenwriters and main characters Rafeal Casal and Daveed Diggs, hold up a mirror to ourselves, triggering a process of critical self-reflection, and confronting us with our prejudices. In so doing, the movie becomes a powerful story addressing the destructive forces of racism, stereotypes and social injustice.

Torunn Nyen
Head of Programming Committee «Movies on War», Elverum

Erik Lundestad
Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy, UiT/NoPFA

Benjamin Schaller
PhD student, Centre for Peace Studies, UiT

The winner is: BLINDSPOTTING by Carlos López Estrada.