The winner Mujo No Kaze, which means The Wind of Impermanence, by Dean Yamada explores the chilling pull of Japan's suicide club subculture. The themes of life, death, and friendship are presented with a poetic and spiritual reverence. The second prize went to Cocoon by Jeroen Bogaert. The film is about a dancer and how her body is the place of her passion and means of expression, but therein lies the problem that drives the film as she is confronted with a pregnancy that seems to threaten both. The third prize went to Blind (USA) by Nikkhil Pradash. How can God be among us? How can Jesus be our best friend? It is refreshing to see films that successfully make use of comedy to approach faith-based narratives. The „Fidel Goetz Emerging Film Maker Award“ went to an African film Le Tournant d’une Vie (The Turn of a Life), confronting the audience with the tough social reality of AIDS and the ethical conflicts of many Africans, the film raises into relief the themes of loyalty, love, and compassion. The Audience Award went to Judas' Pane, a Canadian animated film, in which the ostracized apostle seeks to redeem himself with Christ.
The program included 19 international films, selected from more than one hundred submissions, each of which explored the general themes City of God. Categories included narrative fiction as well as animated and documentary films. The festival's single theme cannot be said to have constrained the young filmmakers, as the submissions clearly proved with their at times thought-provoking, at times unsettling, at times funny and exciting approaches. The stories are set in all corners of the world, for example, in Sri Lanka, Burundi, Canada, Belgium, Korea, the Philippines, France, India, Japan and the U.S.
Why do Jesuits support the Iñigo Film Festival? Aren’t there enough already? In fact, it is not so easy for young film makers to find a public space for their films, especially those with spiritual and faith-based themes. TIFF offers the film makers a platform for their work and so also the Jesuits and the Catholic Church give young people and the public a signal, that faith enriches and fits in our modern world. In the end the festival demonstrates that it is not only in rituals, nature, and the encounter with others that God can be best sought and found but in film as well. As the late Pope John Paul II said, “[The cinema] offers an incomparable storehouse of expressive means for portraying the various areas in which the human being finds himself and for interpreting his inescapable call to the beautiful, the universal and the absolute."
The success of TIFF would not be possible without the great financial support of the U.S. Jesuit Conference, Jesuit provinces around the world, and other private and commercial contributors and foundations interested in religious film and other media for youth. The reactions of both the large audiences and the film makers themselves encourage festival director Fr. Christof Wolf, S.J. (Loyola Productions Munich, Germany) to continue with the „Jesuit Oscars“ (as some in the press call them), which will be held next time in Madrid in 2011 again in conjunction with the WYD. (www.tiffestival.org)
A few scholarships are available to partially subsidize the costs of participants with selected papers.
The first programme showed children at a Jesuit parish in Kabwe where a young Zambian Jesuit priest has a keen interest in a Catholic children’s movement called the Holy Childhood. Through sort of a panel, a little skit, the Sunday Mass, catechism classes, traditional dancing, story telling, parents and teachers’ interviews and many individual children’s inputs we came up with a response to the question, “What is unique about a child’s faith?” Because children are children, the script provided a narration behind what the viewers saw.
The second programme highlighted a group of 9 young adults between 18 to 25 years old explaining their faith by means of a lively discussion. In the middle of the discussion we showed a play, which they acted out, demonstrating “poor Christian behaviour” and then the conversion of the “bad guys”. Segments of documentary footage that showed actual life situations accompanied the discussion.
The third programme was the Major Seminarians talking about their faith. This turned out to be 15 different seminarians, mostly in groups of three, discussing different topics; faith and priesthood, faith and academics, faith and prayer, and faith in the church. The fourth programme was the faith of four young adults who are married. These two couples disclosed what they believed and hoped. The fifth programme illustrates the faith of eight elders who told their personal. The sixth and final show focused on the resurrection in terms of what scripture says about Jesus rising from the dead, what people believe about people’s rising from the dead after they die; and what people believe about the resurrected life of Christ living in us today as we walk around this earth as human beings living the values of Christ. This programme featured people from all age groups.