And the winner is...

We are very pleased to announce the winners of Leiden International Short Film Experience 2019!

Leiden local documentary director, writer and photographer Koen Suidgeest, EYE Filmmuseum’s Edith van der Heijde and Sorbonne lecturer and film critic Stephane Goudet judged the General Award, choosing between a shortlist of 7.

“Brotherhood” by Meryam Joobeur

On the eve of their announcement, Suidgeest first gave a Special Mention to Tunisian-American director Meryam Joobeur’s Brotherhood, which offers a very personal perspective on an at present global issue- the war in Syria- by representing the life of a rural family living in Tunisia. “[We] were impressed with the powerful yet simple story, its actors and the beautiful shooting style […] the film was emotional and very easy to connect to” said the judges. Well done!


The overall €1000 accolade was awarded to Portuguese directors Mónica Santos and Alice Guimarâes’ Between the Shadows. The 14-minute short depicts a woman living in a fantastical world who goes in search for a stolen heart.

“Between The Shadows” by Mónica Santos and Alice Guimarães

Created entirely in stop-motion yet with real-life actors and actresses, van der Heijde said “the filmmakers use a technique to create an excellent example of craftsmanship.

A film full of details and metaphors, it is both an engaging story as well as a reference to filmmaking itself, while at its heart, it’s a simple yet beautiful and profound love story”. A huge congratulations!

The jury for the Student Competition, consisting of 1977 editor-in-chief and film critic Benedetta Pini, Leiden University Film lecturer Peter Verstraten and independent documentary maker and visual artist Nirit Peled, had to choose from a high-calibre shortlist which promises an exciting future of filmmakers.

“Weltschmerz” by Jesper Dalgaard

The final winner of €500 was Danish director Jasper Dalgaard’s Weltschmerz. Reflecting on their choice, the jury said that this film was “particularly courageous and refractory […] unorthodox” and “thoroughly affecting”. The film reveals the story of a blind young woman who has been asked to direct a play as if it were about her life. Coming to terms with the end of a long-term relationship, the narrative twists and turns in a very particular style which made the judges think that “although it is very hard to get a grip on this heterogeneous film, […] it works wonderfully”. Congratulations to Dalgaard, we look forward to what the future holds!

Ian Thomas Ash, director of The Father’s Love Begotten, was awarded with the Audience Award

Finally to the Audience Award, shortlisted and chosen entirely by you. Over the weekend, audiences were asked to select their favourite film from the session as they left the theatre. Based on those votes, we calculated a shortlist that was then compiled together for a final viewing on Sunday night, from which the final winner was chosen. The award went to Ian Thomas Ash’s (who attended the festival to give an enlightening Q&A and who was present when the €500 prize was announced) A Father’s Love Begotten, a deeply moving story about historic sexual abuse, innovatively told that bends the traditional parameters of film. Congratulations to him!