An awarded short film from Motovun Film Festival has once again been shortlisted among five best candidates for the award!  This year’s nominee is Ice Merchants by the young and versatile artist Joao Gonzales.

The road to Best European Short Film leads through Motovun once again. This year’s winner of the festival’s short competition program, the animated film Ice Merchants by Joao Gonzales, has reached the finale of the European competition by having been shortlisted among the five nominated films from which members of the European Film Academy will select the best film – for the second time in the four years that Motovun Film Festival has been a partner of the Academy.  The other such Motovun Shorts winner was Reconstruction by Jiří Havlíček and Ondřej Novák, nominated in 2019.

Ice Merchants is a poetic animated story about a father and his son who jump with parachutes from their home on a vertiginous cliff in the mountain in order to sell ice in the valley. The 26-year-old Joao Gonzales combines his musical background and his animation skills: He is the film’s writer and chief animator, but also the author of the original score. His two earlier shorts also achieved great success and were shown at more than 130 festivals worldwide.

“We are very proud that the author put his trust in our festival as a stepping-stone to the short list of Best European Film nominees,” said Motovun Shorts programmer Inja Korać. “It was a great honor for us to help such a gifted author become a nominee. It encourages us in our efforts to keep close watch on the world of young talents – something we love best. Ice Merchants is truly a special film, a moving story with magical animation and with no stereotypes at all.”

Motovun Film Festival is the only festival in the region whose short film program winners are selected among 29 films competing for the nomination and the award presented by the European Film Academy. Five of these films are then nominated for the Academy award and 4,500 of its members then select the winner. Interestingly, this year’s nominees also include Will My Parents Come to See Me by Somali-Austrian filmmaker Mo Harawe, who was a member of the short program jury of this year’s edition of Motovun Film Festival; his film was shown outside competition.

“Two nominations in four years can be seen as evidence of a very high quality of our short film program. I can only express my gratitude to our team whose efforts made it achieve European relevance,” said Motovun Film Festival director Igor Mirković. The winners will be known in less than two months because the 35th European Film Awards ceremony will be taking place in Reykjavik on 10 December.

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