And the winner is…

Tanin Torabi!!
Congratulations to the Iranian artist for winning the Cinedans Student Award. We are looking forward to see your future endeavours.

The jury elaborated on their choice:

The selected films for this year’s Student Film Competition represent an impressive caliber of artistry and innovation. Some, such as Sara The Dancer, invite us to question our presumptions about the definitions of a dance film, which is something we highly encourage. Thereby paving the way for the groundbreaking makers of the future. 

One film stood out amongst a field of strong competition: The Dérive by Tanin Torabi.

At first glance, it’s a deceptively simple proposal, a film that seems as if it might have been shot in one take, completely improvised. But it is not. Its casual pedestrianism belies a multilayered and nuanced film, equal parts poetic, philosophical and political, seeded with subtle references to the Situationalist concept from which the title originates. 

Drifting through a commodified landscape, aided by a continuous and dream-like sound score, the performer’s body embarks on a surrealistic journey. The conversational quality between the body, the surrounding crowd and that of the following camera create a compelling tension, suggesting that despite the guise of the daily, for this dancer in this environment, there is more at stake. By deftly playing the line where the quotidian becomes a dance, the makers seem to imply that the dancer could have been any other woman in the crowd, as if the camera has alighted on her by chance, like a grabbing machine at a fun fair. Appearing and disappearing amidst an evocative backdrop rich in associations, she inscribes the surroundings with another language, intimations of alternative ways of inhabiting space. 

The Derivé is a strong example of how the merging of film and the moving body can create a narrative bigger than the sum of the two. Though the film seems playful, it is at its core very focused, delving into the potential offered within minimal means. The Derivé pulls off an impressive balancing act: although it seemingly operates with a light touch, the makers are in fact taking significant risk. As a viewer, we are invited to think about themes such as time, gender, culture and diversity. Nevertheless, the film remains poetic as opposed to imposing. Despite the fact that there are (political) statements being made, it leaves space for the viewer to wander in thought, perhaps becoming aware of that which lies just beneath the surface.

The jury: Hillary Blake Firestone (choreographer, performer & educator), Judith Knubben (film director), Tycho Hupperetes (dancer & visual artist). Read more about our jury here.

If you wanna know more about Tanin Torabi and The Dérive you can read the interview here.

The Cinedans Student Award is sponsored by Canon Netherland.

And the Audience Award went to Sisters by director Daphne Lucker and choreographer Emma Evelein from The Netherlands Film Academy.

The Audience Award is sponsored by Festival Whizz.

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