November 28, 2021 (SIGNIS). The film Hit the Road by Iranian director Panah Panahi received the SIGNIS Prize at the 36th Mar del Plata International Film Festival.
Hit the Road (Iran, 2021) highlights the family bonds of love, detachment and tears. Ancestral customs rub shoulders with contemporary technology. Natural and painful syncretism: the old and the new are juxtaposed in a humanitarian and necessarily moving impetus. The staging reveals the playful and spiritual aspects of the characters and the majesty of the landscapes—a beautiful and moving achievement for the subtlety of feelings and traditions. The final sequence is masterful and surprising, accompanied by well-chosen songs.
The Jury also presented a Commemorative Award of 25 Years of SIGNIS Presence at the Festival to the film Quien lo Impede (Who's Stopping Us), directed by Jonas Trueba (Spain, 2021).
For five years, Spanish teenagers have taken advantage of the camera to show the most intimate of themselves and restore our confidence in the future. In this story, we see their existential dilemmas, their emotional and identity contradictions. The film transmits, with a beautiful spontaneity, the intelligence, the sensitivity and the emotions of the protagonists. It's always exotic, cheerful and entertaining. It is a titanic film with honest, warm testimony and a political critique of the world today.
Finally, the Jury awarded a commendation to the film Petite Maman (Little Mom), directed by Céline Sciamma (France, 2021), for the excellence of its story, its production and the acting.
The film masterfully and movingly portrays the mystery of a girl's love for her mother. The need for meeting in them and the desire for healing is a journey through time. In this distortion of the real and the temporal, the film loses neither the simplicity of the everyday nor the playful. Instead, it shows a world as special as it is universal to help us understand the depth of the links. Emotional and magical, with everyday details imbued with tenderness, the film shows us how vital and transcendent these links are.
The members of the Jury were Pam Aleman (Canada), Lorena Chuscoff (Argentina), and Juan Pablo Donoso (Chile).