'Genius Loci' Wins Film Award
March 19, 2020

'Genius Loci' Wins Film Award

Berlin/Ingolstadt, 29 February, 2020 – With a value of €20,000, the Audi Short Film Award at the 70th Berlin International Film Festival goes to “Genius Loci” by Adrien Mérigeau. This year’s international short film jury is made up of the Hungarian animation film maker Réka Bucsi, the Turkish curator Fatma Çolakoğlu and the film maker Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese from Lesotho. 

The jury’s statement on this year’s award winner: “That other night her thoughts merged with the flickering street lights, the skyline and the trash on the sidewalks. This beautifully crafted film effortlessly coordinates the chaos of being human.”

In “Genius Loci” Reine, a young loner, wanders around the city at night. There is chaos everywhere: in her head and outside, in the big city. Things are taking on a life of their own. Young Reine is on the search, but she does not know what she is looking for. In delicate drawings and fluid animations, we see the world through her eyes and her perception becomes tangible.

After studying at the French animation school EMCA, Mérigeau went to the Irish animation studio Cartoon Saloon to work on two Oscar-nominated feature films. “Genius Loci” is the director’s second short film. "It was important for me to work on paper, since traditional drawing, unlike digital, requires concentration and a meditative approach in one’s gestures”, says Mérigeau when asked about the working process on “Genius Loci”. “It helps me maintain a direct, affective connection with the element I’m drawing."

To mark the 70th anniversary of the Berlinale and its seventh season as a principal sponsor, Audi celebrated the diversity of artistic positions and open discourses together with trendsetting talents and international film greats such as Helen Mirren, Margaret Qualley, Johnny Depp and Salma Hayek. The purely electrical drives to the red carpet with the
Audi e-tron* and the two new plug-in-hybrid models Audi A8 TFSI e* and A7 Sportback TFSI e* ensured that the stars of the international film industry made an exciting appearance. The new Audi e-tron Sportback* opened the red carpet of the Berlin International Film Festival and used its new digital matrix LED headlights to project a video clip onto a screen as an act of homage to mark the 70th anniversary.

The Berlin International Film Festival awards the Audi Short Film Award in the Berlinale Shorts section. In addition to the Golden and the Silver Bears, this award is one of the most coveted awards at the 70th Berlin International Film Festival for short films. With a value of €20,000, the award is among the most valuable worldwide for short film prizes. “The short film is a defiant form, one that offers a particularly high level of artistic freedom. We are fascinated by this principle of short films as freedom plays an important role at Audi as well – particularly when it comes to innovations for the future of mobility,” says Hubert Link, Head of Marketing Germany at AUDI AG.

A total of 24 films from 18 countries, curated by the new Head of Berlinale Shorts, Anna Henckel-Donnersmarck, were evaluated by the International Short Film Jury, consisting of Réka Bucsi (Hungary), Fatma Çolakoğlu (Turkey) and Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese (Lesotho). “United in a desire for freedom and innovation, Audi and the short film form an ideal alliance in the Berlinale Shorts competition,” says Anna Henckel-Donnersmarck. Different works that received the Audi Short Film Award in previous years formed part of the Berlinale Open House Program 2020. These included “Planet ∑” by Momoko Seto (2015), “Solar Walk” by Réka Bucsi (2018) and “Rise” by Bárbara Wagner and Benjamin de Burca (2019), which once again exhibited their power in an unusual setting.