'Ice Merchants' wins the Cannes Critics' Week Jury Prize

'Ice Merchants' wins the Cannes Critics' Week Jury Prize

Having just had its world premiere at the Semaine de la Critique (Critics' Week) at the Cannes Film Festival,  The Ice Merchants (The Ice Merchants) received the Leitz Cine Discovery Prize for the short film , a prestigious first for Portuguese animation.

The short film by the young Porto director João Gonzalez was one of 10 short films selected for the competition of the famous Cannes section. Ice Merchants is an intriguing animated film that explores the relationship between a father and a son, rendered in a singular artistic style that sets Gonzalez as a promising talent.

João Gonzalez (right) receives the award for the short film “The Ice Merchants” at the Cannes Critics' Week.

Ice Merchants it was also recently announced in the selection of the Guadalajara International Film Festival in Mexico, being one of 15 nominees for the Rigo Mora International Award (created by Guillermo del Toro); the category winner is eligible for Academy Awards qualification.

Jury statement: “The Leitz Cine Discovery Prize goes to a film that has, as one of the jury members put it, 'Everything you expect from a short film.' Here is a director who knows how to tell a story, and he does it well. He creates a short film that keeps us on the edge from the first moment. Aesthetically this film is fresh and perfect in itself, but more than that, this film has a mission, a real and important mission… And it's made by a director who we hope has wind under his wings and will fly high and long as a result. The prize goes to ... Ice merchants .

Every day a father and his son parachute from their dizzying cold house, attached to a cliff, to go to the village on the ground, far away where they sell the ice they make every day.

Director's note: “One thing that has always fascinated me about animated cinema is the freedom it offers us to create something from scratch. Surreal and bizarre scenarios and realities that can be used as a metaphorical tool to talk about something that is common to us in our most 'real' reality. A man and his son parachute each day from their cold and dizzying house attached to a cliff to go to the village that lies on the plain below, where they sell the ice they make every day. Ice Merchants  it's a human story and a family drama set in an impossible reality ”.

After the award-winning short  Nestor e  The Voyager , Ice Merchants is Gonzalez's third film and his first as a professional director, with the support of the Institute of Cinema and Audiovisual. Gonzalez was also the instrumentalist and composer of the film's soundtrack, with Nuno Lobo in the orchestration. The score is by Ed Trousseau, with recording and mixing by Ricardo Real and Joana Rodrigues.

A Portuguese, English and French co-production, the film was produced by Bruno Caetano at COLA - COLETIVO AUDIOVISUAL, in co-production with Michaël Proença of Wild Stream in France and with the Royal College of Art in the UK

Ice Merchants was one of only two animated shorts in competition at Critics' Week, the other is  It's Nice in Here by Robert-Jonathan Koeyers (Netherlands). The program also presented a special world premiere screening of  stairs by Joseph Pierce (France / United Kingdom / Czech Republic / Belgium). Look here the selected films.

Find out more The Ice Merchants and contact the Agencia distributor on agencia.curtas.pt.

The Ice Merchants

The Ice Merchants

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