“I Am a Girl!” takes doc prize at short film fest

The CFC Worldwide Short Film Festival (WSFF) named I Am a Girl from Netherlands-based director Susan Koenen the winner of the Panasonic Award for Best Documentary Short during its awards ceremony in Toronto last night (June 5).
June 6, 2011

The CFC Worldwide Short Film Festival (WSFF) named I Am a Girl! from Netherlands-based director Susan Koenen the winner of the Panasonic Award For Best Documentary Short during its awards ceremony in Toronto last night (June 5).

The winning doc short tells the story of Joppe, born a boy but always aware that he wanted to be a girl. The 15-minute doc follows Joppe as she talks about hormone treatments and her crushes on boys.

The jury remarked of the film, “The winner of Best Documentary Short is a film that tackles a teenager’s challenging transformation, using an effervescent approach to its music, cinematography and symbolism to portray a femininity and innocence that is unexpectedly accurate.”

The documentary’s director found out about the win via Twitter. “At first, I couldn’t believe it… That was indeed a very lucky hour for me!” Koenen tells realscreen, since her short also just picked up Amsterdam film festival TranScreen’s Audience Award for Best Short Documentary.

“It’s a pity I wasn’t able to be in Canada during the festival, I heard it was great again this year. WSFF, thank you VERY MUCH for the incredible honor!” she said, via email.

The prize includes a Camcorder, LCD television, Blu-ray player and a digital stills camera, worth in total CDN$5,000.

In all, nine awards and over $90,000 in cash and prizes were presented to Canadian and international filmmakers.

“The jury was stunned by the talent and originality found in this year’s competitive programming,” said Eileen Arandiga, festival director.  “With 95 films in competition, this year’s race for these prestigious awards was more rigorous than ever before.”

Jury members included Kelly DeVine, artistic director of the Global Peace Film Festival; Jean Malek, photographer and filmmaker;  SBS Television’s Marie Stroud; Spafax Canada’s programming manager, Nick Solowski; and Encounters Film Festival’s Liz Harkman.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.