On Sunday evening, the 17th edition of the International Festival of TV Broadcasters and Independent Producers SIMFEST ended in Tîrgu Mureș. It was an unusual, special edition, as the members of the final jury themselves acknowledged in the motivation of the SIMFEST Grand Prize – 2020. That is why, to say that it took place in Tîrgu Mureș is just a figure of speech, because practically it took place all over the world, Tîrgu Mureș being only the center of a movement that surprised even the organizers, the SIMFEST Cultural Association. The figures below support the statements.
The 2020 edition was organized exclusively online, which led to an approach, from an organizational point of view, completely different from previous editions. One example: email and Facebook correspondence exceeded 5,000 messages exchanged in a single month.
During the festival, 103 television and cinema productions were screened online (for which broadcasting agreements were received) and there are still dozens of requests from filmmakers from all over the world to broadcast their productions. The organizers intend to extend the online screening sessions by one week, with the help of volunteers who enabled this activity during the festival.
For a week, video enthusiasts had the opportunity to see productions from the farthest corners of the world, from Peru to Pakistan, from India to the UK or from Australia to the United States. For fans of statistics, some data provided by Facebook: over 53,500 people received information, almost 6,000 were enthusiastic, over 15,500 unique visitors watched the posts, over 100,000 minutes of viewing were recorded (figures are those provided for September 19, they do not include the last day of the festival, in which the record was published and in which there was a feverish activity on social media).
The jury confessed that it was extremely difficult to decide, both because of the large number of productions, but especially because of their high value. It took three zoom sessions of discussions, after each member had made their views separately, to reach the final decision. Finally, 14 awards and 7 mentions were given.
It looks like it was the year of the Middle East. The most important prizes: the Grand Prize and the Special Jury Prize go to two neighboring countries: Iran and Iraq. Iran ticks two more awards and ranks first, near Russian Federation, with three prizes too. Two prizes each go to Germany, the United States and the United Kingdom. Spain won an award, as did Australia. A mention also goes to the Republic of Moldova. Romania, unfortunately, is not on the record of this edition, but the film awarded for Documentary, prize won by Germany, was made by a Romanian native living in Germany.
The list of winners can be consulted on the Facebook page of the festival (Simfest Romania) and on the official website simfest.ro.
At the end of the registration period there were counted 1,284 productions from 92 countries. The pre-selection was made by a jury of 14 people. In the official selection 226 productions were selected.
The SIMFEST team