International Festival Signs of the Night - Bangkok


19th International Festival Signs of the Night - Bangkok (7th Edition) - September 15-19, 2021



The Song of the Butterflies

El canto de las mariposas
Nuria Frigola Torrent
Peru / 2020 / 1:05:53

Rember Yahuarcani, an indigenous artist from an almost extinguished nation, returns to his grandmother’s land looking for inspiration and discovers why the stories of his ancestors cannot be forgotten.


Jury Declaration:

While following the protagonists that are constantly thinking of effective story-telling methods, the entire film serves as a micro-art school for the viewers to think about why we make art, while providing us with rich anthropological, ethnological and political food for thought.


The Signs Award for Documentary honors films, which express in a an original, convincing and sensitive way the perturbing aspects of reality.

The Forbidden Strings

Hasan Noori
Iran / 2019 / 1:12:00

Born and raised in Iran, four young Afghans take a dangerous journey from Iran to the heart of Afghanistan in order to make a dream come true: performing their first concert in a war-torn motherland they’ve never seen.



Jury Declaration:

Although the film is about the specific place, culture and context of Afghanistan and Iran, it resonates with anybody who wants to pursue his or her dream. The film is ever more relevant now that Taliban has taken over Afghanistan and banned music all together. This film must be shown and the story of the band needs to be told to the world over and over.

The Night Award for Documentary honors films, which represent reality in an ambivalent and enigmatic way, avoiding stereotypes of representation
and simple conclusions.

Rift Finfinnee

Daniel Kötter
Ethiopia, Germany / 2020 / 1:19:00

Rift Finfinnee takes the viewer on a journey through the periphery of the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa. In strictly composed images and a soundtrack that interweaves the original conversations in a complex way, the film takes the concrete geography, architecture and the everyday life of individual agricultural and construction workers in the east of Addis Ababa (in Oromo: Finfinnee) as the starting point for an allegorical narrative about the urbanisation of African societies on the edge of civil war. The film documents the rural-urban transformation of space and its consequences for living together using the example of four settlements in the east of the fast-growing Ethiopian capital: the village of Dingaja, the Bole Arabsa social housing estate, the Ayat Condominiums, and the gated community CCD Homes. Four different backdrops for the profound social change in Ethiopia, all four within sight of each other, but separated by a deep rift, which divides city and non-city, present from projected future, Oromo from Amhara: the gorge of the Akaki River.



Jury Declaration:

Surrounded by beautiful nature, rural life is simple yet deserted from prosperity. Rift Finfinnee captured living and fighting souls during construction, excavation, day-labour and forced internal exodus. The film sharply highlighted the state's claim led to oppression and unfair urbanization, and also questions the development while its own people and rural life are rejected by the country.


Year of the Robot

Yves Gellie
Belgium, France / 2019 / 0:30:00

At the intersection of art and science, L’année du robot (Year of the robot) depicts the human being and the robot as its artificial counterpart. As a series of archival documents detailing the first contacts and dialogue between a robot gifted with an artificially created autonomy and human beings, it studies cognitive dissonance, a minute, mysterious relational space sitting between the two actors. It involves elderly people sometimes afflicted with Alzheimer's or dementia, or young adults with autism or neurological problems. Once past the surprise phase and aware of the artificial nature of the robot's functioning, the residents try, despite everything, to forge bonds with it.


Jury Declaration:

Using composed and mature editing technique, the film successfully tells the viewers how the robotic technology is advanced, not in a tech-flashy manner but with a clever combination of humour and melancholy.


Landscape Zero

Nulti krajolik
Bruno Pavic
Croatia / 2020 / 1:11:00

The presence of industrial facilities had a devastating impact on a small coastal area. The film follows the lives of 4 protagonists, who are either fighting for their own survival among these dangerous industrial facilities, or they live in a harmonious coexistence with them. Scenes from their everyday life intertwine with different art performances and observational scenes of life in this area, which depict the adjustment of people and animals to the devastated environment.Scenes from their everyday life intertwine with different art performances and observational scenes of life in this area, which depict the adjustment of people and animals to the devastated environment.



Jury Declaration:

"Landscape Zero" presents us outstanding techniques. Serenity, composed from the Croatian city's scenery, comes with an impression of collapse stemming from crystal clear images of contaminated air and water. Calm and observational, yet the film's suspense triggered us with danger. Without straightforward talking heads, Landscape Zero has initiated a dialogue powerfully from landscapes and citizens, the film is undoubtedly valuable especially to those living or adjusting within the city's last breath.

Director Declaration:

I am honored that Landscape Zero has won a special mention. With this film I wanted to avoid conventional documentary filmmaking trying to find visual potential in this seemingly “ordinary topic”. This is a festival that values ??film language and this recognition is an encouragement to me to continue to develop the hybrid form.


Belgrade Forest Incident…and What Happened to Mr. K?

Jan Ijäs
Finland / 2020 / 0:30:00

October 2018, Mr K. goes to the consulate in Istanbul in order to obtain a divorce certificate so he can remarry with Mrs C. Upon entering the building, he disappears definitively. The macabre and mysterious affair of journalist and dissident Jamal Khashoggi’s assassination leads to a gripping cinematographical investigation.



Jury Declaration:

A serial of exposure reports on a scandalous shameless crime(s) committed by a superior and privilege authority, a royalty persona. Through an accumulative summary and chronological approach to this apparent hopeless situation, Jan Iläs representation style offers the facts in a relief manner marked by humor and comic connotation, notably by placing all well known involved characters only with initials, like president T., or Russian's P., but also through a nostalgic technique using grainy and scratched images in vintage look of 16 mm.