Best of Lonely Wolf #22LWIFF: Poetic Hysteria, Regret & Dystopian Worlds
Wednesday 4 January 2023 09:00 GMT+1 / 03:00 EST
By Adrian Perez, CEO/Founder & Chief Film Critic
Lonely Wolf have confirmed a record-high volume of 1,804 film project submissions in 2022, with more women directors at the directorial helm than ever before, according to CEO & Founder Adrian Perez, "the male:female ratio (now 70:30) is slowly balancing itself compared to what it was during our earlier days in 2020 (before 90:10). This shows progress and we're thrilled."
Only 67 total audiovisual projects (3.7%) made official selection and virtual exhibition over an exclusive 10-day window (23-31 December 2022).
This 9th season of the Lonely Wolf International Film Festival #22LWIFF has fascinated its jury by a recurrence in the usage of specific symbology, spatial dimensionality and colouration; some independent auteurs from different corners of the globe have gravitated towards a joint thematic intersection of mechanical asphyxia at the hands of psychotic denial and delusional projection. Complex inner turmoil depicted within the claustrophobic interiors of automobiles, basements and often a very helmet or breathing mask. A generation of filmmakers breathing new meanings of cognitive defence into all sorts of headgear within tales set in current day dystopia. These mutual cinematographic deployments are sparking a new wave and have inspired the curation of unique film blocks this season, one titled “Collisions And Dead-Ends In Confined Spaces.”
The paid media campaign behind this season's festival trailer (available to watch here) reached 639,743 people, of which the virtual festival enjoyed 2,261 official attendees in free ticket sales and 8,138 total film streams for the duration of the film festival.
Amongst the most watched titles were the award-sweeper of the season Midday Black Midnight Blue (USA) with its 5 wins and a further 3 nominations, directed by Samantha Soule & Daniel Talbott, produced by Lovell Holder, starring Chris Stack, Merritt Wever, Samantha Soule and Will Pullen, all nominated for their leading and supporting performances, with the latter two winning in their respective award categories.
Deliverance (Hong Kong), directed by Kelvin Shum, another highly praised film this season that stands out in the crowded landscape of modern cinema; the film tells the story of a fractured family struggling to come to terms with their mother's passing, and explores the use of hypnosis to reconnect with the past. Kelvin Shum has masterful control over the film, creating a cohesive and emotionally resonant narrative; highly recommended for its great storytelling, breathtaking mise-en-scene, and masterful direction.
The Sitges acclaimed Unheimlich (Mexico), directed by Fabio Colonna, drew many viewers with its aforementioned popularity; and plenty of the live-action and CGI sci-fi award contenders of the season were amongst the top 5 most watched daily, with The Eye: Calathek (USA), directed by Aaron Sims, Distance - Act I: The Peacock And The Sphinx (Canada), directed by Eddy Loukil, WhatKilledTimmyBenson (Netherlands), directed by Nick Cremers, Transfert (France), directed by Jonathan Degrelle, and Anomaly (Indonesia), directed by Brian Tan, all dominating.
Another selected title to spark discussion was The Duel (USA), directed by Justin Matthews, for its star casting in Dylan Sprouse, also nominated for his leading role.
The music videos of the season also sparked virtual discussion, with the award-sweeper, experimental, and socio-political Enough (USA), directed by Caleb Slain, but more so the music video and original song Jungle Go Dumb (USA), performed by Biscuit, directed by Jonathan Haddad & Nino Graff, featuring the multi-Grammy award winner Will.i.am.
Another of our highest awards of the season is the Outstanding Contribution To Independent Filmmaking Award and we're thrilled this season to present it to Elly Yae Li Cho. The Eclipse: Recognized By The Sound and Sum (Republic of Korea) are two differing, highly-exhibited, multi-award winning audiovisual canvases that share Elly Yae Li Cho's artistic imprint for subtextual richness, narrative silence, experimental and poetic hysteria. Sum is Elly Cho's most complex canvas yet, both on a logistical and psychoanalytic front, ever soothing to watch with its captivating, dreamlike, whilst biblical declaration on personal freedom and existentialism. The Eclipse: Recognized By The Sound, pushes beyond a declaration to an academic text worthy of study and deconstruction, Elly Cho's most transgressive of the two art films, for its trauma-focused psychotherapy via the hands of visual storytelling, its defragmented narratology shows Dziga Vertov's very life-caught-unawares theorem as it replicates real psychogenic amnesia and recurring depersonalisation. Elly Cho's artistic DNA imprint merges both a beauty and trauma for life, Cho finds much sanctuary in untouched natural ecosystems and is a true mental health advocator, but above all here's one of the most talented and innovative film directors of our generation.
Our awards of honour, our Outstanding Achievement awards go to...