20e Festival international Signes de Nuit - Paris / 1-10 octobre 2022



Train Again
Peter Tscherkassky
Austria / 2021 / 0:20:00

18 years after Kurt Kren produced his third film 3/60 Bäume im Herbst [3/60 Trees in Autumn], he shot his masterpiece 37/78 Tree Again. 18 years after I created my third darkroom film L’Arrivée (an homage to the Lumière brothers and their 1895 L'Arrivée d'un train), I embarked on Train Again. This third film in my “Rushes Series” is an homage to Kurt Kren that simultaneously taps into a classic motif in film history. My darkroom ride took a few years, but we finally arrived: All aboard!


Jury Declaration:

Peter Tscherkassky’s « Train Again » revives the tradition of the avant-garde brilliantly. It goes back to the origins of cinema (from the Lumière Brothers to “Shining” via Gore Verbinski), to the apology of speed in manner of Italian futurist artists, and creates for the spectator a way of entering the film, into the even film strip, dragging him into an “infernal machine”. “Train Again” is a masterpiece of our time.

Director Statement:

It’s getting more and more difficult to create analog films these days. There are nearly no film labs left at all.
For this reason it is especially gratifying to find an audience – and in this case a jury – who gets the message I created by hand, frame by frame, over the course of two years in the darkroom.
This recognition serves as further incentive to continue my analog work – against all odds!


The Signs Award honors films, which treat an important subject in an original and convincing way

Once I Passed
Martin Gerigk
United States / 2022 / 0:10:00 :23

Walt Whitman is one of the most important poets in American literature. His main work, Leaves of Grass, was written over a period of forty years, and describes human nature, society, and the natural world, both physically and philosophically. Many have speculated about Whitman's private life, to this day. Whitman never wrote publicly about his personal relationships. In 1860, he published his poem "Once I Passed Through a Populous City", an aphoristic account of a romantic relationship with an unknown woman. In 1925, the original handwritten copy of the poem was discovered, in which Whitman writes, however, not about a woman but about an affair with a man in an anonymous city, which may have been his first physical experience of love. Whitman did not dare to publish the original version of his poem, because of the social prejudices of his time. To this day, only the altered version is printed in most anthologies. "Once I passed" is dedicated, on the one hand, to the obviously autobiographical context with all its personal drama, and on the other hand to the content of the poem itself, the profoundly quiet, yet powerful story of two lovers.



Jury Declaration:

Martin Gerigk considers a Walt Withman poem, “Once I Passed Though à Populous City” (from “Leaves of Grass”), as a pretext for a wandering in views, photos and architectural graphics of Old New York. This gives a poetic experiment in which a walker gets lost in the city whose cacophony becomes language and whose visuals are skilfully enriched by collages of Dadaist and Surrealist inspiration by the Serbian artist, Nikola Gocic.


The Night Award honors films, which are able to balance ambiguity and complexity characterized by enigmatic mysteriousn ss
and subtleness, which keeps mind and consideration moving

Darkness, Darkness, Burning Bright
Gaelle Rouard
France / 2022 /1:10:00

Handmade and unique personal 16mm film in parts., explore a rural landscape with mythical connotations.


Jury Declaration:

The Night Award goes to Gaëlle Rouard for her compelling film, an immersion into landscape and animal life in a wide range of colors and luminosity. Questioning the process of narrative structure and time in a powerful way, it is a captivating experience transcending reality that provokes an abundance of perceptions.


The Stream XII
Hiroya Sakurai
Japan / 2022 / 0:03:57

In the artificial environment of the paddy field, water—an element of nature—follows the rules of the artificial. As a result, nature is made abstract, giving rise to a new form of beauty distinct from the natural state. For the twelfth film in the series “The Stream”, I did not limit the stream to liquids, but extended it to include the air. I shot wind, flames, smoke and clouds as motifs representing the air. I incorporated aerial shots using a drone as a way to express the wind more visually. When I shot the reeds on the banks of a big river from 80m above the ground, the reeds waved in the wind like waves on the sea. As for the flames, I shot how they created a flow of air that was accompanied by smoke. The smoke converges with the clouds in the sky and becomes rain, which in turn becomes water on the ground. In this series, I have focused on the beauty of nature juxtaposed with the artificial. In this work, I chose the reed fields as a place that is maintained and managed by humans for the production of building materials and daily products. The beautiful landscape of the paddy fields is also a place for the efficient production of food. In this way, I have expressed “stream” as a symbiotic cooperation between humans and nature.



Jury Declaration:

« The Stream XII » is the twelfth short film in a serie of Hiroya Sakurai in which the ballet of grass becomes the sea, the air in the clouds makes them dance in the sky. It is a film-haiku, an elegy to nature that lasts a few minutes.

Director Statement:

For the past 12 years, I have been making a series of films about streams of water, "The Stream", at a pace of one film per year. In this series, I have focused on the beauty of nature juxtaposed with the artificial. This work is not a scientific documentary, it is a ballet of sound and image created with the impression of streams of the world around me as the motif. May peace be in the world.


The Edward Snowden Award honors films, which offer sensitive (mostly) unknown information, facts and phenomena of eminent importance, for which the festival wishes a wide proliferation in the future.

Portrait of Omar at 23
Aman Wadhan
Hungary / 2020 / 0:10:55

Omar's journey from Syria to Hungary narrated as a blurry anecdote by the fire.


Jury Declaration:

A moment in the life of a Syrian student in Hungary. Indistinct images against a flickering fire punctuate his reflections about life, his situation and the uncertainty of (his) future. A subtle portrait, at once personal and universal, that sticks in the viewer’s mind.


The Night Award honors films, which are able to balance ambiguity and complexity characterized by enigmatic mysteriousn ss
and subtleness, which keeps mind and consideration moving

Oliver Smolders
Belgium / 2021 / 0:23:00

A filmmaker mourns the fading faces of his loved ones and evokes the ritual of masks as way of connecting to the afterlife.


Jury Declaration:

With “Masks”, Olivier Smolders evokes the death masks of those of his parents to the masks of African rituals. Then that of “the unknown of the Seine” and especially those repairers of the “broken faces” of the First World War make “Masks” a sublime évocation of masks as a link between the dead and the living in a world of illusion.