JURY SPECIAL MENTION
An unusual investigative documentary with such a few clues to investigate that it seems impossible to get anything out of it, and instead the director succeeds very well in the challenge. The absence of the disappeared one is central and even where there seems to be nothing to say, cinema language provides the tricks to make it a rhythmic and very interesting story.
The vision of the director here is strong and clear, from the choice to shoot on film, to the way dramatic elements has been used, together with a wise usage of sound and editing, to create suspence and humor, bringing an added value to the film which results amusing and intriguing.
IZGINOTJE TOMA R.
THE DISAPPEARANCE OF TOM R.
Paul Sirague, 2020, 18'55''
22. marca 1997 Tom R. izgine. Triindvajset let kasneje skuša filmska ekipa rešiti uganko o tem izginotju.
On March 22nd 1997, Tom R. disappears. 23 years later, a film crew tries to solve this mystery.
Born on the outskirts of Paris, Paul Sirague has been studying filmmaking in Brussels. He has directed several short films, works under various pseudonyms, lies about his age and some other things... He fled to Eastern Europe where he makes Une Chambre en Pologne, (Prix Centrale, centre of contemporary arts of Brussels) a documentary film on the question of imaginary spaces. Back in Belgium, he investigated the disappearance of a man in the Charleroi region for many months, an investigation that led to the film The Disappearance of Tom R., (which won the Jury Prize at the 2020 Namur Francophone Film Festival.)
Strange as this investigation may seem, all the events reported in this film are rigorously true. The names have been changed for the sake of discretion, it is true... But apart from that, everything is exactly true. The forest is a real forest. The door is a real door. The people are real people. The village is not recreated in a studio. The story was sufficiently convoluted that it was necessary to add suspense or excitement. And no matter how much one would have wanted to amplify any of the clues, it would have been impossible to find more dramatic elements than the ones that were already there. The only thing to do was to tell the story as well as possible, without stammering and without getting lost in it.