RAI and Marsh Short Film Prize

This Award is for the most outstanding short film on social, cultural and biological anthropology or archaeology. We have partnered with the Royal Anthropological Institute to recognise the growing importance of short form film and encourage experimentation within the genre.

The films should last no longer than 20 minutes and are judged at the biennial Royal Anthropological Institute Film Festival where the winner is announced.

'Gambote' directed by Sofia Bensadon 2023

Sofia is an independent visual storyteller and bachelor of Anthropology at the National University of San Martin, Argentina. She completed the annual training in Documentary Cinema and Photography in the educational program at Proyecto Imaginario. Among her teachers are the Argentinian photographers Diego Ortiz Mugica, Carlos Bosch and Adriana Lestido, and the Bolivian sociologist Silvia Rivera Cusicanqui. In her practice she investigates the weight of work over time, the notion of inhabiting and the modes of construction of the territory. In addition, through her projects, she explores the physicality of the bodies in relation to craft and manual work.


Sofia’s short film, Gambote, demonstrates the process of the clay mountains of the Chuquiago Valley that are transformed into brick every day in the outskirts of La Paz City, Bolivia. Grinding the clay, moulding, drying, and burning the bricks are activities that Irineo and Rosa do in a never-ending cycle. While working they ponder about their lives and routines, seeking to meet the life revealed in the practice of their trade.


Previous Winners

‘New York, Just Another City’ – directed by André Lopes and Joana Brandão

‘New York, Just Another City’ follows a young leader and audiovisual director, Patrícia Ferreira, who has been widely recognised for the documentaries she has been making with her people, the Guarani Mbya, an indigenous people who live across South America. Patricia was called to debate her work at one of the world’s largest ethnographic film festivals, the Margaret Mead Film Festival, which was held at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. The film follows Patricia during her time in New York where she comes across some exhibitions, debates and attitudes that make her think about the Western world, contrasting it with the Guarani’s modes of existence. 

Even Asteroids Are Not Alone by Jón Bjarki Magnússon

Jón Bjarki Magnússon is an Icelandic anthropological filmmaker with a background in journalism and poetry. He studied creative writing at the University of Iceland and received his MA in Visual and Media Anthropology from Freie Universität, Berlin, in 2018. His works include award-winning articles on the conditions of refugees and asylum-seekers in his home country, a book of poetry, and Even Asteroids Are Not Alone (2018), a short ethnographic film about friendship in cyberspace. Magnússon is the co-founder of Spói Bíófilm, a new Icelandic production company and is currently working on two full-length documentaries. He is currently based in Berlin.