Bob climbs to the top of the trees

Docu-drama wins Crystal award at Karlovy Vary.

by Richard Mowe

Bob and the Trees (Grand Prix - Crystal globe): screenwriter Courtney Maum, actor Matt Gallagher and director Diego Ongaro
Bob and the Trees (Grand Prix - Crystal globe): screenwriter Courtney Maum, actor Matt Gallagher and director Diego Ongaro Photo: Film Servis Festival Karlovy Vary

The top prize of the Grand Prix Crystal Globe has been won by Bob And The Trees, it was announced tonight (11 July) at the awards ceremony which concluded the 50th edition of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in the Bohemian spa town south of Prague in the Czech Republic.

The unusual docu-drama featured Bob Tarasuk, a native of Bridgeport, Connecticut, who graduated from the University of Connecticut in natural resource conservation. He and his wife Susan have been married since he was 19, and together they have raised three children and two dogs.

Before settling in Massachusetts, Bob lived and worked in New Mexico and in the Ozark Mountains. A logger and farmer for more than three decades, the charismatic workhorse plays himself in this vérite-style drama.

The Magic Mountain (Special Jury Mention): director Anca Damian
The Magic Mountain (Special Jury Mention): director Anca Damian Photo: Film Servis Festival Karlovy Vary

“I was instantly attracted to his magnetic personality and his fascinating stories,” director Diego Ongaro says, describing his first meeting with Bob, whose work, love of trees, prudence, and infectious spontaneity inspired the filmmaker to make a short and, now, feature film as well.

Bob, the irresistible hero of Ongaro’s subtly powerful and highly authentic character study of an individual surrounded by a landscape both majestic and inscrutable, repaid the director for the opportunity and his trust by turning in an exceptionally intense performance for a non-professional actor.

The prize carries with it a 25,000 dollar award.

Paolo Sorrentino’s Youth with Harvey Keitel, Michael Caine, Jane Fonda and Rachel Weisz which left Cannes empty handed, was well received by the public and scooped the Audience Award.

The closing ceremony of the festival was folded by a screening of one of the hits of this year’s Sundance festival, Sleeping With Other People, a romantic comedy presented by the director Lesley Headland.

The awards in full are:

Grand Prix – Crystal Globe Bob And The Trees, directed by Diego Ongaro (USA)

Special Jury Prize Those Who Fall Have Wings / Jeder Der Fällt Hat Flügel - directed by Peter Brunner (Austria)

Best Director Award Visar Morina for Babai (Germany, Kosovo, Macedonia, France)

Best Actress Award Alena Mihulová for her role in Home Care / Domácí Péče Directed by: Slávek Horák (Czech Republic, Slovakia)

Best Actor Award Kryštof Hádek for his role in The Snake Brothers / Kobry A Užovky, Directed by: Jan Prušinovský (Czech Republic)

Special Jury Mention The Magic Mountain / La Montagne Magique - directed by Anca Damian, Romania, France, Poland)

Special Jury Mention Antonia -directed by Ferdinando Cito Filomarino (Italy, Greece)

Kryštof Hádek (Best actor award): The Snake Brothers
Kryštof Hádek (Best actor award): The Snake Brothers Photo: Film Servis Festival Karlovy Vary

EAST OF THE WEST – COMPETITION

East Of The West Award The Wednesday Child / Szerdai Gyerek - directed by Lili Horváth (Hungary, Germany)

Special Jury Mention The World Is Mine / Lumea E A Mea - directed by Nicolae Constantin Tănase (Romania)

DOCUMENTARY FILMS – COMPETITION

Best Documentary Film Over 60 Minutes Mallory Directed by: Helena Třeštíková (Czech Republic)

Special Jury Mention The Father Tapes / Vaterfilm - directed by Albert Meisl (Austria)

Best Documentary Film Under 30 Minutes White Death / Muerta Blanca - directed by Roberto Collío (Chile)

Special Jury Mention Women in Sink -directed by Iris Zaki (Great Britain, Israel)

FORUM OF INDEPENDENTS – COMPETITION

Forum Of Independents Award Tangerine - directed by Sean Baker (USA)

Audience Award Youth / La Giovinezza - directed by Paolo Sorrentino (Italy, France, Switzerland, Great Britain)

Festival President's Award For Contribution To Czech Cinematography Iva Janžurová (Czech Republic).

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