Czech film takes top prize at Karlovy Vary

Home grown talent triumphs with Crystal Globe

by Richard Mowe

Actor Andi Vasluianu with Rumanian actress Voica Oltean who an award for best debut actress for the film Breaking News at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival
Actor Andi Vasluianu with Rumanian actress Voica Oltean who an award for best debut actress for the film Breaking News at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival Photo: Film Servis KVIFF

It has been more than 15 years since a Czech film won the top prize at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. The trend was reversed for the 52nd edition with the Crystal Globe for best fllm going to Little Crusader by Václav Kadrnka, described as “a meditative drama on fatherhood”.

The film also received a cash bonus of $25,000.

Karl Roden in Little Crusader, the Czech film that took the top prize at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival
Karl Roden in Little Crusader, the Czech film that took the top prize at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival Photo: Film Servis KVIFF

Other prizes announced tonight (8 July) at the Festival’s closing ceremony included a special jury prize going to a hard-hitting drama on the trauma of the war in Yugoslavia, Men Don't Cry, by Bosnian director Alen Drljević.

The directing prize was won by Slovak filmmaker Peter Bebjak, who was presenting his film The Line at the festival.

The award for best actress went to Jowita Budnik and Eliane Umuhire together for the drama Birds Are Singing In Kigali.

Russian actor Alexander Yatsenko was selected as best actor for his role as a doctor in the Russian film Arrythmia.

The five-member jury also bestowed two special recognitions – to the American romance Keep The Change for the best debut and to Romanian actress Voica Oltean for best debut actress for the film Breaking News.

In the competition East of the West, the imaginative road movie How Viktor "The Garlic" Took Alexey "The Stud" To The Nursing Home by Russian director Alexander Hant was successful.

A special jury prize was earned by the film Dede, which takes place in Svaneti, a stark mountainous region in northwestern Georgia, directed by Mariam Khatchvani.

A scene from Wind River which won the audience award at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival with main actor Jeremy Renner (right) receiving the President’s Award at the Closing Ceremony
A scene from Wind River which won the audience award at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival with main actor Jeremy Renner (right) receiving the President’s Award at the Closing Ceremony Photo: Film Servis KVIFF

The award for best feature-length documentary went to the Spanish film Lots Of Kids, A Monkey And A Castle. The documentary jury awarded a special prize to the film Atelier de conversation by Austrian director Bernhard Braunstein.

The Právo Audience Award was awarded to the American crime drama taking place on a Native American reservation, Wind River, starring Jeremy Renner in the main role.

The film’s star received a Festival President's Award at the closing ceremony. The KVIFF President's Award for contribution to Czech cinema was received by director Václav Vorlíček.

The 52nd Karlovy Vary IFF was attended by 13,734 accredited visitors – among them 398 filmmakers, 1165 film professionals and 617 journalists. Over the course of the festival there were 505 film screenings and a total of 140,067 tickets were sold. A total of 207 different films were shown.

Next year's 53rd Karlovy Vary IFF will take place from 29 June to 7 July 2018.

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