On the road to a win at Karlovy Vary

Bulgarian-Greek comedy takes the honours.

by Richard Mowe

Patricia Clarkson on the red carpet for tonight’s prize-giving ceremony at Karlovy Vary
Patricia Clarkson on the red carpet for tonight’s prize-giving ceremony at Karlovy Vary Photo: Film Servis Karlovy Vary

The Bulgarian-Greek road comedy The Father took top honours, winning a Crystal Globe in tonight’s gala closing ceremony at the 54th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.

The films tells of a long-suffering photographer trying to cope with his father’s weird behaviour in the wake of his wife’s death. It is the fourth team project by writer-directors Kristina Grozeva and Petar Valchanov.

The Spanish film The August Virgin has won this year´s Award of The International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI). The citation read: "The award goes to a modest, unpretentious film, skilfully opening a number of issues and tackling a range of emotions while maintaining an inspiringly positive worldview."
The Spanish film The August Virgin has won this year´s Award of The International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI). The citation read: "The award goes to a modest, unpretentious film, skilfully opening a number of issues and tackling a range of emotions while maintaining an inspiringly positive worldview."

The jury also honoured German psychological family drama Lara by Jan-Ole Gerster, which follows a protective mother’s frustrations as her aloof son faces an upcoming piano recital. Lead actress Corinna Harfouch took the actress prize for her tortured turn in the film.

Belgian Tim Mielants won the director prize for Patrick, his study of hammer obsession by a socially challenged maintenance man for a Belgian nudist camp, while Milan Ondrik won the actor prize for Slovak-Czech family drama Let There Be Light, the story of a father’s fight to save his son from indoctrination into a violent far-right vigilante youth group.

Other memorable moments in the Festival included the world première of the US-based Czech filmmaker Martin Krejčí’s long-anticipated The True Adventures Of Wolfboy, starring Jaeden Martel, Eve Hewson and John Turturro.

Helena Třeštíková and Jakub Hejna presented the Czech première of their biographical documentary Forman vs Forman, about the famed Czech filmmaker to considerable acclaim.

The Australian film Mystify: Michael Hutchence, a documentary look at the late lead singer of Australian rock band INXS, had its European première to considerable attention.

The winners:-

Crystal Globe

  • The Father, directors: Kristina Grozeva and Petar Valchanov (Bulgaria, Greece)

Jury prize

  • Lara, director Jan-Ole Gerster (Germany)

Director

  • Tim Mielants, Patrick (Belgium)

Actress

  • Corinna Harfouch, Lara (Germany)

Actor

Special jury mentions

  • The August Virgin, director: Jonas Trueba (Spain)
  • Antonia Giesen, The Man Of The Future (Chile, Argentina)

East of the West

  • The Bull, director: Boris Akopov (Russia)

Special jury prize

  • My Thoughts Are Silent, director: Antonio Lukich (Ukraine)

Documentary

  • Immortal, director: Ksenia Okhapkina (Estonia, Latvia)

Special jury prize

  • Confucian Dream, director: Mijie Li (China)

Award of International Film Critics (FIPRESCI).

  • The August Virgin / La Virgen De Agosto Directed by: Jonás Trueba (Spain)

Ecumenical Jury Award

  • Lara, directed by Jan-Ole Gerster (Germany)
  • Commendation: Let There Be Light / Nech je svetlo Directed by Marko Škop (Slovak Republic, Czech Republic)

FEDEORA Award (Federation of Film Critics of Europe and the Mediterranean for the best film from East of the West – Competition section):

  • Passed By Censor/Görülmüştür, directed by Serhat Karaaslan (Turkey, Germany, France)
  • Special Mention: Aga's House / Shpia E Agës, directed by Lendita Zeqiraj Cosovo (Croatia, France, Albania)

Europa Cinemas Label Award (best European film in the Official Selection):

  • Scandinavian Silence/Skandinaavia Vaikus, directed by Martti Helde (Estonia, France, Belgium

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