Joy for Misericordia

Italian film takes top prize in Tallinn

by Amber Wilkinson

Misericordia Photo: Courtesy of Tallinn Film Festival
It may be cold outside - hovering at about -5C to be exact - but there's always the warmest of welcomes at Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival. The international event in Estonia punches above its weight, bringing the great and the good from across the world together for its November gathering.

As the 27th festival drew to a close last night, the awards were announced, with British filmmaker Mike Newell among the recipients - picking up the award for lifetime achievement for films including Four Weddings And A Funeral and Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire. he picked up the award at the glitzy closing ceremony, which this year had a glam rock theme.

Italian film Misericordia was the night's big winner. Emma Dante's drama about a trio of prostitutes and the young man they hae raised as their own, was named Best Film in the International competition, with its star Simone Zambelli also picking up the Best Actor award.

It was also a good night for Spanish filmmaker Manuel Martin Cuenca, whose Andrea's Love took home the prizes for Best Script (by Lola Mayo) and Best Director.

The Best Actress award was shared by Luba Azabal for Amal, and Kim Higelin for Consent, with Best Cinematography going to Goert Giltay for Natasha's Dance and Best Score awarded to David Van Keer and Birger Embrechts for The Magnet Man.

On the night, the best acceptance speech award should have surely gone to Anna Hints who sang out her joy and thankfulness as her intimate documentary Smoke Sauna Sisterhood topped the Baltic Film Competition. The First Feature top award went to New Zealander Loren Taylor for The Moon Is Upside Down.

The full list of winners is below:

Official Selection

  • Grand Prix for Best Film – Misericordia, dir. Emma Dante
  • Best Director – Manuel Martin Cuenca for Andrea’s Love
  • Best Cinematography – Goert Giltay for Natasha’s Dance
  • Best Script – Manuel Martin Cuenca, Lola Mayo for Andrea’s Love
  • Best Actor – Simone Zambelli for Misericordia
  • Best Actress – Lubna Azabal for Amal; Kim Higelin for Consent
  • Best Original Score – David Van Keer, Birger Embrechts for The Magnet Man
  • Best Production Design – Patient #1

First Feature Competition

  • Best Film – The Moon Is Upside Down, dir. Loren Taylor
  • Special Jury Prize – Mo Mamma, dir. Eeva Magi; Tentigo (S Lanka; Ind) dir. Ilango Ram

Rebels With A Cause Competition

  • Best Film – Five and a Half Love Stories in an Apartment in Vilnius, Lithuania (Lith-Ire-Lat)
  • Best Director – Agustin Toscano for I Trust You

Critics’ Picks Competition

  • Best Film – The Land Where Winds Stood Still, dir. Ardak Amirkulov
  • Best Director – Guel Arraes for Great Sertao
  • Special Jury Mention – The Milky Way, dir. Maya Kenig

Baltic Film Competition

  • Best Baltic Film – Smoke Sauna Sisterhood, dir. Anna Hints
  • Best Baltic Producer for Co-production – Marija Kavtaradze for Slow

Audience award – Once Again (for the very first time), dir. Boaz Yakin

Fipresci award – Falling Into Place, dir. Aylin Tezel

Netpac award – Inpaintings, dir. Ozan Yoleri

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