Norway triumphs at the 47th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival
by Laurence Boyce
09/07/2012 - Despite the heat, the swimming pool theme of the Closing Night Ceremony at the 47th Karlovy Vary Film Festival kept everyone cool as the highly anticipated awards were announced.
Norwegian film The Almost Man, by Martin Lund (photo), bagged the top prize at this year’s Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. Following the trials and tribulations of man approaching middle age and fatherhood who can’t grow up, the film was a popular favourite amongst audiences and – in picking up the award – the cast and crew were visibly delighted to be the recipients of the Crystal Globe.
Other films awarded by the international jury, headed by Richard Pena who runs The Film Society of Lincoln Centre in the US, included Piazza Fontana: The Italian Conspiracy by Marco Tullio Giordana (which walked away with the Special Jury Prize and $15’000), and Rafaël Ouellet being recognised as Best Director for Canadian film Camion.
The acting awards saw popular Leila Hatami win for Iranian film The Last Step while the Best Actor awards were shared by Henrik Rafaelsen for The Almost Man and To Kill A Beaver [trailer]’s Eryk Lubos. Special mention were given to Yannis Papadopoulos for Greek film Boy Eating The Bird’s Food while the audience both inside and outside of the auditorium gave a roar of approval when beloved Czech actors Pavel Liska, Tomáš Matonoha, Marek Daniel and Josef Poláše all received a special mention for their genre twisting roles in Polski Film.
The Ukrainian film House With A Turret won the East of the West Competition and $20’000, with the jury headed by Macedonian director Vladimir Blaževski, and a special mention given to Lithuanian sci-fi feature Aurora (Vanishing Waves) [trailer].
Over in the documentary section Bulgarian film Sofia’s Last Ambulance won the prize for best film over 30 minutes with Spanish film Story for the Modlins got the prize for film under 30 minutes. A special mention went to Private Universe by Helena Třeštíková from the Czech Republic.
The Independent Camera Jury for the Forum of Independents section was won by the popular Death of a Man in the Balkans by Miroslav Momčilović from Serbia.
Other prizes included:
The FEDEORA award: Flower Buds, Czech Republic.
The Fipresci award: The Last Step, Iran.
The Ecumenical prize: Camion, Canada with a commendation for Hay Road, Portugal/Finland.
The Netpac jury: Beyond The Hill, Turkey-Greece.
The Europa Cinemas Label: Piazza Fontana: The Italian Conspiracy, Italy
Outstanding Artistic Contribution to World Cinema: Helen Mirren and Susan Sarandon
Festival President’s Award: Josef Somr.