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FESTIVALS Germany

Requiem For Mrs. J. conquers the goEast Film Festival

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- The 17th Festival of Central and Eastern European Film in Wiesbaden came to a close on 2 May; My Happy Family, Exiled and Quit Staring at My Plate were also awarded

Requiem For Mrs. J. conquers the goEast Film Festival
Director Bojan Vuletić receiving his Golden Lily for Best Film (© Sven-Helge Czichy)

Serbian director Bojan Vuletić's tragicomic sophomore feature, Requiem For Mrs. J. [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Bojan Vuletić
film profile
]
, has won the Golden Lily for Best Film at the 17th goEast - Festival of Central and Eastern European Film in Wiesbaden (26 April–2 May). The international jury had this simple comment to make regarding their decision: “Thank you for not killing hope, Mrs. J.” The director and his lead actress, Mirjana Karanović, received the €10,000 award yesterday during the ceremony held at Wiesbaden's Caligari cinema.

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The international jury, headed up by Latvian director Laila Pakalniņa and comprising producer Max Tuula, producer Sam Taylor, actor Jakob Diehl and director Igor Drljača, also handed the Georgian-German directorial duo Nana Ekvtimishvili and Simon Groß the Award of the City of Wiesbaden for Best Director for their film My Happy Family [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Nana Ekvtimishvili, Simon G…
film profile
]
. The €7,500 award is the second that they have received at this festival, as they also pocketed the Best Film Award at goEast 2013 for In Bloom [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Nana Ekvtimishvili and Simo…
film profile
]
My Happy Family was also selected by the FIPRESCI jury to receive the International Film Critics' Award for Best Fiction Feature.

Furthermore, the jury singled out two feature films with Honourable Mentions: one was the Latvian-Lithuanian war drama Exiled [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
 by Dāvis Sīmanis and the other was the Croatian drama Quit Staring at My Plate [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Hana Jušić
film profile
]
 by debutant Hana Jušić.

The Award of the Federal Foreign Office for Cultural Diversity, worth €4,000, went to the documentary City of the Sun [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 by Georgian director Rati Oneli, a portrait of the mining settlement of Chiatura in Western Georgia, which has become a sort of modern ghost town. The FIPRESCI jury handed the International Film Critics' Award for Best Documentary Film to the Croatian movie Islands of Forgotten Cinemas by Ivan Ramljak.

In the Experimental Film and Video Art Competition, In Between Identities by German artist Aleksandar Radan won the Open Frame Award, worth €5,000 and supported by the BHF-BANK Foundation. Russian director Sasha Litvintseva received an Honourable Mention for her Exile Exotic.

As for the development awards, the project Gilgamesh 4000 by Russian director Nick Teplov received the goEast Development Award (worth €3,500 and supported by Kulturfonds Frankfurt RheinMain) for the best pitch, picked from among 14 other projects in the context of the East-West Talent Lab. The jury, comprising Burkhard AlthoffStefan Arsenijević and Nataša von Kopp, also gave an Honourable Mention to Parallels in the Infinity by Hungarian artist Borbála Nagy.

Finally, in the Oppose Othering! talent development project, five directorial tandem teams were selected to receive production grants of €4,000 each with the support of the “Remembrance, Responsibility and Future” Foundation. The winning teams were Oksana Kazmina and Maxim Cirlan for AntigonaMiona Bogović and Ana Hoffner for The Other ZenitZhanna Ozirna and Aurelia Natalini for BondIon Gnatiuc and Artiom Zavadovschi for Face to Face, and Andreas Boschmann and Aleksandra Medianikova for Domashnee Video. The duos will return to goEast in 2018 to present the world premieres of their completed films.

Thematically, the 17th edition of goEast focused on female filmmakers and feminism in the cinema of Central and Eastern Europe, and invited special guests such as celebrated filmmakers Agnieszka HollandLana Gogoberidze and Márta Mészáros. The festival’s director, Gaby Babić, remarked, “I am very pleased to see that this year's focus on strong female characters in cinema and female filmmakers from Central and Eastern Europe is also reflected in the selected films.” In seven days, a total of 111 films from 29 countries were shown, and more than 12,000 guests attended the screenings.

Here is the complete list of winners at goEast 2017:

Golden Lily for Best Film
Requiem For Mrs. J. [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Bojan Vuletić
film profile
]
 - Bojan Vuletić (Serbia/Macedonia/Bulgaria/France/Russian Federation)

Award of the City of Wiesbaden for Best Director
Nana Ekvtimishvili and Simon Groß – My Happy Family [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Nana Ekvtimishvili, Simon G…
film profile
]
(Georgia/Germany/France)

Award of the Federal Foreign Office for Cultural Diversity
City of the Sun [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 - Rati Oneli (Georgia/Netherlands/United States/Qatar)

Honourable Mentions by the main jury
Exiled [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
 - Dāvis Sīmanis (Latvia/Lithuania)
Quit Staring at My Plate [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Hana Jušić
film profile
]
 - Hana Jušić (Croatia/Denmark)

International Film Critics' Award for Best Fiction Feature
My Happy Family - Nana Ekvtimishvili and Simon Groß

International Film Critics' Award for Best Documentary Film
Islands of Forgotten Cinemas - Ivan Ramljak (Croatia)

Open Frame Award to a Short Film
In Between Identities - Aleksandar Radan (Germany)
Honourable Mention
Exile Exotic - Sasha Litvintseva (United Kingdom/Russia/Turkey)

goEast Development Award
Gilgamesh 4000 - Nick Teplov (Russia)
Honourable Mention
Parallels in the Infinity - Borbála Nagy (Hungary)

Oppose Othering! Production Grants
Antigona - Oksana Kazmina and Maxim Cirlan
The Other Zenit - Miona Bogović and Ana Hoffner
Bond - Zhanna Ozirna and Aurelia Natalini
Face to Face - Ion Gnatiuc and Artiom Zavadovschi
Domashnee Video - Andreas Boschmann and Aleksandra Medianikova

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