Her Job, The Delegation and other films from South-East Europe shine at Warsaw
- A story about the emancipation of a housewife from Greece and the portrait of the last days of the communist regime in Albania took home the main prizes from the festival
The 34th edition of the Warsaw International Film Festival drew to a close this Sunday 21 October, after the awards ceremony was held in the Złote Tarasy cinema in the centre of the Polish capital the day before. As every year, films in the five competitive sections were awarded, including the 1-2 Competition, the Free Spirit Competition, the Documentary Features Competition and the Short Films Competition, in addition to the main Competition programme.
The Warsaw Grand Prix went to The Delegation [+see also:
film profile], a co-production between Albania, France, Greece and Kosovo. Bujar Alimani’s film, which in addition was given the Special Mention by the Ecumenical Jury, is a portrait of Albania in 1990, during the last few months of the communist regime, and focuses on the inner workings of an oppressive system. The award was given out by the international jury, composed of Joanna Kos-Krauze, Piers Handling, Tolga Karacelik, Nik Powell and Marek Rozenbaum.
The Best Film Award in the 1-2 Competition went to Her Job [+see also:
interview: Nikos Labôt
film profile], as decided by jury members Denijal Hasanović, Babak Jalali and Igor Savychenko. A co-production between Greece, France and Serbia, Her Job world-premiered at Toronto in September and tells the story of a housewife who enters employment for the first time during the recession and who, through this job, also finds emancipation. The picture was the most-awarded film at the festival, with the FIPRESCI jury of international film critics and the participants in the FIPRESCI young film critics’ project giving it trophies as well. The director, Nikos Labôt, dedicated the movie to “all the small big heroes” in Greece who are “fighting for their rights every day”.
The international jury also awarded Romanian filmmaker Anca Damian for Best Direction, for her Romanian-French effort Moon Hotel Kabul [+see also:
film profile]. The Special Jury Award went to actress Martina Apostolova for her performance in Irina [+see also:
interview: Martina Apostolova
film profile], a Bulgarian film by director Nadejda Koseva. Meanwhile, the documentary film jury, Christine Camdessus, Mina Mileva and Tomasz Drozdowicz, crowned the Estonian-Finnish movie Putting Lipstick on a Pig, about gambling addiction and the profits going to the Finnish Åland Islands, as Best Documentary Feature. The director, Johan Karrento, noted that the people in the film were very brave, even though “no one says that”.
The international jury members joined the young film critics in an on-stage protest against the imprisonment of Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov by the Russian authorities, flashing #FreeSentsov signs after giving out the awards. The young film critics, Daria Badior from Ukraine, Yulia Kuzischina from Russia, Barbara Majsa from Hungary, Călin Boto from Romania, Tomáš Hudák from Slovakia and Łukasz Mańkowski from Poland, expressed solidarity with the director and demanded the immediate release of all political prisoners. Stas Tyrkin, a member of the Free Spirit jury and a film critic from Russia, extended the protest to Russian filmmaker Kirill Serebrennikov, underlining, “Sometimes an artist has to pay a price to stay free-spirited.”
Here is the complete list of winners at the 34th Warsaw Film Festival:
Eight Out of Ten – Sergio Umansky Brener (Mexico)
Mate - Dae-Gun Jung (South Korea)
Second Special Mention
Pure Land – Zhenyu Sun (China)
Free Spirit Competition
Best Documentary Feature
Putting Lipstick on a Pig – Johan Karrento (Estonia/Finland)
Fading Mountains – Yuxi Cui (China)
FIPRESCI Award (for best debut from Eastern Europe)
Her Job - Nikos Labôt
Young FIPRESCI Award
Her Job – Nikos Labôt
Short Film Competition
Weightlifter – Dmytro Sukholytkyy-Sobchuk (Poland/Ukraine)
Best Live-action Short
My Branch So Thin – Dinara Droukarova (Russia)
Best Documentary Short
The Last in the Line of Fishermen – Karolin Axelsson (Sweden)
Best Animated Short
Grand Bassin - Héloïse Courtois, Victori Jalabert, Chloé Plat, Adele Raigneau (France)
Boys With Butterflies - Marcin Filipowicz (Poland)
Ecumenical Jury Award
Irina - Nadejda Koseva
The Delegation - Bujar Alimani
NETPAC Jury Award
The Fall – Zhou Lidong (China)
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