goEast’s Golden Lily goes to Acid
by Ioana Florescu
- Alexander Gorchilin’s coming-of-age drama has won the top prize for fiction features, while the main honour for documentaries went to Alisa Kovalenko’s Home Games
The 19th edition of goEast – Festival of Central and Eastern European Film, which unspooled in Wiesbaden from 10-16 April, came to an end yesterday, during the awards ceremony held at the Caligari FilmBühne. This year, the festival’s main award, the Golden Lily, went to Acid [+see also:
film profile] by Russia’s Alexander Gorchilin, which celebrated its world premiere in this year’s Berlinale Panorama. Headed up by Teona Strugar Mitevska, the five-member international jury justified their choice by observing that the masterful debut film manages to make the energy and desperation of the millennial generation tangible. “This is a brilliantly written and constructed story, and is convincing from the beginning to the end in the way it follows its characters in their contemporary, urban setting,” the jury stressed in their statement.
Furthermore, Adilkhan Yerzhanov received the Award of the City of Wiesbaden for Best Director (endowed with €7,500) for The Gentle Indifference of the World [+see also:
interview: Adilkhan Yerzhanov
film profile], a mafia-themed tragicomedy à la Camus. “Set in a world full of absurdity and indifference, this film is a visually stunning and moving drama about love, the complexity of the human condition and relationships, seasoned with deadpan humour. This is modern and classic cinema in the same package, which confirms the director’s status as a powerful auteur,” the jury stated. The movie, which tells the bittersweet story of a Kazakh family, also took home the FIPRESCI International Film Critics’ Award in the fiction feature category.
The Award of the Federal Foreign Office for Cultural Diversity, accompanied by prize money to the tune of €4,000, went to Home Games [+see also:
film profile] (Ukraine/France/Poland), Alisa Kovalenko’s documentary about a young Ukrainian woman chasing her dream of forging a professional football career in spite of the socially precarious situation of her family. “This film deals with the idea of new family structures from multiple angles and on many levels, as well as in diverse forms,” the jury stated as it justified its decision. An Honourable Mention was bestowed upon Cold November [+see also:
interview: Ismet Sijarina
film profile] (Kosovo/Albania/North Macedonia) by Ismet Sijarina, which the jury chose to honour for “bravely and truthfully telling the story of national trauma from the perspective of the person next door”.
Furthermore, the FIPRESCI jury handed Andrei Kutsila’s Strip and War, which celebrated its world premiere at goEast, the Best Documentary Feature Award. The film about a war veteran and his stripper grandson was chosen for its “detached representation of the coexistence of different values and generations”.
As for the Open Frame Award for virtual reality works, presented by the BHF BANK Foundation and endowed with prize money totalling €5,000, this went to the piece Aftermath VR: Euromaidan by the duo of artists Alexey Furman and Sergiy Polezhaka, which places the viewer in the role of a demonstrator during the protests in Kiev’s Independence Square. An Honourable Mention was handed to Trail of Angels by Kristina Buožytė, for the film’s impressive display of creative ingenuity.
The newly introduced RheinMain Short Film Award (supported by the Kulturfonds Frankfurt RheinMain and endowed with €2,500) went to I Can Barely Remember the Day, the directorial debut by Croatian actor Leon Lučev. Also freshly introduced this year, the Renovabis Research Grant (worth €3,500) went to the project The Mother’s Crusade, directed by Alexander Mihalkovich. The planned documentary film intends to focus on women in Belarus who are fighting back against abuse in a powerful, male-dominated institution – namely, the country’s military.
Lastly, the project Landing (Moldavia) by Ksenia Ciuvaseva emerged as the best project in the context of the East-West Talent Lab. The very personal story, which explores the troubled relationship between the filmmaker and her father, took home the goEast Development Award (€3,500).
Here is the complete list of winners at the 19th goEast Film Festival:
Award of the Federal Foreign Office for Cultural Diversity
Home Games [+see also:
film profile] - Alisa Kovalenko (Ukraine/France/Poland)
Cold November [+see also:
interview: Ismet Sijarina
film profile] - Ismet Sijarin (Kosovo/Albania/North Macedonia)
International Film Critics’ Award – FIPRESCI (fiction feature)
The Gentle Indifference of the World - Adlikhan Yerzhanov
International Film Critics’ Award – FIPRESCI (documentary film)
Strip and War - Andrei Kutsila (Belarus/Poland)
Open Frame Award
Aftermath VR: Euromaidan - Alexey Furman and Sergiy Polezhaka (Ukraine)
RheinMain Short Film Award
I Can Barely Remember the Day - Leon Lučev (Croatia)
Renovabis Research Grant
The Mother’s Crusade - Alexander Mihalkovich (Belarus)
goEast Development Award
Landing - Ksenia Ciuvaseva (Moldavia)
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