goEast’s Golden Lily goes to Rounds
- Stephan Komandarev’s drama has received the top prize, while Lithuanian filmmaker Karolis Kaupinis was crowned Best Director for his debut, Nova Lituania
The 20th edition of goEast – Festival of Central and Eastern European Film, which ran a hybrid edition from 5-11 May (see the news) due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, announced its winners yesterday during an online awards ceremony. It should be noted that the total amount of the original prize money was divided among all of the competing films in an act of solidarity and support. Also, the 16 competition titles will all be screened in November at the Caligari FilmBühne cinema during the next exground filmfest, where the winner of the Audience Award will also be announced.
The festival’s main award, the Golden Lily, went to Rounds [+see also:
interview: Stephan Komandarev
film profile] by Bulgaria’s Stephan Komandarev, which celebrated its world premiere at Sarajevo last year. Chaired by Christoph Terhechte, the five-member international jury remarked that the “brilliantly made, multi-layered film explores the inner world and personal fragilities of its characters, questioning their ethical or moral choices, their convictions, strength or capacity to take a stand while facing a radical choice”. They also emphasised: “With the authenticity of its dialogue, excellent acting and remarkable cinematography, the film succeeds in creating insightful human portraits; it blends together the personal and the universal, and grows into a reflection about the dark and bright sides of human nature and its interconnection with a bigger world.”
Furthermore, Karolis Kaupinis received the Award of the City of Wiesbaden for Best Director for his debut feature, Nova Lituania [+see also:
interview: Karolis Kaupinis
film profile], and according to the jury’s decision: “Shot in stunningly beautiful black and white in classic Academy format, this film takes us back to a specific time and place, to the country of Lithuania in 1938, where worries about the impending war lead a solitary politician to think about plans for a ‘substitute Lithuania’ somewhere on a distant continent. Oscillating between grotesque moments and a feeling of melancholic reminiscence, the film makes the absurdity of its narrative universal, creating a surreal metaphor for defencelessness and vulnerability that resonates in times and places far beyond the film’s settings.”
The Award of the Federal Foreign Office for Cultural Diversity went to Immortal [+see also:
interview: Ksenia Okhapkina
film profile], Ksenia Okhapkina’s documentary, whose “meticulously choreographed structure creates an image of a city, once a place of sorrow for many, but now an instrument to raise the obliging citizens of a state”, according to the jury. “The concrete state becomes an example for other occurrences around the world. The film’s perfectly composed images and sound design, and choice of colour, place us in a simultaneously captivating and frightening world.” An Honourable Mention was bestowed upon Ivana the Terrible [+see also:
interview: Ada Solomon
film profile] by Ivana Mladenović, which, according to the jurors, “paints a compelling portrait of the Millennial generation in the Balkans”.
As for the Open Frame Award for virtual-reality works, sponsored by the BHF BANK Foundation, this went to the piece Whispers by Polish directors Jacek Naglowski and Patryk Jordanowicz, for a “poetic exploration of healing and the ‘impenetrable forces of life and death’ at a time when the world is experiencing the extremity of these forces”. An Honourable Mention was handed to Babyn Yar, Virtual Memory by Alona Stulii, which re-enacts the tragic story of the Babi Yar massacres carried out by German forces during World War II.
Finally, the RheinMain Short Film Award went to In Between by Kosovar director Samir Karahoda, while Virago by Estonian filmmaker Kerli Kirch Schneider received an Honourable Mention.
The Renovabis Research Grant for documentary film projects with a focus on human rights went to Home Is Where the Films Are, directed by More Raça from Kosovo. The best project in the East-West Talent Lab was deemed to be Shut the Fuck Up! by Ukrainian director Taisiia Kutuzova, which follows a young protagonist who exhibits civil courage in a small Ukrainian provincial town – by waging a solitary struggle against corruption.
Here is the complete list of winners at the 20th goEast Film Festival:
Award of the Federal Foreign Office for Cultural Diversity
Immortal [+see also:
interview: Ksenia Okhapkina
film profile] - Ksenia Okhapkina (Estonia/Latvia)
Ivana the Terrible [+see also:
interview: Ada Solomon
film profile] - Ivana Mladenović (Romania/Serbia)
Open Frame Award
Whispers - Jacek Naglowski, Patryk Jordanowicz (Poland)
Babyn Yar, Virtual Memory - Alona Stulii (Ukraine)
RheinMain Short Film Award
In Between - Samir Karahoda (Kosovo)
Virago - Kerli Kirch Schneider (Estonia)
Renovabis Research Grant
Home Is Where the Films Are - More Raça (Kosovo)
goEast Development Award
Shut the Fuck Up! - Taisiia Kutuzova (Ukraine)
Did you enjoy reading this article? Please subscribe to our newsletter to receive more stories like this directly in your inbox.