Quo Vadis, Aida? is crowned the winner by the Arras Film Festival jury
- Jasmila Zbanic’s work is awarded the Golden Atlas, while Piotr Domalewski bags the Silver Atlas for I Never Cry, and a Special Mention is won by Stephan Komandarev courtesy of Rounds
Cancelled on account of the health crisis, the 21st edition of the Arras Film Festival (steered by Nadia Paschetto and Éric Miot) has nevertheless announced the winners of its European competition as a sign of its support for the selected films, their authors and for all those individuals who work within this industry which is seeing its endurance levels tested to the extreme. As such, the jury led by Baya Kasmi and Michel Leclerc, who were themselves shored up by Alice de Lencquesaing, Olivier Loustau and Félix Moati, had the good fortune of discovering (behind closed doors and in a room on the premises of Lobster Films, in full compliance with health regulations) and deciding between the eight feature films in competition.
The 2012 Grand Prize, the Golden Atlas for Best Film (endowed with €12,000, courtesy of the Urban District of Arras, for the distributor who agrees to release the film in French cinemas), was unanimously awarded to Quo Vadis, Aida? [+see also:
interview: Jasmila Žbanić
film profile] by Bosnia’s Jasmila Zbanic "for the graceful power of its lead actor". Explaining their decision, the jury also stressed that "the necessity of this subject is transcended by a mise en scène style which is stripped of any piteousness yet carried by a tragic wind" and that they were "sensitive to the fact that the film suggests the possibility of reconciliation." Unveiled in competition within the Venice Film Festival, Quo Vadis, Aida? is sold worldwide by Parisian firm Indie Sales.
The Silver Atlas rewarding film direction (and consisting of €5,000 for the director, courtesy of the Hauts-de-France region) went to Poland’s Piotr Domalewski for I Never Cry [+see also:
interview: Piotr Domalewski
film profile], which was singled out by the jury "for the care taken with each and every character and their respective actors, especially the main character who is unforgettable for her dazzling insolence and anger. It’s a tactful and surprising story which reveals the social reality of workers displaced in Europe in a spirited and funny fashion." Discovered in San Sebastian’s New Directors line-up, the film is sold by French group Wide Management.
And finally, a Special Mention went to Rounds [+see also:
interview: Stephan Komandarev
film profile] by Bulgaria’s Stephan Komandarev, which is the second instalment in a trilogy that previously kicked off with Directions [+see also:
interview: Stephan Komandarev
film profile]. It’s a feature film which, in the jury’s words, "never forgets that humour is the best way to get to grips with the chaos of the world. A film which plunges us into the reality of Bulgaria and the absurdity of a given system." The title is sold worldwide by Germany’s Beta Cinema.
(Translated from French)
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