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THESSALONIKI 2021 Awards

Softie scoops Thessaloniki’s Golden Alexander

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- Samuel Theis’ coming-of-age drama has won the International Competition, Small Body was victorious in Meet the Neighbors, and Magnetic Fields won the >>Film Forward section

Softie scoops Thessaloniki’s Golden Alexander
Softie by Samuel Theis

The sophomore feature by French director-screenwriter Samuel Theis, Softie [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Samuel Theis
film profile
]
, has won the “Theo Angelopoulos” Golden Alexander for Best Feature Film at the 62nd Thessaloniki International Film Festival, which ran from 4-14 November both physically and online.

The international jury, comprising Dutch writer-director Nanouk Leopold, Serbian-American sound designer Roland Vajs and Swiss actress Michelle Valley, handed the €10,000 cash prize to the coming-of-age drama in which ten-year-old Johnny, portrayed by Aliocha Reinert – who for this performance also received the Best Actor Award – stands out from the rest of his family and his tough neighbourhood in Eastern France.

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The second prize, the Special Jury Award – Silver Alexander, valued at €5,000, was bestowed upon Clara Sola [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Nathalie Álvarez Mesén
film profile
]
, the debut feature by Costa Rican-Swedish writer-director Nathalie Álvarez Mesén. Furthermore, the Bronze Alexander for Best Director, backed up by a cash prize of €3,000, went to Lorenzo Vigas for The Box. Sofia Kokkali snagged the Best Actress Award for her performance in Jacqueline Lentzou’s Moon, 66 Questions [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jacqueline Lentzou
film profile
]
. Finally, the Best Screenplay Award was bestowed upon Pilgrims [+see also:
film review
interview: Laurynas Bareisa
film profile
]
, written and directed by Laurynas Bareiša, while What Do We See When We Look at the Sky? [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Alexandre Koberidze
film profile
]
by Alexandre Koberidze picked up a Special Mention, for its original and humanistic approach.

In the Meet the Neighbors competition, Small Body [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Laura Samani
film profile
]
by Laura Samani received the section’s Golden Alexander, for being a “remarkable journey of a woman to save the soul of her daughter”. The Silver Alexander in this section was bestowed ex-aequo upon the films The Tale of King Crab [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Alessio Rigo de Righi and M…
film profile
]
by Alessio Rigo de Righi and Matteo Zoppis, “which takes us from a very earthy naturalism to a surrealistic showdown at the end of the world”, and to Vera Dreams of the Sea [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Kaltrina Krasniqi
film profile
]
by Kaltrina Krasniqi, “a layered and subtle portrait of a courageous woman in a hostile environment through the performance of an amazing actress”.

As for the newly established >>Film Forward Competition section, the Golden Alexander was given to Magnetic Fields [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
by Yorgos Goussis, for “narrating the adventure of an encounter through adventurous filmmaking in a free-flowing and humanistic way”. The film also earned itself the FIPRESCI Award, the Greek Association of Film Critics’ Award, the Greek Film Centre Award and the Hellenic Film Commission Best Location Award. The Silver Alexander went to The Day Today [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Maxence Stamatiadis, for “depicting in the most sensible and singular way our relationship with technology as a possible future and also a raw present”. A Special Mention was given to Superior by Erin Vassilopoulos, for “its personal and daring exploration of genre mechanisms”.

Finally, the festival also explored the parallels between cinema and podcasts, and it consequently gave the Best Podcast Award to The Letters I Have Read About Her by Stratis Chatzielenoudas, while the section’s Special Mention was given to the podcast My Suburb by Camilla Bouchet.

Here is the complete list of winners at the 62nd Thessaloniki International Film Festival:

International Competition

Best Feature Film Award - “Theo Angelopoulos” Golden Alexander
Softie [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Samuel Theis
film profile
]
- Samuel Theis (France)

Special Jury Award - Silver Alexander
Clara Sola [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Nathalie Álvarez Mesén
film profile
]
- Nathalie Álvarez Mesén (Sweden/Costa Rica/Belgium/Germany/USA)

Special Jury Award for Best Director - Bronze Alexander
Lorenzo Vigas – The Box (Mexico/USA)

Best Actress Award
Sofia Kokkali - Moon, 66 Questions [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jacqueline Lentzou
film profile
]
(Greece/France)

Best Actor Award
Aliocha Reinert - Softie

Best Screenplay Award
Pilgrims [+see also:
film review
interview: Laurynas Bareisa
film profile
]
- Laurynas Bareiša (Lithuania)
Special Mention
What Do We See When We Look at the Sky? [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Alexandre Koberidze
film profile
]
- Alexandre Koberidze (Germany/Georgia)

Meet the Neighbors Competition

Best Feature Film Award - Golden Alexander
Small Body [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Laura Samani
film profile
]
- Laura Samani (Italy/France/Slovenia)

Special Jury Award - Silver Alexander (ex aequo)
The Tale of King Crab [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Alessio Rigo de Righi and M…
film profile
]
- Alessio Rigo de Righi, Matteo Zoppis (Italy/France/Argentina)
Vera Dreams of the Sea [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Kaltrina Krasniqi
film profile
]
- Kaltrina Krasniqi (Kosovo/North Macedonia/Albania)

>>Film Forward Competition

Best Feature Film Award - Golden Alexander
Magnetic Fields - Yorgos Goussis (Greece)

Special Jury Award - Silver Alexander
The Day Today [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
- Maxence Stamatiadis (France)
Special Mention
Superior - Erin Vassilopoulos (USA)

Podcast Competition

Podcast Award
The Letters I Have Read About Her - Stratis Chatzielenoudas (Greece)
Special Mention
My Suburb - Camilla Bouchet (Sweden)

Other awards

Greek Film Centre Award
Magnetic Fields - Yorgos Goussis

Hellenic Film Commission Best Location Award
Marinos Sklavounakis - Magnetic Fields

Human Values Award
The Rust [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
- Juan Sebastián Mesa (Colombia/France)

JF Costopoulos Foundation Award (ex aequo)
18 - Vassilis Douvlis (Greece)
Holy Emy [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Araceli Lemos
film profile
]
- Araceli Lemos (Greece/France/USA)

Mermaid Award
Celts [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Milica Tomovic
film profile
]
- Milica Tomovic (Serbia)
Special Mentions
Moneyboys [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: CB Yi
film profile
]
- CB Yi (Austria/France/Taiwan/Belgium)
Private Desert [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Aly Muritiba
film profile
]
- Aly Muritiba (Brazil/Portugal)

FIPRESCI awards

Best Film in the International Competition
Silent Land [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Aga Woszczyńska
film profile
]
- Aga Woszczyńska (Poland/Italy/Czech Republic)

Best Film in the Greek Film Festival
Magnetic Fields - Yorgos Goussis

Greek Association of Film Critics’ Award
Magnetic Fields - Yorgos Goussis

WIFT Award
Holy Emy - Araceli Lemos

Youth jury awards

Best Feature Film Award
Echoes of the Past - Nicholas Dimitropoulos (Greece)

Special Youth Jury Award
.Dog [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
- Yianna Americanou (Cyprus/Greece)

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