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ZAGREB 2021 Awards

Great Freedom triumphs at Zagreb

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- Sebastian Meise's film added one more main award to its tally, while Mohamed Diab's Amira scooped the audience award and Sonja Tarokić's The Staffroom received a Special Mention

Great Freedom triumphs at Zagreb
From left to right, jury member Ivan Ikić, The Staffroom director Sonja Tarokić, jury members Katia Pascariu and Vanja Černjul at the festival

The winner of the Golden Pram award in the main competition (aimed at filmmakers' first and second features) of the 19th edition of the Zagreb Film Festival, which took place in a hybrid format both physically on several central locations in Croatia's capital city and online via the platforms kinoeuropa.hr and croatian.film from 14-21 November, is Sebastian Meise's Great Freedom [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Sebastian Meise
film profile
]
. The jury, consisting of Romanian actress Katia Pascariu, Serbian director Ivan Ikić whose film Oasis [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Ivan Ikic
film profile
]
was deemed the winner last year, and Croatian cinematographer Vanja Černjul, stated that the film asks the question “what freedom is and can we create our own,” while the two unlikely heroes show us how to find love even in the worst moments of our recent history. Along with the Golden Pram, Meise got the amount of €4.000. The jury also praised Sonja Tarokić's The Staffroom [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Sonja Tarokić
film profile
]
for its bold, Altmanesque approach, fast-paced visual rhythm and the sum of the many great individual performances that add up to a true ensemble piece, awarding it the Special Mention.

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Golden Prams were also given out in two shorts competitions. North Pole directed by Marija Apčevska was awarded in the International Shorts Competition, while Olha Zhurba's Dad's Sneakers won the Special Mention. In the national competition called Checkers, the winner was Karlo Vorih's The Fall of Our Summer, while the Special Mention went to Everything Ahead directed by Mate Ugrin. Both competitions were judged by the same jury consisting of filmmakers from the younger generation: Sara Grgurić from Croatia, Rok Biček from Slovenia and Ivan Bakrač from Montenegro.

KinoKino is the parallel festival of films for children that takes place alongside the Zagreb Film Festival for the second year due to the pandemic, and its titles were judged by two juries, one professional consisting of actress Iva Babić, literary scholar Dubravka Zima and documentarian Saša Ban (all from Croatia), and one coming from the ranks of selected children. The adult jury singled out Sisters – The Summer We Found Our Superpowers by Silje Salomonsen and Arild Østin Ommundsen as the best film, while the children awarded Mission Ulja Funk [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Barbara Kronenberg and gave the Special Mention to Hamy Ramezan's Any Day Now [+see also:
trailer
interview: Hamy Ramezan
film profile
]
.

The Golden Bicycle audience award went to Mohamed Diab's film Amira in the programme titled Together Again which hosts the previous competitors and guests of the Zagreb Film Festival. KinoKino's audience award went to Buster's World directed by Martin Miehe-Renard. The winner of the Best Pitch competition at the Industry Youth! event was Serbian entry Grumpiness directed by Milica Spasojević, while Bosnian entry Dead Knot written by Ismira Mašić got the Special Mention.

Here is the full list of awards:

Main Competition

Golden Pram
Great Freedom [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Sebastian Meise
film profile
]
– Sebastian Meise (Austria/Germany)

Special Mention
The Staffroom [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Sonja Tarokić
film profile
]
– Sonja Tarokić (Croatia)

International Shorts Competition

Golden Pram
North Pole – Marija Apčevska (North Macedonia/Serbia)

Special Mention
Dad's Sneakers – Olha Zhurba (Ukraine)

Checkers - National Shorts Competition

Golden Pram
Fall of Our Summer – Karlo Vorih (Croatia)

Special Mention
Everything Ahead – Mate Ugrin (Croatia/France)

KinoKino

Professional Jury Prize – Best Children's Film
Sisters – The Summer We Found Our Superpowers – Silje Salomonsen, Arild Østin Ommundsen (Norway)

Children’s Jury Prize – Best Film
Mission Ulja Funk [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
– Barbara Kronenberg (Germany/Luxembourg/Poland)

Special Mention
Any Day Now [+see also:
trailer
interview: Hamy Ramezan
film profile
]
– Hamy Ramezan (Finland)

Audience Awards

Golden Bicycle
Amira – Mohamed Diab (Egypt/Jordan/United Arab Emirates/Saudi Arabia)

KinoKino Audience Award
Buster's World – Martin Miehe-Renard (Denmark)

Industry Youth!

Best Pitch
Grumpiness – Milica Spasojević (Serbia)

Special Mention
Dead Knot – Ismira Mašić (Bosnia and Herzegovina)

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