Spain reigns in vintage edition of Grossman Fantastic Film and Wine Festival

Alex de la Iglesia’s The Last Circus was judged Best Film and its star Carlos Areces came from Madrid to collect the first Best Acting award at the  Grossmann Fantastic Film and Wine Festival, held in the heart of Slovenia’s top wine-producing area.

The Festival commemorates the local photography pioneer Karol Grossman who introduced Fritz Lang to film when they served together there in army barracks. A Special Mention went to Stevan Filipovic’s controversial Skinning set in Belgrade’s young Neo-Nazi mileux.

This 7th edition (25-30th July,2011) proved suitably lucky, with veteran film-mogul Menahem Golan making the pilgrimage from Jerusalem to Jeruzalem (as the Crusaders returning from the Holy Land baptised the Slovenian village whose castle is now a luxury hotel). Golan received a Career Tribute, with a live ninjitsu show whetting appetites before a screening of American Ninja.

Another screen legend, Sir Christopher Lee, came straight from his work on The Hobbit to give an alfresco Master Class in Ljutomer’s historic Main Square. He received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the closing ceremony in the town’s House of Culture, after introducing personal favourites Rasputn and The Devil Rides Out at crowded screenings during the festival, which also programmed music documentaries, nightly concerts, and striking gothic art exhibitions.