Panorama of European Cinema Festival pays tribute to Suleiman, Laverty, Ferris and Tsiolis.

The Georgian/German co-production Corn Island (Simindis kundzuli) directed by George Ovashvili swept the floor at the 27th Panorama of European Cinema Festival awards gala.

This poetic tale on the cycle of life told through the story of an old Abkhaz peasant and his teenage granddaughter received the two main awards, from the Fipresci jury and the audience.

The Fipresci award named after the late Greek master Theo Angelopoulos was handed over by his widow, producer Phoebe Angelopoulos.

Produced by Kazakhfilm, Focus-Fox Studio and the director’s own company, Corn Island is sold worldwide by France’s Pascale Ramonda.

Career awards were presented to Palestinian director Elia Suleiman and to longtime Ken Loach collaborator, screenwriter Tom Laverty.

While receiving his award Laverty, made an impassioned reference to the Greek social and financial crisis in  the presence of deputy culture minister Angela Gerekou who awarded Suleiman. 

Laverty and Suleiman offered masterclasses and enjoyed retrospective of their films.

Other career awards recipients were Greek veteran directors Kostas Ferris (Rembetiko) and Stavros Tsiolis (Please Women, Don’t Cry).

The festival, steered by artistic director Ninos Fenek Mikelides, featured 70+ films across nine different sections.

The festival wrapped with Ken Loach’s latest Jimmy’s Hall, written by Laverty, presented out of competition.

Also screened out of competition was John Boorman’s latest offering Queen and Country, which opened the festival.

Aside from the eight titles in competition, other highlights included  a retrospective dedicated to the classic French comic actor/director Pierre Etaix featuring five of his most world acclaimed films among them, Tant qu’on a la sante and Yo-Yo.

The programme also included a retrospective on classic black and white films dealing with World War I from Charlie Chaplin’s Shoulder Arms (1930) and Lewis Milestone’s All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) to Stanley Kubrick’s Paths of Glory (1957 and Joseph Losey’s King and Country (1964). The festival also presented a selection of short films nominated in 2013 for the European Film Academy awards as well as a retrospective on maverick and anti-conformist Greek directors.