Russian newcomer wins Golden Lily and FIPRESCI prize at Wiesbaden’s goEast, Crossing Europe gets underway with Crulic ­– The Path To Beyond and others and Plzen launches Industry Days

Living (Zhit), the second feature from Russia’s Vassily Sigarev picked up the Golden Lily for best film and the FIPRESCI prize at this year’s goEast – Festival of Central and Eastern European Film in Wiesbaden on Tuesday night (April 24).

Produced by Koktebel Film Company, Living presents three intertwined tales of existential loss and mourning.

The international jury headed by Romanian film director Cristi Puiu gave the prize for best direction to Bulgaria’s Konstantin Bojanov for his debut Ave, while the Federal Foreign Office’s award ‘for artistic originality which creates cultural diversity’ went to Kirghiz film-maker Aktan Arym Kubat’s Mother’s Paradise, based on a screenplay by Mohsen Makhmalbaf.

The documentary award was won by Philip Scheffner’s Revision, while the jury gave a special mention to Georgia’s Nana Janelidze for Will There Be A Theatre Up There?

For the sixth year running, the Robert Bosch Stiftung awarded its co-production prize for young German and Eastern European film-makers, worth up to €70,000 each for an animated film, documentary and a short fiction film.

The international jury chose the Bulgarian-German project Mango Manga in the animation category, the Armenian-German co-production The Chosen Ones for documentary, and the Kosovo-German project I’ll Go To War, But First Make Me Coffee.

Hamburg-based Fabian Gasmia, who will produce Arman Yeristyan’s The Chosen Ones with co-producer Yulia Grigoryants, revealed to ScreenDaily during goEast that he will co-produce Bosnian director Faruk Loncarevic’s feature debut Berinas Chakren with Sarajevo-based producer Amra Baksic Camo’s later this year.

Meanwhile, the co-production prize’s project coordinator Karin Schyle confirmed that German-Eastern European teams will only be able to benefit from the Bosch Stiftung’s largesse for another two years – in 2013 and 2014 – because the Stuttgart-based foundation is now planning to concentrate its activities on supporting collaborations between young German and Arab filmmakers.

Other highlights at the 12th edition of goEast included the German premiere of Ralf Huettner’s culture clash comedy Ausgerechnet Sibirien and an event with filmmaker Sergei Loznitsa, who treated a rapt audience to a unique behind-the-scenes view of the making of his newest film In The Fog, which screens in Competition at Cannes next month.

In Austria, Tuesday night also saw the launch of the ninth edition of the Crossing Europe film festival with the screening of four films: David Fisher’s Six Million And One, Andrea Arnold’s Wuthering Heights, Tim Feldmann’s Hell and the animated documentary Crulic – The Path To Beyond by Romanian filmmaker Anca Damian, who is also the subject of this year’s tribute.

Polish distributor and festival organiser Roman Gutek, Camille Rousselet and last year’s winner Lluís Galter will decide on the winner of the Crossing Europe award in the European competition from nine award-winning debuts or second features including Andrew Haigh’s Weekend, Alice Rohrwacher’s Corpo Celeste and Konstantin Bojanov’s Ave.

In addition, films ranging from Teona Mitevska’s The Woman Who Brushed Off Her Tears to Bela Tarr’s The Turin Horse and Ruben Östlund’s Play will compete in the Panorama Fiction sidebar for the New Vision award.

An innovation this year will see members of the critics’ association FEDEORA (Federation of Film Critics of Europe and the Mediterranean) presenting awards in two categories to films showing in the Panorama Documentary and the Panorama Specials sections.

Marten Persiel’s This Ain’t California, the world premiere of Fritz Ofner’s Free Libya, Zoé Chantre’s Keep Me Upright and Jeanie Finlay’s Sound Me Out are among the titles selected for these sections.

In addition, Crossing Europe is once again staging the Austrian Screenings, offering industry guests the chance to see almost all of the local films screened at this year’s Diagonale festival in Graz.

Meanwhile, travelling north from Linz over the border to Plzen, the 25th edition of Finale – Festival of Czech Films will introduce Industry Days from April 26-28 under the auspices of the Czech Film Center (CFC).

This will include the annual presentation of around 20 new upcoming feature films and animation films as well as two panels bringing Polish colleagues together with their Czech counterparts to discuss topics of common interest such as supporting film production through regional film funds and film commissions, and new strategies of survival for distribution companies.