Austrian director Jessica Hausner’s third feature Lourdes, which had its world premiere at Venice last month, took the Grand Prix at the 25th edition of the Warsaw Film Festival, which ran October 9-18.
The jury, led by Polish-born composer Jan A.P. Kaczmarek, said that Hausner’s “effortless storytelling brings a beautiful simplicity to a complex subject”. It awarded its Special Jury Prize to the Colombian filmmaker Luis Alberto Restrepo for his second feature The Passion Of Gabriel.
Mexican director Roberto Rochin Naya’s Purgatory and Uruguayan director Alvaro Bencher’s Bad Day To Go Fishing shared the Free Spirit Competition top prize, while the 1-2 Competition, for first or second features, was also shared by Omri Givon’s Seven Minutes In Heaven and Kamen Kalev’s Eastern Plays.
Estonian film-makers took the Best Documentary Award for Disco And Atomic War, with the FIPRESCI Prize for best East European debut going to local director Borys Lankosz’s Reverse.
Warsaw’s parallel industry event, CentEast, celebrated its fifth anniversary this year by collaborating for the first time with Moscow’s 2Morrow Film Festival.
It showed a presentation of 17 “works in progress” showcasing Eastern European directors looking for sales agents or slots in forthcoming international festivals for the first time. The projects were either in the last stages of post-production or about to be released in their home territories. The line-up included Victor Chouchkov Jr.’s Bulgarian-German co-production Tilt; Polish film-maker Marcin Wrona’s hard-hitting second feature The Christening, and the Russian omnibus film Moscow, I Don’t Love You.
In addition, Romanian film-maker Bogdan George Apetri’s Outskirts, which was co-written by Golden Palm winner Cristian Mungiu, and Polish, Berlin-based animator Izabela Plucinska’s feature debut Marzi were in the line-up.
Shortly before this year’s edition, Warsaw Film Festival director Stefan Laudyn learnt that his event has been accepted by the FIAPF to join such festivals as Berlin, Cannes, Venice and Locarno in the hallowed “competitive feature film festival” category.
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