In Bloom wins the Skoda Award at Wiesbaden’s goEast; Visions du Réel opens with Alphée des étoiles

Nana Ekvtimishvili and Simon Gross’ debut feature In Bloom took home the €10,000 ($13,000) Skoda Film Prize for Best Film at this year’s goEast Festival of Central and Eastern European Film (April 10-16) in Wiesbaden, which ended with an awards ceremony in the city’s Caligari Cinema on Tuesday evening.

The coming of age drama, which is handled internationally by Memento Films, had its premiere in Berlin’s Forum in February where it won the CICAE Award.

It was produced by companies set up by Gross and Marc Wächter in Berlin (Indiz Film) and Gross and Ekvtimishvili in Tbilisi (Polare Film) together with Guillaume de Seille’s Arizona Films in France.

The international jury, headed by Hungary’s Bence Fliegauf and including Bulgarian film-maker Konstantin Bojanov, Czech producer Jiři Konečný and Croatian actress Marija Škaričić, described In Bloom as “an original and compelling portrait of a society in flux” and praised the film’s cinematography and young actors.

Best Direction for Circles

The jury gave the prize for Best Direction to Srdan Golubovic for Circles, which has been acquired by German public broadcaster 3sat for transmission.

The Federal Foreign Office’s Award for “artistic originality which creates cultural diversity” went to Alexey Fedorchenko’s Celestial Wives Of The Meadow Mari, which also picked up the International Critics’ FIPRESCI Prize.

This year’s Documentary Award “Remembrance and Future” was won by Lyubov Arkus’ moving portrait of autistic teenager Anton in Anton’s Right Here.

The jury made a special mention of actor Dan Chiorean in Marian Crisan’s Rocker (his second prize for this performance after Vilnius) and Kirill Serebrennikov’s Betrayal, with a bravura performance by German actress Franziska Petri.

Int’l Cooperation prize

For the seventh year running, the Robert Bosch Stiftung awarded its Film Prize for International Cooperation worth up to €70,000 ($92,000) each for an animated, documentary or short fiction film project.

The international jury, which includes Sofia International Film Festival chief Stefan ‘Kita’ Kitanov, Estonian animator Mait Laas, Sarajevo Film Festival’s director Mirsad Purivatra, and Romanian producer Ada Solomon, chose:

  • Dato Kiknavelidze’s Georgian-German film Geno in the animation category;
  • Salome Jashi’s Georgian-German project The Station for documentary;
  • Una Gunjak’s Bosnian-German-Croatian project The Chicken for short fiction.

A special mention was also made of the German-Romanian short fiction film Mr. Moonlight by Luiza Parvu.


Other highlights at the 13th edition of goEast included a retrospective dedicated to the veteran Hungarian director Miklós Jancsó, a special screening of István Szabó’s The Door with actress Martin Gedeck attending, and a project market as part of the Young Professionals Programme, presenting 16 film ideas from Estonia, Romania, Hungary, Georgia, Poland, Russia and Azerbaijan, among others, looking for German co-producers to enter for the Robert Bosch Stiftung Film Prize next year.

In an ironic twist, the success in Wiesbaden of the young generation of Georgian film-makers was testament to the dynamic leadership of the Georgian National Film Center (GNFC) under the former director Tamara Tatishvili who exited her post earlier this year.

Her successor is film-maker/producer Nana Janelidze, who presented her latest project Another Paradise at March’s Sofia Meetings where it won the best project award in the Second Films section.

Moreover, the Bosch Stiftung’s decision to stage workshops in Tbilisi for film-makers from the South Caucasus have paid off.

Festival and artistic director Gaby Babic’s third outing at the helm of goEast saw 32 films from 30 countries screened, including eight world premieres and seven international premieres, to a record attendance of more than 10,000 admissions for the 13th edition.

Visions du Réel record submissions

Visions du Réel’s Luciano Barisone is putting the final touches to his second edition as director of the international documentary festival in Nyon on the shore of Lake Geneva.

A record number of almost 3,500 films were submitted or discovered by Barisone and his selection committee over the past 12 months .

This year’s programme begins on April 19 with the international premiere of French-Canadian film-maker Hugo Latulippe’s Alphée des étoiles about the life of the director’s daughter who is afflicted with a rare genetic disease.

The following day will see the Brazilian singer-composer Gilberto Gil travel to Nyon for the world premiere of Pierre-Yves Borgeaud’s Viramundo, which is to be the first film as part of the MEDIA-supported TIDE project to benefit from an almost simultaneous theatrical and VoD release between April and July in 10 EU member states.

In addition, the festival’s industry section, Doc Market (DOCM) will be staging a pitching session, Pitching du Réel, to potential co-producers and funders for such projects as Jaak Kilmi and Arbo Tammiksaaris’ Jesus Lives In Siberia; Eva Mulvad’s A Modern Man; and Ben Lewis’ Falcioni’s List: Banking’s Biggest Whistleblower.

Docs in Progress will showcase seven projects in the final stage of production from Croatia, Italy, France, and Chile, among others, while the one-day Rough Cut Lab gives young film-makers the chance to receive useful advice on how best to finish their film.

The titles in the focus include Chilean Maite Alberdi’s Tea Time and Irish film-maker Neasa Ni Chianain’s The Stranger.