Serbian refugee drama As Far As I Can Walk scored five prizes including the main Grand Prix – Crystal Globe at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival awards this evening.
Written and directed by Stefan Arsenijevic, the film also received the best actor award for Ibrahim Koma, and a special jury mention for Jelena Stankovic for cinematography, from the awards given out in the competition section.
Scroll down for the full list of winners
The film also received two non-statutory awards, from the ecumenical jury, and the Europa Cinemas Label award for best film from across the Crystal Globe and East of the West competitions.
The Grand Prix comes with a $25,000 prize, shared equally between Arsenijevic and producer Miroslav Mogorovich.
As Far As I Can Walk is a re-imagining of a traditional medieval epic, in which contemporary African migrants take the place of Serbian national heroes, in a consideration of identity, tradition, race and love. Mogorovich produced the film for his Serbian company Art & Popcorn, alongside production support from France, Luxembourg, Bulgaria and Lithuania.
Also in the Crystal Globe competition, Erika Hnikova’s Czech title Every Single Minute won the Special Jury Prize with $15,000 award; while best director went to Dietrich Brüggemann for relationship comedy Nö, and best actress went to Eleonore Loiselle for Canadian title Wars.
As well as Stankovic, the jury awarded two further special mentions, to actor Vinette Robinson for her role in Philip Barantini’s UK drama Boiling Point; and to Sonja Tarokic’s Croatian title The Staffroom.
David Ondricek’s festival opener Zatopek won the festival’s audience award, for which a running table of votes was recorded and presented to audiences throughout the event.
The four-person Crystal Globe jury consisted of Danish documentarian Eva Mulvad, Polish actor Marta Nieradkiewicz, Greek director Christos Nikou and Christoph Terhechte, head of German festival DOK Leipzig.
In the East of the West Competition, the Grand Prize went to Vladimir Munkuev’s Russian film Nuuccha, with a special jury prize for Dina Duma’s Sisterhood and special jury mention for Adela Komrzy’s Intensive Life Unit.
Festival guests Ethan Hawke and Johnny Depp were both present at the festival’s closing ceremony, with Depp having introduced a screening of Andrew Levitas’ Minamata earlier in the afternoon.
The Eastern Promises industry strand took place online in advance of the main festival, with the awards celebrated at an event hosted by the Czech Film Center on Tuesday August 24.
The 2021 festival was attended by 9,267 accredited visitors, including 338 filmmakers and 477 journalists. This is down 26% from the 2019 attendance of 12,521.
Ticket sales stood at 111,203, down 20% on 2019’s 139,271; with an 8% drop in the number of screenings, from 497 to 456 – all respectable figures in the context of a significantly smaller international presence due to travel restrictions and uncertainty (accredited film professionals were down 48% from 1,158 to 601).
Karlovy Vary 2021 awards
Crystal Globe competition
Grand Prix – As Far As I Can Walk (Ser-Fr-Lux-Bul-Lith) dir. Stefan Arsenijevic
Special jury prize – Every Single Minute (Cze-Slovakia) dir. Erika Hnikova
Best director – Dietrich Bruggemann for Nö
Best actress – Eleonore Loiselle for Wars
Best actor – Ibrahim Koma for As Far As I Can Walk
Special jury mention – The Staffroom (Cro) dir. Sonja Tarokic; Vinette Robinson, acting for Boiling Point; Jelena Stankovic, cinematography for As Far As I Can Walk
Audience award – Zatopek (Cze-Slovakia) dir. David Ondricek
East of the West Competition
Grand prix – Nuuccha (Rus) dir. Vladimir Munkuev
Special jury prize – Sisterhood (N Mac-Kos-Mont) dir. Dina Duma
Special jury mention – Intensive Life Unit (Cze) dir. Adela Komrzy
FIPRESCI prize – Exam (Ger-Iraqi Kurdistan-Qat) dir. Shawkat Amin Korki
Ecumencial jury award – As Far As I Can Walk (Ser-Fr-Lux-Bul-Lith) dir. Stefan Arsenijevic
Ecumenical jury commendation – The Staffroom (Cro) dir. Sonja Tarokic
Fedeora award – Otar’s Death (Geo-Ger-Lith) dir. Ioseb ‘Soso’ Bliadze
Fedeora jury special mention – Intensive Life Unit (Cze) dir. Adela Komrzy
Europa Cinemas label award – As Far As I Can Walk (Ser-Fr-Lux-Bul-Lith) dir. Stefan Arsenijevic