Georgian director George Ovashvili’s film debut The Other Bank (Gagma Napiri) picked up the GoldenLily for best film and the FIPRESCI International Critics Prize at this year’s goEast Festival.
The festival of Central and Eastern European Film, held in Wiesbaden, closed with the awards ceremony on Tuesday evening (April 28).
The international jury, headed by veteran Polish actor-director Jerzy Stuhr, praised The Other Bank for “its brave depiction of one of the most severe armed conflicts of our age, as seen through the hopeful eyes of a child.”
The Georgian-Kazakh co-production The Other Bank had its world premiere at this year’s Generation Kplus sidebar at the Berlinale and also received a Special Mention at Belgrade’s FEST at the beginning of March.
Russian filmmaker Boris Chlebnikov picked up the best director award for his third feature, the bizarre and affectionate comedy Help Gone Mad, which had its world premiere at the Berlinale’s Forum this year. The Federal Foreign Office’s award for a film whose “artistic originality creates cultural diversity” went to another Russian director, Alexey Balabanov, for his idiosyncratic adaptation of Mikhail Bulgakov’s Notes From A Country Doctor in Morphia.
The “Remembrance and Future” Documentary Award went to the Polish directorial duo Maria Zmarz-Koczanowicz and Joanna Slawinska for their alarming picture of recent nationalist and reactionary tendencies in Poland in I Love Poland (Kocham Polske).
The international jury, which also included last year’s Golden Lily winner Kadri Koussar (Magnus) and German actress Julia Jentsch, made Honorary Mentions of Andreea Bosneag, the lead actress in Romanian filmmaker Radu Jude’s feature debut The Happiest Girl In The World, and Bulgarian filmmaker Javor Gardev’s Zift which it described as an “especially brave and original directorial debut” .
The awards ceremony also saw the announcement of the winners of the Robert Bosch Foundation’s 2009 Co-Production Prize for Young German and Eastern European Filmmakers.
An international jury including Sofia International Film Festival’s Stefan Kitanov, Berlinale Talent Campus programme manager Matthijs Wouter Knol and producer Roland Pellegrino, awarded grants of up to $92,333 (Euros 70,000) to three films. They are German-Serbian short fiction film Far From Home by writer-director Nenad Mikalcki and producer Felix Wernitz, the German-Polish documentary The Exciting Journey Of The Armchair by writer-director Katja Schupp and producer Alicja Schatton, and the German-Macedonian animation short Alerik by writer-director Vuk Mitevska and producers Katrin Hohendahl and Labina Mitevska.
For the second year running, goEast hosted an East-West project market in partnership with the Robert Bosch Foundation. It aims to help young directors and producers from Germany, Eastern and South Eastern Europe to find potential partners for the Foundation’s Co-Production Prize next year.