Ferzan Ozpetek's Facing Windows won the top prize, the Grand Prix Crystal Globe, at the 38th annual Karlovy Vary International Film Festival on Saturday night (July 12).

The Turkish-Italian director, who was carried to the stage by muscular dancers to pick up his award at the closing ceremony, also took the prize for Best Director while leading actress Giovanna Mezzogiorno shared an award for Best Actress. The Karlovy Vary screening marked the first time the film - a box office smash in Italy this year - has been seen outside Italy.

But the runaway favourite for audiences at the festival was Morten Tyldum's Buddy, the Norwegian entry to the main competition. The light-hearted crowd-pleaser follows the story of a group of 20-something friends, one of whom is catapulted to fame when his video diaries end up on a reality TV show. Critics were split on the film's merits, with some giving it rave reviews and others, including one critic from a major American newspaper who complained it "was like watching a sitcom," dismissing it as frivolous. Audiences responded warmly, giving it Mlada Fronta Dnes newspaper's audience prize.

Bjorn Kellman picked up the Best Actor prize for his role in Old, New, Borrowed And Blue, Natasha Arthy's Copenhagen-set Dogme marriage comedy. Sylvie Testud, playing a young French woman struggling with Japan's ruthless corporate culture in Alain Corneau's Fear And Trembling, shared the Best Actress Award with Mezzogiorno.

The Russian-French co-production Babusja, Lidia Bobrova's tearful account of an elderly woman coming to grips with the new Russia, won a Special Jury Prize.

Although "Best Screenplay" is not normally a prize at Karlovy Vary, Corneau received a special jury mention for his Fear And Trembling script.

The jury presented another special jury mention to Rose's Song, Andor Szilagyi's war drama about Jews suffering Nazi persecution in 1944 Budapest. Canadian producer Rock Demers chaired a seven-member jury deciding between 16 competition films.

Korean auteur Kim Ki-Duk, the subject of a retrospective at the festival last year and the director of a competition contender The Coast Guard this year, received the prize of the City of Karlovy Vary.

Morgan Freeman was on hand to present Ozpetek's Grand Prix Crystal Globe, the actor also accepting a prize for Outstanding Artistic Contribution to World Cinema. British director Stephen Frears and Czech new wave master Jiri Menzel had accepted the same award at the festival's July 4 opening.

Other presenters included Cannes winner Gus Van Sant, Russian writer-director Andrei Konchalovsky, and acting clan matriarch Diana Douglas, there to introduce the closing festival film It Runs In The Family.

The Karlovy Vary festival appears financially solid after 10 roller coaster years during which it was almost disbanded, although its popularity appears to have peaked last year following several years of growth. This year, the nine-day event granted 10,480 festival passes and 122,440 admissions versus last year's 10,880 accreditations and 139,120 admissions.


Grand Prix - Crystal Globe ($20 000)
Facing Windows, (Italy, United Kingdom, Turkey, Portugal), 2003
dir. Ferzan Ozpetek

Special Jury Prize
Babusja (Babusya), (Russia, France), 2003
dir. Lidia Bobrova

Best Director Award
Ferzan Ozpetek, Facing Windows, (Italy, United Kingdom, Turkey, Portugal), 2003

Best Actress Award (shared)
Sylvie Testud, Fear And Trembling, (France, Japan), 2003 dir. Alain Corneau
Giovanna Mezzogiorno, Facing Windows, (Italy, United Kingdom, Turkey, Portugal,) 2003

Best Actor Award
Bjorn Kjellman, (Old, New, Borrowed And Blue), (Denmark) 2002
dir. Natasha Arthy

Special Jury Mentions
Fear And Trembling, (France, Japan), 2003
dir. Alain Corneau (for the best screenplay)

Rose's Songs (A Rozsa Enekei), (Hungary, Italy) 2003
dir. Andor Szilyi

Best Documentary Film Above 30 Minutes In Length
Jesus, You Know (Jesus, Du Weisst), Austria, 2003
dir. Ulrich Seidl

Best Documentary Film Lasting 30 Minutes Or Less
The Zone (Zonen), Sweden, 2003
dir. Esaias Baitel

Special Mention
Vaveragrogh, Armenia, 2003
dir. Harutyun Khachatryan

My Body (Kroppen min), Norway, 2002
dir. Margreth Olin

Portrait (Portret), Russia 2002
dir. Sergey Loznitsa


Award For Outstanding Artistic Contribution To World Cinema
Stephen Frears, United Kingdom
Jiøi Menzel, Czech Republic
Morgan Freeman, USA

Prize Of The Mayor Of The Town Of Karlovy Vary
Haeansun (The Coast Guard), Korea, 2002
dir. Kim Ki-duk

Mlad-Fronta Dnes Audience Prize
Buddy, Norway, 2003
dir. Morten Tyldum


The Philip Morris Film Award ($9,260)
Koktebel (Koktebel), Russia, 2003
dir. Boris Chlebnikov, Alexej Popogrebskij

Edi (Edi), Poland, 2002
dir. Piotr Trzaskalsky

Award Of International Film Critics (Fipresci)
Haeansun (Coast Guard), Korea, 2002
dir. Kim Ki-duk

The Don Quijote Prize (FICC - International Federation of Film Societies)
Babusja (Babusya), Russia, 2003
dir. Lidia Bobrova

The Ecumenical Jury Award
Babusja (Babusya), Russia, 2003
dir. Lidia Bobrova

Haeansun (Coast Guard), Korea, 2002
dir. Kim Ki-duk


Best Student Film
Let's Go For A Walk dir. Julia Kolesnik
VGIK, Russia

Special Prizes
Hinh Bong (The Shadow) dir. Robin van Hardenberg
Deutsche Film and Fernsehakademie Berlin, Germany

Orphee (Orpheus) dir. Kamen Kalu c/o Alice Winocom
Ecole nationale superieure des metiers (Le Femis), France

Best collection of student films
FAMU, Czech Republic

Ivan Martin Jirous /23 Zabiru (Ivan Martin Jirous /23 takes/)
dir. Helena Papnikov'

Lid'z Autobus (Bus Passengers)
dir. Vaclav Kadrnka

dir. Barbora Eechova

Konec (The End Of Individual)
dir. Jan Zajieek