Photo: Blaer Hinriksson from film Heardstone
On Saturday evening, the closing ceremony in Košice’s Kunsthalle marked the end of the Košice Art Film Fest’s 25th edition. The festival’s grand prize – the Blue Angel for Best Film – went to Bulgarian/Greek film Glory. The story of an ordinary railway worker who becomes convinced that in today’s world bravery and honesty are nothing more than the butt of jokes, Glory was selected from among the 12 films in the main competition.
In addition to the grand prize for best film, the International Jury of Feature Films also awarded prizes to other films, including a Slovak production. The Blue Angel for Best Female Performance went to Slovak actress Dominika Morávková from Tereza Nvotová’s Filthy, which also garnered the most votes from audiences, thus winning the JOJ Cinema Audience Award for Best European Film. Filthy is currently being shown at cinemas across Slovakia.
The Košice Art Film Fest’s Blue Angel for Best Short Film went to Indonesia’s “On the Origin of Fear”.
Running from 16 to 24 June, the Košice Art Film Fest screened over 170 films and featured numerous illustrious figures. The Actor’s Mission Awards, which Art Film Fest has been granting since 1995, were bestowed upon Ondřej Vetchý and Magda Vášáryová. New this year, the Festival President’s Award was presented to Jiří Bartoška and Mária Kráľovičová right at the start of the festival. Slovak director Dušan Trančík and Czech director Jan Hřebejk each won Golden Cameras.
“Compared to last year, Art Film Fest has most definitely taken a turn for the better. Audience turnout for screenings has noticeably improved. Visitors reacted just as positively to the accompanying events, appreciating their variety and appeal. Today, as our nine-day marathon of films (as well as concerts, discussions, talk shows, exhibitions and masterclasses) draws to a close, I can in all modesty say that we’ve now shown quite a few people what a modern film festival looks like. Simply put, Art Film Fest has taken firm root in Košice,” stated Peter Nágel, the festival’s artistic director, in assessment of the 25th AFF.
List of prizes and statements of the juries:
Blue Angel for BEST FILM
Directors: Kristina Grozeva and Peter Valchanov
For its brilliant portrayal of an everyman’s tragicomic struggle for his own dignity and justice. With uncommon originality, the film continues in the tradition of the masters of social satire. Its treatment of its subject pulls the viewer in, without sacrificing its lightness or artistic merit. An indispensable film in this day and age.
Blue Angel for BEST DIRECTOR
Director: Valeska Grisebach
For its personal story wrapped inside a collective portrait, functioning as a perceptive psychological and social analysis of interpersonal relations between German workmen and Bulgarian rural folk. The film prompts the viewer to consider our place in Europe.
Blue Angel for BEST FEMALE PERFORMANCE
Dominika Morávková in the film Filthy
Director: Tereza Nvotová
For her highly persuasive portrayal of Lena, an adolescent girl who falls victim to a heinous act which leaves deep psychological scars.
Blue Angel for BEST MALE PERFORMANCE
Baldur Einarsson and Blaer Hinriksson in Heartstone
Director: Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson
For the sincerity and authenticity of their performances as young boys whose sexuality is only just beginning to awaken, as they come to terms with their differing sexual orientations and struggle for societal acceptance.
Director: Ronny Trocker
For its visually powerful depiction of an Alpine countryside that is gradually being depopulated. The film’s protagonists grapple with feelings of loneliness and the approaching end. This image of a disappearing world fascinates and enthrals the viewer.
Barbora Bobulová for her performances in the films Pure Hearts and After the War
For her convincing and profound performance, which contributed significantly to the film’s unconventional portrayal of her character, a mother.
Audience Award JOJ Cinema for Best European Film
Špina| Filthy (Slovakia, Czech Republic)
réžia | director: Tereza Nvotová
Blue Angel for Best Short Film
On The Origin of Fear
by Bayu Prihantoro Filemon, Indonesia
We would like to award a film that allows us to experience the hidden power of cinema. On the one hand it shows us a difficult topic in a very simple, but still challenging way and triggers our imagination without depicting the violence it’s talking about. On the other hand it presents the process of filmmaking and lets the audience decide about the level of participation. It’s a physical film with an extremely original approach that seeds a certain knowledge about the origin of fear. Therefore we’d like to give the Award for Best Short Film to
à On the Origin of Fear by Bayu Prihantoro Filemon
The Rabbit Hunt
by Patrick Bresnan, United States, Hungary
One Special Mention goes to a film that manages – by focussing on a unique and specific topic – to unlock ambivalent perspectives on society in a very humanistic and empathic way.
à The Rabbit Hunt by Patrick Bresnan
A Brief History of Princess X
by Gabriel Abrantes, Portugal, France, United Kingdom
For the light-hearted and convincing manner of turning a story about an apparently male object into a story about a female subject and thus revealing the continuous male struggle of dealing with female sexuality.