Hunger wins grand prize at Art Film
by Theodore Schwinke
The film won the Blue Angel grand prize and €15,000. The jury called Hunger a "conceptually very demanding film, executed to a high professional standard. The film fulfills intellectual demands and presents its story in a suggestive manner. It demonstrates the ability to combine the inherent high artistic value while simultaneously engaging the audience.”
The jury also praised the cast of McQueen's film and awarded actor Michael Fassbinder the Best Actor Award for his “masterful, professional and rivetingly authentic performance.”
Nesipkul Omarbekova won the Best Actress Award for her performance in Gulshat Omarova's film Native Dancer [trailer]. A co-production between Russia, Kazakhstan, France and Germany, the film will screen in the East of the West competition in Karlovy Vary in July.
Australian filmmaker Warwick Thornton was named Best Director for his debut film Samson and Delilah.
Czech New Wave veteran Vera Chytilova received the Golden Camera Award for her extraordinary contribution to cinema.
Roughly 30,000 visitors came to this year's festival, to see not only films previously screened at Berlin, Cannes and Venice, but also 13 local films presented in the Slovak Season selection, including Peter Kerekes' documentary Cooking History and Vladimir Balko's Soul at Peace, both of which will also screen at Karlovy Vary.
In the European Corner selection, Art Film presented such award-winning recent titles as Malgorzata Szumowska's 33 Scenes From Life [trailer], Pedro Almodovar's Broken Embraces [trailer, film focus] and Lukas Moodysson's Mammoth [trailer].
The main competition jury was made up of Czech filmmaker Jan Kacer, Slovak actress Dorota Nvotova, Hungarian filmmaker Eniko Eszenyi, German dramaturge Heiko Fischer and American film critic Jay Weissberg.