The Way Out comes out on top at Art Film Fest
by Martin Kudláč
- The main award has gone to Czech filmmaker Petr Václav for his docudrama
The biggest Slovak film festival, Art Film Fest, has wrapped up its 22nd edition. The main competition included 11 features from emerging filmmakers, including such titles as Still Life [+see also:
interview: Uberto Pasolini
film profile], To Kill a Man [+see also:
film profile], Letter to the King [+see also:
film profile] and White Shadow [+see also:
interview: Noaz Deshe
film profile]. The international jury comprised Slovak filmmaker Mátyás Prikler, Afghan film and theatre actress Wazhma Tota Khil, Czech director Radim Špaček, Hungarian director Szabolcs Hajdu, and Romanian film and theatre actor Răzvan Vasilescu.
The top prize, the Blue Angel for Best Film, went to Petr Václav’s The Way Out [+see also:
interview: Petr Václav
film profile], a Czech-French co-production premiered in the ACID sidebar at Cannes. According to the jury, the unbiased and realistic exploration of the lives of the Roma who suffer from considerable prejudice deserved the main prize for “capturing the harsh reality we all have to deal with. We appreciate the importance of the theme, authentic details, work with non-actors and depiction of microsituations.” Furthermore, Klaudia Dudová received the Best Actress Award for her portrayal of the main character in the movie, her first ever role. The director came across her at a Roma party, and while she had absolutely no ambitions to get into acting, the jury appreciated her “very natural and authentic depiction of the character”.
Mexican filmmaker Fernando Eimbcke did not leave Art Film Fest empty handed either, winning the Best Director Award for his comedy Club Sandwich, a study of a mother trying to cope with the end of her son’s childhood. “With only three characters in one place, Fernando Eimbcke delivers an impressive minimalistic film, an intelligent and emotive probe into human life,” the jury explained. María Renée Prudencio also received the Best Actress Award for her depiction of the mother in the title.
Still Life by Uberto Pasolini features the singular role played by Eddie Marsan, who won the Best Actor Award for his “perfect and irreplaceable performance”. The widely praised Norwegian film Letter to the King by Hisham Zaman, a kaleidoscope of immigrant fates bound together with narrative elegance, also sealed its reputation at Art Film Fest, going home with both the Special Mention and the award given by the mayor of Trenčianske Teplice. Another Special Mention went to the Chilean-French co-produced To Kill a Man by Alejandro Fernández Almendras, complimented on its “inspirational reflection on what a man would be capable of in an extreme situation and for penetrating the depths of the human psyche”.
Finally, it was not only the audience that appreciated the Grand Prize winner from the Cannes Critics’ Week, the Ukrainian title The Tribe by Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy, a raw look at a community of deaf-and-dumb students. The revelation snagged the award handed out by the mayor of Trenčín and left the audience in awe.