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KARLOVY VARY 2014 Awards

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Free Fall does not fall short at Karlovy Vary

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- Georgian film Corn Island and Hungarian title Free Fall have come out on top in Karlovy Vary's main competition

Free Fall does not fall short at Karlovy Vary
Free Fall by György Pálfi

High expectations preceded the second feature by Georgian filmmaker George Ovashvili, Corn Island [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: George Ovashvili
film profile
]
, when its entry into the main competition of the 49th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival was announced. The world premiere at the famous Czech spa town dispelled any doubt as the Grand Prix and Ecumenical Jury Award went to this extraordinary fable about the cycle of life. Before moving on to his historical epic Toldi, György Pálfi shot “strange stories on strange people” in Free Fall [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, which opens with an unsuccessful suicide attempt. Pálfi's grotesque hyperbole on hypocrisy won the Special Jury Prize, while also snagging the Best Director Award and the Europa Cinemas Label Award.

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The critique of an educational system that penalises handicapped pupils, Corrections Class [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Ivan I Tverdovsky
film profile
]
, by 25-year-old emerging Russian filmmaker Ivan I Tverdovsky, appealed to the jury of the East of the West competition, taking the award. Meanwhile, Ivan Ikić's Barbarians [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Ivan Ikic
film profile
]
, the Serbian coming-of-age movie set in a community of hooligans, against the backdrop of Kosovo's freshly acquired independence, did not go unnoticed, as the jury gave it a Special Mention. 

Anywhere Else [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Ester Amrami
film profile
]
, an already-awarded dramedy on searching for one's place in life, by Ester Amrami,won the Independent Camera Award in the Forum of Independents competition section. A Czech film also snagged one award: the Audience Award was bestowed upon the documentary The Magic Voice of a Rebel, by Olga Sommerová, a portrait of talented singer and dissident Marta Kubišová. The jury of film critics opted for Rocks in My Pockets [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Signe Baumane
film profile
]
by Latvian-born animator Signe Baumane for the FIPRESCI Prize, “a funny film about depression”, as the filmmaker herself labels her feature debut, and the first ever animated film in Karlovy Vary's main competition. The Federation of Film Critics of Europe and the Mediterranean awarded a prize to the Albanian-Italian-Kosovan co-production Bota [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Iris Elezi
film profile
]
, directed by duo Iris Elezi and Thomas Logoreci, in which three friends must face up to a shared secret from their traumatic past.

The Best Documentary Film Award (for a film over 30 minutes long) was handed to Teodora Ana Mihai for her debut, Waiting for August, portraying seven Romanian siblings facing premature adulthood as their mother leaves to work in Italy. The Croatian caustic satire on mass tourism, Autofocus by Boris Poljak, was announced as the Best Documentary Film of under 30 minutes. The look at two seventysomethings and their decades-long cohabitation, Steadiness by Lisa Weber, and Manuel Abramovich's insight into an 11-year-old girl's life as she prepares for a carnival in Argentina, The Queen, received Special Mentions.

Mel Gibson and William Friedkin travelled to the Czech Republic to receive their Crystal Globes for Outstanding Artistic Contribution to World Cinema, while Elle Fanning won the Best Actress Award for her performance in Jeff Preiss' film Low Down. The best male performance was given, according to the jury, by Nahuel Pérez Biscayart in his role as an Argentinian prostitute in the Belgian-Canadian co-production All Yours [+see also:
film review
trailer
making of
interview: David Lambert
film profile
]
by David Lambert. Zdeněk Svěrák, the well-known Czech actor, humourist and scriptwriter who penned memorable films such as My Sweet Village, The Elementary School and Kolja, among others, was honoured with the Festival President's Award for his contribution to Czech cinematography during the closing ceremony gala.

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