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AWARDS Thessaloniki

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Perpetual Sadness takes over Thessaloniki

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- The Mexican drama wins the Golden Alexander, Israeli title Next to Her picks up Silver, while the Greco-Bulgarian The Lesson takes Bronze

Perpetual Sadness takes over Thessaloniki
© Motionteam

The Thessaloniki International Film Festival handed out its awards on Saturday evening, in what turned out to be the longest ceremony in the festival’s last half-decade. Mexican director Jorge Pérez Solano was on hand to pick up the Golden Alexander, the gathering’s top prize, for Perpetual Sadness, while the Silver Alexander, awarded to Israel’s Next to Her, was received by Greek co-producer Constantina Stavrianou, of Graal Films; Stavrianou also collected the Bronze Alexander, along with actress Margita Gosheva, for the Greco-Bulgarian movie The Lesson [+see also:
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interview: Kristina Grozeva, Petar Val…
interview: Margita Gosheva
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]
.

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The Lesson’s writing and directing team, Kristina Grozeva and Petar Valchanov, also picked up the Best Screenplay Award, while Best Director went to Miroslav Slaboshpitsky for his work on The Tribe [+see also:
trailer
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]
(Ukraine). Sweden’s Sverrir Gudnason was in attendance to collect the Best Actor Award for Blowfly Park, while Best Actress was awarded to Brooke Bloom for She’s Lost Control (USA), and the Artistic Achievement Award went to Martti Helde’s Estonian feature, In the Crosswind [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Martti Helde
interview: Martti Helde
film profile
]
.

While it was a first in five years to have no Greeks win any of the official awards, Yiannis Veslemes’ Karlovy Vary contender Norway [+see also:
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film profile
]
was tapped by the FIPRESCI Jury as best of show among the local titles, and Austria’s Goodnight Mommy [+see also:
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interview: Severin Fiala and Veronika …
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]
by Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz picked up the jury’s International Award. A Special Mention was reserved for the Greek film Polk, by newcomers Nikos Nikolopoulos and Vladimiros Nikolouzos.

Yiannis EconomidesStratos [+see also:
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interview: Yannis Economides
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]
won the Greek Film Critics’ Association’s Award. This prize, whose 30-year-long presence at the gathering was disrupted following a spat between director Dimitri Eipides and the association in 2011 (see news), was reinstated this year following FIPRESCI’s demands. It was the first award to be won by Economides’ Berlinale contender in its long festival run.

Reaching record numbers, the event’s 55th edition achieved a 96% theatre attendance, a fact that “confirms that independent film offers a much-needed alternative world view”, noted festival director Eipides, who welcomed the audience by offering a run-down of the ten-day programme. It included honouring the life’s work of Hanna Schygulla, who was present at the ceremony. 

Honorary awards were bestowed upon actresses Voula Zouboulaki and Anna Synodinou, along with directors Pantelis Voulgaris and Lakis Papastathis, as part of the celebration of Greek cinema’s 100-year anniversary. “The festival is celebrating its 55th year, which means it is 50 years since Papastathis and I started attending it,” Voulgaris pointed out when picking up his award.

The Audience Awards, sponsored by Fischer, were handed to Ivan Tverdovsky’s Correction Class [+see also:
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interview: Ivan I Tverdovsky
film profile
]
(Russia/Germany), Manos KarystinosDark Illusion (Greece), Isa Qosja’s Three Windows and a Hanging [+see also:
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film focus
interview: Arben Zharku
interview: Isa Qosja
film profile
]
(Kosovo/Germany) and Josh Lawson’s The Little Death (Australia).

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