Party Girl comes out on top at Bratislava
by Martin Kudláč
- Flapping in the Middle of Nowhere and I Am Yours are also among the films awarded at the International Film Festival Bratislava
The 2014 edition of the International Film Festival Bratislava (7-14 November) has come to a close with the obligatory award-giving ceremony. The Grand Prix in the International Competition for debut and sophomore features went to the trio of directors behind Party Girl [+see also:
interview: Marie Amachoukeli, Claire B…
film profile], Marie Amachoukeli, Claire Burger and Samuel Theis, who will be adding it to their haul consisting of the Un Certain Regard Ensemble Acting Prize and the Camera d'Or Award from this year’s Cannes Festival. The story focusing on the inability of an ageing nightclub hostess to swap her rampant nocturnal lifestyle for family life won Angélique Litzenburger the Best Actress Award. Litzenburger’s re-enactment of her own life story for the big screen caught the eyes not only of Jerusalem Film Festival co-founder Avinoam Harpak, seasoned film critic Derek Malcolm and Slovak actress Zuzana Mauréry, but also the youth jurors, who gave it the Student Jury Award.
“For the sensual abilities this young director demonstrates while taking us on the odyssey of a young Vietnamese woman as she battles through the hardships of the chauvinistic society around her,” was the international jury’s reasoning as it presented the Best Director Award to Nguyen Hoang Diep for the Vietnamese-French-Norwegian-German co-production Flapping in the Middle of Nowhere [+see also:
film profile]. The movie follows a young student after she gets pregnant and tries to raise money for an abortion through prostitution. The Best Actor Award went to Fabrício Boliveira for his performance in crime drama Brazilian Western. Meanwhile, Norway’s submission for the 86th Academy Awards for Best Foreign-language Film, I Am Yours [+see also:
film profile], the directorial debut by actress Iram Haq, received the FIPRESCI Jury Award for the “precision and great understanding” with which the director “observes emotional conflicts that are comprehensible and very well acted at all times”.
Catalan director Hermes Paralluelo took home the main prize in the competition for first and second documentary features with Not All Is Vigil, in which he cast his grandparents as themselves in a portrait of love in old age. The jury appreciated “the achievement of portraying loneliness and the fear of death in a deeply humanistic and often humorous way”. 15 Corners of the World [+see also:
film profile], a portrait of electro-acoustic music pioneer Eugeniusz Rudnik, by Polish filmmaker Zuzanna Solakiewicz, earned a Special Mention. The festival honoured Czech painter and costume designer Theodor Pištěk with the Award for Artistic Excellence in World Cinematography and dedicated a commemorative tile on the Film Walk of Fame in Bratislava to Slovak actor Ivan Palúch. Furthermore, Slovak cinematographer Martin Žiaran received the Film Europe Award for his successful presentation of Slovak cinema abroad.