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Virgin Mountain triumphs at Arras

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- The Golden Atlas has gone to Dagur Kári's film, while the Silver Atlas was bestowed upon Thirst; Ivan Ostrochovsky's project The Disciple won the Arras Days

Virgin Mountain triumphs at Arras
Virgin Mountain by Dagur Kári

Having proven to be an increasingly popular success story with almost 42,000 viewers in total this year, the Arras International Film Festival – which decided to continue as planned on Saturday, in agreement with the authorities, in spite of the events that plunged France into mourning – crowned Virgin Mountain [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Icelandic director Dagur Kári (which also recently won the Nordic Council Film Prize) at the end of its 16th edition. In addition to the Golden Atlas - Grand Jury Prize, the feature was also singled out with a Special Mention for actor Gunnar Jonsson.

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The Silver Atlas for Best Director was handed to Thirst [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Svetla Tsotsorkova
film profile
]
by Bulgarian filmmaker Svetla Tsotsorkova (a feature debut that was popular at San Sebastián, in the New Directors section), and a Special Mention was bestowed upon Home Care [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Slávek Horák
film profile
]
by Czech director Slavek Horak.

The list of prizewinners also included The Red Spider [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Marcin Koszalka
film profile
]
by Poland's Marcin Koszalka (Critics' Award), The Fencer [+see also:
trailer
interview: Ivo Felt
film profile
]
by Finland's Klaus Härö (Audience Award) and The Culpable [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by Germany's Gerd Schneider (Young Jury Award).

As for the Arras Days, where seven previously unseen projects at the writing stage were pitched to a jury of three European professionals (read the news), a grant of €10,000 provided by the CNC was offered to The Disciple by Slovakian director Ivan Ostrochovsky. The filmmaker, who made quite a splash with his first two features (Velvet Terrorists [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, which he co-directed, and particularly the multi-award-winning Koza [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Ivan Ostrochovský
film profile
]
, two titles that were screened in the Berlinale Forum in 2014 and 2015), has written a screenplay with a highly original subject matter that has never been tackled before in film, and which delves to the heart of a Czechoslovakian seminary at the start of the 1980s in a murky atmosphere that blends the Church and the secret service of the communist state.

Still at the Arras Days, a second development-aid grant worth €5,000, courtesy of the city of Arras, went to the project Sister by Bulgarian director Svetla Tsotsorkova (whose feature debut, Thirst, features on the list of the winners in competition at this edition of the festival), the story of which paints a complex and warm portrait of a family from a small village whose lives are thrown into chaos by the repercussions of a lie.

(Translated from French)

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