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Godless adds a Golden Puffin to its Leopard


- Bulgarian director Ralitza Petrova’s feature debut won the top prize at the 13th Reykjavik International Film Festival, which ended Saturday

Godless adds a Golden Puffin to its Leopard
Ralitza Petrova (on screen) accepts her Golden Puffin at the awards ceremony (© RIFF)

Bulgarian director Ralitza Petrova’s first feature, Godless [+see also:
film review
film focus
interview: Ralitza Petrova
film profile
, added the 13th international prize to its collection, when, on Saturday, it received the Golden Puffin – the top prize – in the New Vision competition, featuring 11 debut or sophomore efforts, at Iceland’s 13th Reykjavik International Film Festival.

The Bulgarian-Danish-French co-production depicts a nurse who, driven by easy cash and a morphine addiction, traffics demented patients’ ID cards on the black market for identity theft. The title won four awards at Locarno, including the Golden Leopard for Best Film and Best Actress (Irena Ivanova).

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“A bleak but beautiful film with poignant acting and atmospheric cinematography, which combines the downbeat suspense of a medicalised crime story with a subtle portrayal of the agony in a post-communist society,” the jury, made up of artistic director Jonas Holmberg, of Sweden’s Göteborg International Film Festival, Icelandic director Grímur Hákonarson and screenwriter Yrsa Sigurðardóttir, claimed.

Reykjavik’s closing ceremony took place at the city’s Whales of Iceland Museum, where the festival guests joined the 23 life-size foam and steel whales hanging from the walls and ceilings, following a trip to some of Iceland’s natural wonders: volcanoes, lava fields, glaciers, waterfalls, fjords and black beaches, which have all starred in numerous international films.

Whales were also among the cast of Scottish director Mike Day’s The Islands and the Whales, which won the festival’s Environmental Award in the Different Tomorrow category, shedding light on environmental and humanitarian issues. Day explores the whale and seabird hunting tradition in the Faroe Islands, which has been put in jeopardy following the contamination of whales caused by ocean pollution.

Here is the complete list of award winners:

The Golden Puffin
Godless [+see also:
film review
film focus
interview: Ralitza Petrova
film profile
– Ralitza Petrova (Bulgaria/France/Denmark)

Environmental Award
The Islands and the Whales – Mike Day (Scotland)

New Visions – Special Mention
The Giant [+see also:
film review
film focus
interview: Johannes Nyholm
film profile
 – Johannes Nyholm (Sweden/Denmark)

The Golden Egg (for young and aspiring talents)
The Duke – Max Barbakow (United States)

Audience Award – Documentary and Open Seas sections
Mr Gaga [+see also:
film profile
Tomer Heymann (Sweden/Israel/Germany/the Netherlands)

Best Icelandic Short
Cubs – Nanna Kristín Magnúsdóttir

Best International Short   
Home – Daniel Mulloy (United Kingdom)

Honorary Prizes:
Darren Aronofsky (United States)
Deepa Mehta (Canada)

IDW Supsi
Contest Savoia
WBI Berlinale

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