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The Chronicles of Melanie sweeps the Great Christopher Awards


- The annual Latvian Lielais Kristaps, or Great Christopher, film awards had a runaway winner in Viesturs Kairišs’ epic black-and-white movie

The Chronicles of Melanie sweeps the Great Christopher Awards
The winners of the 2017 Latvian Film Awards (© Agnese Zeltina)

The Latvian film prizes, the Lielais Kristaps, or Great Christopher Awards, have once again been handed out, with the clear frontrunners taking home the majority of the prizes. Viesturs Kairišs’ epic black-and-white deportation story The Chronicles of Melanie [+see also:
film review
film profile
 was nominated in ten categories and walked away with six award statuettes, for Best Fiction Feature, Best Fiction Director, Best Fiction Cinematographer (Gints Bērziņš), Best Actress (Sabine Timoteo), Best Set Designer and Best Costume Designer (both to Ieva Jurjāne). On top of that, the film won the Splendid Palace Award for being the most-attended film of 2016/2017. 

Of the non-fiction films, the main winner turned out to be the political “rockumentary” Liberation Day [+see also:
film profile
by Uģis Olte and Morten Traavik, chronicling the North Korean concert tour of the Slovenian industrial band Laibach, bringing home prizes for Best Documentary Feature, Best Documentary Cinematographer (Valdis Celmiņš), Best Sound Designer (Ernests Ansons and Artis Dukaļskis) and Best Editor (Gatis Belogrudovs and Uģis Olte).

The winners were voted for by the international jury, consisting of Daira Āboliņa (film critic), Antra Cilinska (director and producer), Renārs Vimba (director), Icelandic film director Fridrik Thor Fridriksson, Russian film critic Larisa Malyukova, Warsaw Film Festival programmer Agnieszka Oryl, and film critic and senior programmer of the Palm Springs Film Festival Alyssa Simon

The Latvian National Film Awards are organised by the non-governmental, non-profit professional organisation Latvian Filmmakers Union in close collaboration with the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia and the National Film Centre of Latvia, supported by Riga City Council. 

Here is the full list of winners: 

Best Fiction Feature
The Chronicles of Melanie [+see also:
film review
film profile
 - Viesturs Kairišs (Latvia/Czech Republic/Finland)

Best Documentary Feature
Liberation Day [+see also:
film profile
 - Uģis Olte, Morten Traavik (Latvia/Norway/Slovenia) 

Best Short Documentary 
Lidija - Andrejs Verhoustinskis

Best Animation
Pigtail and Mr. Sleeplessness - Edmunds Jansons (short film) 

Best First Film of a Director 
Grandfather’s Father - Kārlis Lesiņš (short film)

Best Minority Co-production
Pretenders [+see also:
film review
film profile

Best Student Film 
Seven Awkward Sex Scenes. Part One - Liene Linde (short film)

Best Scriptwriter
Lote Eglīte – Pigtail and Mr. Sleeplessness

Best Fiction Director 
Viesturs Kairišs – The Chronicles of Melanie 

Best Fiction Cinematographer
Gints Bērziņš – The Chronicles of Melanie

Best Actress
Sabine Timotheo – The Chronicles of Melanie

Best Actor
Kaspars Znotiņš – Firstborn [+see also:
film profile

Best Supporting Actress
Vizma Kalme – Grandpa More Dangerous Than Computer [+see also:
film profile

Best Supporting Actor
Uldis Dumpis – Grandpa More Dangerous Than Computer 

Best Set Designer 
Ieva Jurjāne – The Chronicles of Melanie

Best Costume Designer 
Ieva Jurjāne – The Chronicles of Melanie 

Best Make-up Artist
Maija Gundare – Firstborn

Best Documentary Director
Krista Burāne – Fairytale About the Empty Space

Best Documentary Cinematographer
Valdis Celmiņš – Liberation Day

Best Animated Film Director 
Edmunds Jansons – Pigtail and Mr. Sleeplessness

Best Animation Artist 
Toms Burāns – Fairytale About the Empty Space

Best Composer
Andris Dzenītis – Firstborn 

Best Sound Designer
Ernests Ansons and Artis Dukaļskis – Liberation Day

Best Editor
Gatis Belogrudovs and Uģis Olte – Liberation Day

Special Mention in Animated Film Category 
Oasis - Gints Zilbalodis (short film)

Special Mention in Documentary Director Category 
Vitaly Mansky - Close Relations [+see also:
film review
film profile

One Ticket, Please! - Matiss Kaza (Latvia/USA) 

Splendid Palace Award for Most-attended Film 2016/2017
The Chronicles of Melanie - Viesturs Kairišs

Daily Diena Award 
One Ticket, Please!

DELFI Audience Award
Grandpa More Dangerous Than Computer - Varis Brasla

Contest Savoia
Swiss Films DocsSpring

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