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FESTIVALS Hungary

Finland's Thomas fêted in Miskolc

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The debut film of Finnish director Miika Soini, Thomas [+see also:
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, won top prize, the Emeric Pressburger Award, at the sixth edition of Cinefest. The film festival, which ended Sunday, focuses on young cinema and takes place annually in Miskolc, in eastern Hungary.

Thomas is a deceptively simple tour de force made on a small budget and made up of tiny gestures and slowly parcelled out information. The eponymous protagonist is a middle-aged man whose life consists of nothing more than dull routine. Cut off from the rest of the world, he spends much of his time alone. Though every second of contact with another human being makes him want more, by now he has become so used to being isolated that he is uncertain how to handle even a simple conversation.

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The Silva Mysterium production was also awarded the Don Quijote FICC CineClubs prize. Originally a TV production, it will now be released in Finnish theatres November 20.

Local entry Lost Times [+see also:
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, from Aaron Mattyasy, was awarded the Special Jury Prize. The affecting story of a twenty-something smuggler and his handicapped teenage sister was one of the two Hungarian debut films in competition. The second domestic title in competition was Camembert Rose, a French/Hungarian co-production directed by Barnabas Toth, an award-winning short film director. It tells the story of the coming-of-age of a shy 19-year-old son of a womanizing father and was released in Hungary right after its festival premiere.

Tomasz Wolski’s Polish documentary Goldfish – about a group of mentally handicapped people who prepare a production of Alexander Pushkin’s Tale of the Goldfish – was named Best Non-fiction Feature.

The UK sci-fi mystery Moon [+see also:
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by Duncan Jones was awarded the Critics’ Prize.

Further competition titles included Flemish arthouse favourite Lost Persons Area [+see also:
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]
, which co-stars Hungarian athlete-turned-actor Miklos Hajdu; flashy Bulgarian Oscar submission Zift [+see also:
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; bleak German small-town tale Weltstadt [+see also:
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; comedic US/Italian indie The Eternal City; and unusual Romanian love story Hooked [+see also:
film review
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interview: Adrian Sitaru
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]
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