Eastern Plays wins top award in Vilnius
by Annika Pham
Bulgarian film Eastern Plays [+see also:
interview: Kamen Kalev
film profile] (European Parliament's LUX Prize 2009 competition) by Kamen Kalev was awarded Best Film honours from among the New Europe-New Names competition of the 15th Vilnius International Film Festival "Kino Pavasaris", which closed April 2.
Bulgarian actress Nikolina Yancheva, who starred in the film, accepted the award on behalf of the director.
“Eastern Plays is a strong, impressive and very emotional film which stood out because of its artistic quality. The jury was won over by the way social conflict, a relevant and human theme, was developed in the film," said jury chairman Nikolai Nikitin, Central and Eastern Europe Delegate for the Berlin Film Festival. Other jury members included UK journalist Nick Holdsworth, Russian actress Tatjana Liutajeva, French producer Antoine Simkine and UK cinematographer Peter Suschitzky.
Eastern Plays also won the CICAE award from the international arthouse cinema association.
Best Actor went to Romania’s Vlad Ivanov for his role in Police, Adjective [+see also:
interview: Corneliu Porumboiu
film profile], and a Special Mention for filmic qualities to Czech film Protektor by Marek Najbrt.
The Audience Award was given to Japanese film Departures by Yojiro Takita, while the newly created Cinema Spring Award for a promising Lithuanian filmmaker was presented to Marat Sargsyan for his 24-minute film Lernavan, produced by Monoklis. Lastly, Lithuanian actress Edita Uzaite received the Lithuanian Film Star award, supported by L'Oréal Paris.
Over 54,000 people attended the biggest film event of the year in Vilnius, which presented one hundred international films, including eight new Lithuanian films by up-and-coming as well as established filmmakers. Those were Kristina Inčiūraitė (7 Sins), Džiugas Katinas (10), Jonas Tertelis (14:56), Mikas Žukauskas (Goodhearted Ana), Dali Rust (The Keeper of Time), Ramunė Čekuolytė - Che (Too Many Coming), Guillaume Coudray (Sharunas Bartas: An Army of One) and Marius Ivaškevičius (Our Father).
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