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FESTIVALS Slovakia

Popogrebsky wins Art Film Fest, which sets new attendance record

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Popogrebsky wins Art Film Fest, which sets new attendance record

Alexei Popogrebsky's Berlinale competition title How I Ended This Summer won the Blue Angel and the accompanying €15,000 prize for Best Film at the recent 18th Art Film Fest.

Hong Kong filmmaker Ann Hui chaired the jury of Czech scriptwriter Marek Epstein, French-Iranian film critic Shahle Nahid, Austrian filmmaker Johanna Tomek and Kosovan filmmaker Arben Zharku.

This year's edition of the festival, held annually in Trenčianske Teplice and Trenčín, saw more than 28,000 admissions, an increase of more than 5,000 over last year. Among the festival's many guests was French actor Gérard Depardieu, who received the festival's Actor's Mission Award.

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Samuel Maoz was named Best Director for his Golden Lion-winner Lebanon [+see also:
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, a co-production between Israel, France and Germany.

The Best Actor award went to George Pistereanu for his performance in director Florin Serban’s Romanian-Swedish co-production If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle [+see also:
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interview: Ada Condeescu
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]
, which also received the Trenčianske Teplice Mayor’s Award.

American actress Jennifer Lawrence received the award for Best Actress for her role in Debra Granik’s Winter’s Bone.

The jury also bestowed two Special Mention awards, one to Swedish actor Sebastian Hiort af Ornäs for his portrayal of a young outsider in Babak Najafi's film Sebbe [+see also:
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]
, and one to Nader Takmil Homayoun, director of the film Tehran [+see also:
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film profile
]
.

The festival's On the Road Award for best short film went to Paul Wright's Viera.

Among the non-statutory awards was the first-ever Film Europe Award. A joint initiative by Art Film Fest, Film Europe Media Company and the national broadcaster Kino CS, the award was presented to Mátyás Prikler for his Thanks, Fine. The film screened in the Cinéfondation competition section at Cannes earlier this year.

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