Eighty Letters and Kooky share top prize in Plzeň
by Theodore Schwinke
An international jury at the festival in Plzeň awarded the Golden Kingfisher ex aequo to Kadrnka and Svěrák, selecting their film from among 10 features in competition.
In its statement, they hailed Kadrnka as “a new talent in the field of Czech film” and praised the director “for his sincere, humble and very true portrait of the atmosphere in the '80s.”
“We're very happy that this film ended up succeeding,” Kardnka said, “and also that it has such a promising beginning.”
Eighty Letters tells the story of a Czech teenager whose father has defected to the Britain and his mother's attempts to reunite the family. The film, Kardnka's first, had its world premiere in Berlin.
Kooky is a fantasy story about an abandoned toy and the adventures it encounters trying to return home. The jury called the film a “story full of fantasy and imagination which enabled each of us to become a child again.” Kooky also received the Student Jury Award.
The festival award for Best Documentary went to Dagmar Smržová's The Hardest of Choices, “an intimate but timeless problem of responsibility for life.” Miroslav Janek received a special jury award for his documentary Andrej Krob on the Move.
The documentary jury further conferred two awards on filmmakers under 35: to Vít Klusák for All for the Good of the World and Nosovice and to Erika Hníková for The Matchmaking Mayor.
Ondřej Trojan's Identity Card received the Audience Award for Best Film, while Karel Roden received the Audience Award for Best Actor for his role in Juraj Herz's Habermann [+see also:
The Association of Czech Film Clubs announced their annual awards at the festival, giving Best Feature to Radim Špaček's Walking Too Fast [+see also:
interview: Radim Spacek
film profile] and Best Documentary to Helena Třeštíková's Katka.
The 24th Finále festival screened 129 films in 13 sections, drawing over 11,000 admissions.
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