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AWARDS Lithuania

Loving wins Best Film at 18th Vilnius International Film Festival

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- Winning film from Slawomir Fabicki caps off a good day for Poland in Lithuania

Loving wins Best Film at 18th Vilnius International Film Festival

As the 18th edition of the Vilnius Film Festival came to a close last week, Polish cinema reigned supreme, winning the main prize in its competition strand ‘New Europe – New Faces’. Loving [+see also:
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, the story of a couple who must face the toughest of their long relationship after a shocking event, saw a clearly delighted Sławomir Fabicki walk away with €7,000 and an award designed by Viktoras Dailidenas. The jury, consisting of Palestinian actor Ali Suliman, Romanian actress Ada Condeescu, Croatian actor Leon Lucev, Italian film critic Gianni Ottone and Turkish director and screenwriter Yesim Ustaoglu, also bestowed the award for Best Actor to Dan Chiorean for his performance in Romanian drama Rocker [+see also:
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, while the Best Director award went to Slovakian director Mira Fornay for her work on the film My Dog Killer [+see also:
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The International Confederation of Art Cinemas (CICAE) were also on hand to judge the competition. Jury members German theatre, cinema and television actress Elke Bludau, film programme curator, cinema journalist and editor Evelin Stark and director of the Pasaka cinema Justas Prascevicius presented the CICAE award to Georgian film Keep Smiling [+see also:
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]
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Polish cinema triumphed once again when The Whistle, directed by Grzegorz Zariczny, was named the best short film in VIFF Short Film Competition Programme. The international jury were actress and filmmaker Oona Mekas, Croatian director Danilo Serbedzija, and Cineuropa’s own Laurence Boyce. The winner received €2,500 and a statuette.

“I want to thank the jury members and viewers for trust, respect, and love for Polish cinema, not only that recounting beautiful stories, but also that, which raises the most important and the biggest questions in life,” said Polish Institute of Vilnius director Malgorzata Kasner on collecting the award on behalf of the director.

The public awards went to renowned documentary feature Searching for Sugar Man [+see also:
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 while Sam French’s Oscar-nominated film Buzkashi Boys received the audience award for Best Short. Another public award voted for in the run up to the festival for Best Lithuanian actress went to Valda Bickute while the inaugural Saulius Masaitis Award, named after a legendary Lithuanian film critic and selected by international jury of film critics, went to Pablo Larrain’s No [+see also:
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The festival screened almost 250 films during its two-week run and welcomed more than 80’000 attendees. During the final week the festival also played host to a large contingent of industry attendees who explored many issues including a focus on the digitalisation of cinema and the opportunities it offers for the future.

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