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FESTIVALS Greece

Celestial Camel wins the Olympia Film Festival

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- Yuriy Feting’s Russian title has emerged victorious at the gathering for children and young people

Celestial Camel wins the Olympia Film Festival
Celestial Camel by Yuriy Feting

Yuriy Feting’s Celestial Camel was the winner of the 19th Olympia International Film Festival for Children and Young People (3-10 December). The Russian film, which also received the European Children's Film Association Award, was described by the international jury as “an impressive film that tells a coming-of-age story in a specific cultural context. It presents a way of life in harmony between human beings and nature.”

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The Latvian production Mellow Mud [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Elina Vaska
interview: Renars Vimba
film profile
]
was the other big winner at the gathering, picking up three awards. For his debut feature, Renārs Vimba received the Best Director and Best Screenplay Awards, while his lead actress, Elīna Vaska, won the Best Young Actress Award for her powerful and expressive interpretation of her character. The film also won the nomination for the EFA Young Audience Award.

Ümit Köreken’s Blue Bicycle [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
won the Best Young Actor Award for lead actor Selim Kaya in addition to the Greek Film Clubs’ Association Special Award.

In the “Kids & Docs” documentary section, Eldora Traykova’s Cambridge won the Best Feature Documentary Award for capturing, in a naturalistic way, a remarkable Bulgarian Roma community that has realised that the key to its future is education. For her stunning visual language and her insightful observation of transitional Chinese society, Tianlin Xu was awarded Best Feature Documentary Director for her debut, Coming and Going. Finally, The Lagoon by Aaron Schock, which portrays the fragile relationship between two Mayan siblings in a paradise that is destined to be lost, scooped the Best Short-Medium-Length Documentary Award.

The Olympia Film Festival is the most important Greek gathering for children and young people. It is held annually in the city of Pyrgos in south-western Greece, and starting this year, the documentary section is now organised in parallel in the neighbouring city of Amaliada. The festival has been acknowledged for its important educational role, as children from the region can participate in the festival’s juries, attend multiple workshops and be an active part of the event. Furthermore, through the European Meeting - Camera Zizanio section, Olympia shows films that have been created by children and teenagers, and invites them to create their own short films.

Here is the full list of winners of the 19th Olympia Film Festival: 

Fiction and Animation section

Best Feature Film
Celestial Camel - Yuriy Feting

Best Director
Renārs Vimba - Mellow Mud [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Elina Vaska
interview: Renars Vimba
film profile
]

Best Screenplay
Renārs Vimba - Mellow Mud

Best Young Actor
Selim Kaya - Blue Bicycle [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]

Best Young Actress
Elīna Vaska - Mellow Mud

Best Short Fiction Film
Sing - Kristóf Deák

Best Animated Film
Colors in the Subway - Kim Myung-eun

Children’s Jury Awards

Best Feature Film
The Children of Chance - Malik Chibane

Best Short Fiction Film
King’s Day - Steven Wouterlood

Best Animated Film
Violet - Maurice Joyce

Kids & Docs/Documentary section

Best Feature Documentary
Cambridge - Eldora Traykova

Best Feature Documentary Director
Tianlin Xu - Coming and Going

Best Short-Medium-Length Documentary
The Lagoon - Aaron Schock

Special Mentions
Gaurav and the Kites - André Hörmann
Sky - Loes Janssen

Children’s Jury Awards

Best Feature Documentary
Landfill Harmonic - Brad Allgood & Graham Townsley

Special Mention
The Land of the Enlightened [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
- Pieter-Jan De Pue

Best Short-Medium-Length Documentary
Ninnoc - Nikki Padidar

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