Western receives the Aurora Prize at Tromsø
by Vassilis Economou
- Angels Wear White and Soldiers. Story from Ferentari have also left with prestigious prizes from Norway’s biggest film festival
Valeska Grisebach’s multi-award-winning drama Western [+see also:
interview: Jonas Dornbach
interview: Valeska Grisebach
interview: Valeska Grisebach
film profile] was the big winner of the 28th Tromsø International Film Festival (15-21 January), picking up the top Aurora Prize at a packed closing ceremony that was held on Saturday 20 January at Tromsø’s Kulturhuset.
Grisebach, who was a guest at Norway’s biggest festival, received her award from the jury, comprising Ingrid Dokka (Nordnorsk Film Center), Cato Fossum (Oslo Pix), Ingrid Stensen (film and art educator) and honorary member Steven Jianhua Gao. According to the jury, “Western breathes new life into an old film genre to tell a story from a present-day Europe divided by borders between countries, as well as by the borders within ourselves.”
Western was one of the 12 films participating in the Aurora competition programme, which all had their Norwegian premieres at Tromsø IFF. The two remaining awards were handed to the well-travelled drama Angels Wear White [+see also:
interview: Vivian Qu
film profile], written and directed by Vivian Qu, which received the international film critics’ FIPRESCI Award, and to Soldiers. Story from Ferentari [+see also:
interview: Ivana Mladenovic
film profile] by Ivana Mladenović, which pocketed the Don Quijote Award from the International Federation of Film Societies.
Norwegian director Erik Poppe’s documentary Per Fugelli – Siste Resept [+see also:
film profile], which had its world premiere as the opening film of Tromsø IFF and was the only Nordic contender in the main competition, received the Faith in Film Award. The prize, which was introduced last year, is given to a film that best contributes to a better understanding of the significance of religion in the daily lives of modern people. The documentary follows Per Fugelli (1943-2017), a doctor, professor of social medicine and public figure, on his journey during the final phase of his life after he was diagnosed with cancer that had no further treatment.
In the popular Films from the North programme, which presents short and documentary films from the Nordic countries, I Will Always Love You, Conny by Swedish director Amanda Kernell was awarded with the Tromsø Palm for Best Film. The Un Certain Regard Prize winner A Man of Integrity by Mohammad Rasoulof received the Norwegian Peace Film Prize.
Finally, Japanese director Naoko Ogigami, who was this year’s honorary guest at Tromsø and was celebrated through a retrospective of her work, was voted for by local festival-goers and thus bagged the Tromsø Audience Award for her latest film, Close-Knit.
Here is the full list of award winners at the 28th Tromsø International Film Festival:
Norwegian Peace Film Award
A Man of Integrity – Mohammad Rasoulof (Iran)
I Will Always Love You, Conny – Amanda Kernell (Sweden)
Tromsø Audience Award
Close-Knit – Naoko Ogigami (Japan)
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