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FESTIVALS Germany

November scoops goEast’s Golden Lily

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- Rainer Sarnet’s film was the only fiction to win a major award, as the documentaries by Bernadett Tuza-Ritter and Mila Turajlić captured the attention of those at the Wiesbaden gathering

November scoops goEast’s Golden Lily
Some of the winners of the goEast – Festival of Central and Eastern European Film (© goEast)

Celebrating the centenary of its independence, Estonia left the 18th goEast – Festival of Central and Eastern European Film with the Golden Lily for Best Film, after it was bestowed upon Rainer Sarnet for his fantasy-drama November [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Rea Lest
film profile
]
. The festival, which unspooled in Wiesbaden from 18-24 April, came to an end yesterday, during the awards ceremony held at the Caligari FilmBühne.

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November, which will also receive the €10,000 cash prize that comes with the main award, was selected by a five-member international jury, headed up by Hungarian filmmaker Ildikó Enyedi. The jury justified its decision, singling the film out “for its powerful vision, its true poetry, its free humour, and the support of its director and the whole team, who believed in it and contributed their talent and passion to it”.

The two other main awards ended up going to documentaries. The jury handed Hungarian documentarian Bernadett Tuza-Ritter the Award of the City of Wiesbaden for Best Director for A Woman Captured [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
. The €7,500 prize was not the only trophy for the documentary, however, as it was also selected by the FIPRESCI jury to receive the International Film Critics' Award for Best Documentary.

The IDFA-winning and already well-travelled personal documentary The Other Side of Everything [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Mila Turajlić
film profile
]
 by Serbian documentarian Mila Turajlić received the Award of the Federal Foreign Office for Cultural Diversity, worth €4,000, as it “gives a unique glimpse into the life of a strong woman swimming against the tide. It draws attention to an important modern-day topic: the fragility and vulnerability of democracy.” Furthermore, the jury crowned another personal documentary, Rezo by Russian director Levan Gabriadze, with an Honourable Mention. Finally, the FIPRESCI jury handed Bohdan Sláma’s tragicomedy Ice Mother [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 the Best Fiction Feature Award.

In the revamped Open Frame Award, which has evolved into a virtual-reality competition, first prize, accompanied by €5,000, was handed to the post-modern dystopian experience Nominal Empire by Russian artistic duo Denis Semenov and Natalia Severina, while the Belarussian experience Here and There by Kiryll Halitsky left the ceremony with an Honourable Mention.

As for the development awards, two documentaries also snagged the trophies. The project Return My Hands by Russian director Konstantin Selin received the goEast Development Award (worth €3,500 and supported by the Kulturfonds Frankfurt RheinMain) for the best pitch, outshining 14 other projects in the East-West Talent Lab, while the jury also bestowed an Honourable Mention upon Inhabitants by Armenian filmmaker Mery Aghakhanyan.

At the closing ceremony, goEast’s new director, Heleen Gerritsen (read the interview), emphasised: “I am enthusiastic about the loyal goEast core audience, who met with great passion in the cinema, participated in film talks and were very open-minded about our innovations, such as virtual reality. As a new director, you feel right at home.”

Here is the complete list of winners at the 18th goEast Film Festival:

Golden Lily for Best Film
November [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Rea Lest
film profile
]
 – Rainer Sarnet (Estonia/Netherlands/Poland)

Award of the City of Wiesbaden for Best Director
Bernadett Tuza-Ritter – A Woman Captured [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
(Hungary/Germany)

Award of the Federal Foreign Office for Cultural Diversity
The Other Side of Everything [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Mila Turajlić
film profile
]
 – Mila Turajlić (Serbia/France/Qatar)
Honourable Mention
Rezo – Levan Gabriadze (Russia)

International Film Critics' Award (FIPRESCI Prize) for Best Fiction Feature
Ice Mother [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 – Bohdan Sláma (Czech Republic/Slovakia/France)

International Film Critics' Award (FIPRESCI Prize) for Best Documentary Film
A Woman Captured – Bernadett Tuza-Ritter

Open Frame Award
Nominal Empire – Denis Semenov and Natalia Severina (Russia)
Honourable Mention
Here and There – Kiryll Halitsky (Belarus)

goEast Development Award
Return My Hands – Konstantin Selin (Russia)
Honourable Mention
Inhabitants – Mery Aghakhanyan (Armenia)

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