One Day comes out on top at the CinÉast Festival
by Loïc Millot
- The film by Hungary’s Zsófia Szilágyi has scooped the Grand Prix, while Winter Flies, Ága and The Other Side of Everything also went home with trophies
As has been the case every year since it was founded in 2008, the CinÉast Festival, which this year unspooled from 4-21 October, offered audiences a rare chance to discover films hailing from Central and Eastern Europe. Nonetheless, the seven fiction features duking it out in the official competition displayed no trace whatsoever of nostalgia for their former affiliation with the Soviet Union. In the East of the continent, the break with the past has well and truly begun, but without necessarily paving the way for any kind of glorious future. In the face of economic hardships, young people have been setting their sights on Western countries: Finland in the case of the young Estonian labourer in Take It or Leave It [+see also:
film profile] by Liina Trishkina-Vanhatalo; France and its Foreign Legion for the two young whippersnappers aimlessly roaming the Czech countryside in Winter Flies [+see also:
interview: Olmo Omerzu
film profile] by Olmo Omerzu; and lastly, the Netherlands for the prodigal son who comes back to spend Christmas with his loved ones (Silent Night [+see also:
interview: Dawid Ogrodnik
interview: Piotr Domalewski
film profile] by Piotr Domalewski). They are ordinary heroes who are sometimes displaced because of relocations, or at other times simply because they tread the path of idleness. These primarily social dramas stand as a testament to the collapse of the family unit. Astonishingly, the clean break is not limited to the Soviet era, but extends to other structures that we have inherited from the past. The family is by no means hermetically sealed from the outside world; it is criss-crossed by the same rationales and tensions that are shaking the modern world to its very core.
Made up of talented actresses and directors, including Arta Dobroshi, a bubbly actress who rose to fame thanks to the Dardenne brothers (Lorna’s Silence [+see also:
interview: Arta Dobroshi
interview: Arta Dobroshi
interview: Jean-Pierre et Luc Dardenne
interview: Olivier Bronckart
film profile]), the International Jury handed the festival’s Grand Prix to Zsofià Szilagi for her film One Day [+see also:
interview: Zsófia Szilágyi
film profile]. During her speech to the audience, actress Astrid Roos stated: "Daily life can be just as suspenseful and mind-blowing as an action-thriller. The film that we have chosen to award follows 24 hours in the life of a mother of three children, who is married to an unpredictable husband. The movie places the topic of motherhood centre stage; it’s a highly important topic but one that is not often broached in cinema."
The Special Jury Prize was bestowed upon the aforementioned Czech film Winter Flies. A Special Mention was given to Ága [+see also:
interview: Milko Lazarov
film profile] by Bulgaria’s Milko Lazarov, which also scooped the Critics’ Prize given out by the Press Jury. In the latter movie, the generation gap is transformed into a universal value. With this movie, the Bulgarian filmmaker harks back to the films of Robert Flaherty, who is considered the father of the anthropological documentary. It’s also the only film in which the director did not neglect the fact that cinema harbours certain elements of fantasy. In Ága, magnificent legends seep into real life, whereas the other movies in the competition seemed to maintain a firm grip on reality.
Of note among the other awards handed out, we should mention the Audience Award, which was snagged by The Other Side of Everything [+see also:
interview: Mila Turajlić
film profile] by Serbian director Mila Turajlić. Lastly, the Audience Awards for Best Short Films were bestowed upon A Siege by Isztván Kovács (fiction, Hungary), The Box by Dušan Kastelic (animation, Slovenia), and Vika by Marta Iwanek and Christian Borys (documentary, Ukraine/Canada).
Here is the full list of winners:
Ága - Milko Lazarov
Audience Award for Best Fictional Short Film
A Siege - István Kovács (Hungary)
Audience Award for Best Animated Short Film
The Box - Dušan Kastelic (Slovenia)
Audience Award for Best Documentary Short Film
Vika - Marta Iwanek, Christian Borys (Ukraine/Canada)
(Translated from French)
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