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KARLOVY VARY 2019 Awards

Kristina Grozeva and Petar Valchanov triumph at Karlovy Vary with The Father

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- The Bulgarian duo's new film received the Crystal Globe, while the other big winner of this edition was Lara by German filmmaker Jan Ole Gerster, taking home two awards

Kristina Grozeva and Petar Valchanov triumph at Karlovy Vary with The Father
Kristina Grozeva and Petar Valchanov collect the Crystal Globe for The Father in the presence of their daughter, US actress Patricia Clarkson and KVIFF president Jiří Bartoška (© KVIFF)

“The film is entitled The Father [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: GoCritic! Interview: Kristi…
interview: Kristina Grozeva, Petar Val…
film profile
]
, but it is in fact dedicated to the mother.” With these words, Bulgarian directorial duo Kristina Grozeva and Petar Valchanov clarified what lies behind their latest film, the winner of the Crystal Globe for Best Film at the 54th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. A sort of road movie dealing with loss, religion and family relations (and quince jam), The Father won over the jury comprising Critics’ Week artistic director Charles Tesson, actress Angeliki Papoulia, directors Sergei Loznitsa and Annemarie Jacir, and screenwriter Štěpán Hulík. This feat marks the biggest achievement in the duo’s career since they world-premiered their first feature, The Lesson [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Kristina Grozeva, Petar Val…
interview: Margita Gosheva
film profile
]
, at San Sebastián, where they won the New Directors Award.

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The other big winner at this edition of the Czech festival was the sophomore film by German filmmaker Jan Ole Gerster, Lara [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: GoCritic! Interview: Jan-Ol…
interview: Jan Ole Gerster
film profile
]
. The film received both the Special Jury Prize and the Award for Best Actress for Corinna Harfouch, who did indeed give the most memorable performance in any of the films in the selection with her portrayal of a bitter woman whose unfulfilled dreams cast a shadow upon her difficult relationship with her son.

In addition, Belgian filmmaker Tim Mielants collected the Award for Best Director for his first feature film, after having directed several TV series, the nudist-camp thriller Patrick [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: GoCritic! Interview: Tim Mi…
interview: Tim Mielants
film profile
]
. Slovakia’s Milan Ondrík received the Best Actor Award for his turn in Let There Be Light [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Marko Škop
film profile
]
, in which his fellow countryman Marko Škop tells a story about the rise of the extreme right in rural Slovakia. And finally, a double Special Mention was given to the Spanish title The August Virgin [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jonás Trueba
film profile
]
 by Jonás Trueba - whose charms had already convinced the FIPRESCI jury members to give it their prize a few hours earlier - as well as to Chilean actress Antonia Giesen for her role in Felipe Ríos’ Argentinian-Chilean title The Man of the Future.

As for the parallel sections, Russian-themed films came out on top as the main winners of both the East of the West and Documentary Competitions. The Bull [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, directed by Boris Akopov, took home the East of the West Grand Prix for its story about local criminal gangs in 1990s Russia, and Russian filmmaker Ksenia Okhapkina triumphed in the Documentary Competition with her portrayal of a city born as a gulag in the northern regions of the country, Immortal [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Ksenia Okhapkina
film profile
]
(albeit without any Russian funding, as the film is an Estonian-Latvian co-production). As usual, Special Jury Prizes were given out in both sections, this time to the Ukrainian title My Thoughts Are Silent [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Antonio Lukich and the Chinese documentary Confucian Dream by Mijie Li, respectively.

Once again this year, the festival lured some renowned international guests, such as Julianne Moore and Patricia Clarkson, both recipients of the Crystal Globe for Outstanding Artistic Contribution to World Cinema. Seasoned Czech cinematographer Vladimír Smutný also received an honorary prize, the Festival President’s Award for Contribution to Czech Cinematography.

The festival, attended by more than 12,500 accredited visitors, said farewell to its 54th edition and announced the dates for the 55th iteration, which will take place from 3-11 July 2020.

Here is the full list of winners at the 54th edition of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival:

Competition

Grand Prix – Crystal Globe
The Father [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: GoCritic! Interview: Kristi…
interview: Kristina Grozeva, Petar Val…
film profile
]
– Kristina Grozeva, Petar Valchanov (Bulgaria/Greece) 

Special Jury Prize
Lara [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: GoCritic! Interview: Jan-Ol…
interview: Jan Ole Gerster
film profile
]
 – Jan-Ole Gerster (Germany)

Best Director Award
Tim Mielants – Patrick [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: GoCritic! Interview: Tim Mi…
interview: Tim Mielants
film profile
]
(Belgium/Netherlands)

Best Actress Award
Corinna Harfouch – Lara

Best Actor Award
Milan Ondrík – Let There Be Light [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Marko Škop
film profile
]
(Slovakia/Czech Republic)

Special Jury Mention
The August Virgin [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jonás Trueba
film profile
]
– Jonás Trueba (Spain)
Antonia Glessen - The Man of the Future (Chile/Argentina)

East of the West Competition

Grand Prix
The Bull [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
– Boris Akopov (Russia)

Special Jury Prize
My Thoughts Are Silent [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
– Antonio Lukich (Ukraine)

Documentary Competition

Grand Prix
Immortal [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Ksenia Okhapkina
film profile
]
 - Ksenia Okhapkina (Estonia/Latvia)

Special Jury Prize
Confucian Dream – Mijie Li (China)

Other awards

Právo Audience Award
Jiří Suchý – Tackling Life with Ease [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
– Olga Sommerová (Czech Republic)

Crystal Globe For Outstanding Artistic Contribution to World Cinema
Julianne Moore
Patricia Clarkson

Festival President's Award for Contribution to Czech Cinematography
Vladimír Smutný

Non-Statutory awards

FIPRESCI Award
The August Virgin – Jonás Trueba

Ecumenical Jury Award
Lara – Jan-Ole Gerster
Commendation
Let There Be Light – Marko Škop

FEDEORA Award
Passed by Censor [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Serhat Karaaslan
film profile
]
– Serhat Karaaslan (Turkey/Germany/France)
Special Mention
Aga's House [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Lendita Zeqiraj
film profile
]
– Lendita Zeqiraj (Kosovo/Croatia/France/Albania)

Europa Cinemas Label Award
Scandinavian Silence [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Martti Helde
film profile
]
– Martti Helde (Estonia/France/Belgium)

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