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FESTIVALS / AWARDS Spain

The 34th Mostra de València bestows three awards upon The Announcement

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- Mahmut Fazil Coskun’s scathing Turkish-Bulgarian comedy has scooped the Golden Palm plus the gongs for Best Screenplay and Best Cinematography at the Mediterranean event, which unspooled last week

The 34th Mostra de València bestows three awards upon The Announcement
The award winners at the 34th Mostra de València (© Mostra de València)

It should come as no surprise that a festival that takes place in Valencia, a pyrotechnic-loving city that proudly hosts the Falles festival, has ended with a huge bang. This is exactly what happened on Friday 1 November, at the closing ceremony of the 34th edition of the Mostra de València – Cinema del Mediterrani, where there was a screening of the documentary Sky Poets by Emilio Maillé, which emotionally and elegantly lays bare the life, art and profession of firework makers (and creators of other related explosives) across the length and breadth of the planet. This made for a beautiful and occasionally poetic finishing touch to a festival – the artistic director of which is journalist Eduardo Guillot – which had handed out its awards a few minutes earlier. The Turkish-Bulgarian film The Announcement [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Mahmut Fazıl Coşkun
film profile
]
came out on top, as it picked up the Golden Palm in recognition of the best movie at the festival (endowed with €25,000), the Best Cinematography Award (for Krum Rodriguez) and the Best Screenplay Award, for the script penned by the director, Mahmut Fazil Coskun, and Ercan Kesal.

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Another major trophy at the gathering, which made a comeback last year with the aim of bolstering new films being made in the countries of the Mediterranean Basin, ended up going to The Day I Lost My Shadow [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Soudade Kaadan
film profile
]
by Syrian director Soudade Kaadan, which took home the Silver Palm, valued at €10,000. In the eyes of the jury, chaired by French DoP Marie Spencer, the film (produced by companies from Lebanon, Syria, France and Qatar) was deserving of this prize because it is “a movie bursting with elegant and poetic cinematics, which shines the spotlight on the anguish of people in a part of the world where human lives are in danger because of a terrible war”.

The Bronze Palm (€5,000) was bestowed upon the French-Canadian-Belgian production Sympathy for the Devil [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, the hard-hitting feature debut by Guillaume de Fontenay, based on a true story and set during the Balkan Wars. The jury stated that the movie was worthy of the award because it “tells a story about the eternal ugliness of the industry of war and because of its utterly unique portrayal, which exemplifies the complex ethical dilemma faced by a war correspondent: whether to remain a witness or get involved in the conflict”.

The Best Director Award went to Italian documentarian Michela Occhipinti for her work on Flesh Out [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, Best Actor went to Ahmed Hafiene for the Tunisian-Belgian movie Fatwa [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, Best Actress was bestowed upon Emilie Pipponier for Alice [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
(France/Australia/UK), and Best Soundtrack was given to Marius Leftarache for A Shelter Among the Clouds [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Robert Budina
film profile
]
(Albania/Romania). The 34th Mostra de València, which during its opening ceremony paid tribute to late local filmmaker Toni Canet (whose posthumous work Calç blanca, negro carbón also got an airing), also handed out two Honorary Palms over the course of the event: to famous filmmakers Liliana Cavani and Ferzan Ozpetek.

Finally, the À Punt Award was given out, a prize that entails the acquisition of the broadcasting rights by À Punt Mèdia and which is presented to the film in the Official Section that best promotes the values of social integration, civic-mindedness, cooperation and peace, demonstrating a respect for social, gender, cultural and geographical diversity. This trophy was pocketed by Fatwa, written and directed by Tunisia’s Mahmoud Ben Mahmoud, and the jury’s reasoning was that it is an “X-ray of the impact that religious radicalisation processes have on individual relationships; it focuses its gaze on the role of women in an environment that is fundamentally unfavourable to them”.

Here is the complete list of winners:

Golden Palm for Best Film
The Announcement [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Mahmut Fazıl Coşkun
film profile
]
– Mahmut Fazil Coskun (Turkey/Bulgaria)

Silver Palm
The Day I Lost My Shadow [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Soudade Kaadan
film profile
]
– Soudade Kaadan (Syria/Lebanon/France/Qatar)

Bronze Palm
Sympathy for the Devil [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
– Guillaume de Fontenay (France/Canada/Belgium)

Best Director
Michela Occhipinti – Flesh Out [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
(Italy)

Best Screenplay
Mahmut Fazil Coskun and Ercan Kesal – The Announcement

Best Cinematography
Krum Rodriguez – The Announcement

Best Actor
Ahmed Hafiene – Fatwa [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
(Tunisia/Belgium)

Best Actress
Emilie Pipponier – Alice [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
(France/Australia/UK)

Best Soundtrack
Marius Leftarache - A Shelter Among the Clouds [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Robert Budina
film profile
]
(Albania)

À Punt Award
Fatwa - Mahmoud Ben Mahmoud

Honorary Palms
Liliana Cavani, Ferzan Ozpetek

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(Translated from Spanish)

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