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FESTIVALS / AWARDS Serbia

Have You Seen This Woman? crowned as the champion of the Festival of Auteur Film

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- Safe Place and Pelican were also among the winners of the 28th edition of the Serbian arthouse film gathering

Have You Seen This Woman? crowned as the champion of the Festival of Auteur Film
The awarding of the Aleksandar Saša Petrović Grand Prix for Best Film for Have You Seen This Woman? (© Tanja Drobnjak)

The awards of the 28th edition of the Festival of Auteur Film (25 November-3 December) have been given out at a ceremony that took place at the MTS cinema hall in Belgrade. The festival itself, which has been running continuously since 1994, saw its carefully curated programme of artistically outstanding films screened at six locations all over the Serbian capital.

Have You Seen This Woman? [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Dušan Zorić and Matija Gluš…
film profile
]
, written and directed by Matija Gluščević and Dušan Zorić, emerged victorious and bagged the festival’s main award, the Aleksandar Saša Petrović Grand Prix, in accordance with the decision made by the jury, consisting of filmmakers Teona Struga Mitevska (North Macedonia), Omar El Zohairy (Egypt) and Serge Bozon (France). The jury praised the film for following no rules and imposing no limits on itself, boldly going forward with humour, intelligence and ease.

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The same jury awarded Best Director to Juraj Lerotić for his highly lauded film Safe Place [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Juraj Lerotić
film profile
]
, praising it for its minimalism and precise directing as it broaches a subject that is far from easy to address. The Gordan Mihić Best Screenplay Award went to Mani Haghighi’s Subtraction [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
and its screenwriters Mani Haghighi and Amir Reza Koohestani, while actor Arswendi Bening Swara scooped the Special Award for his role in Makbul Mubarak’s film Autobiography [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
.

Filip Heraković’s Pelican [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Filip Heraković
film profile
]
bagged The Bravest Film Award, which is given to the best film in the Brave Balkans selection. “With its sparse dialogue, Edi Ćelić’s role and its direction, which is remarkable in its use of space, the film effortlessly conveys the state of affairs and the atmosphere to viewers, inviting them to experience the images both directly and intuitively, while also leaving enough stimulation for interpretation,” stated the jury (Ivan Bakrač, Jovan Marković and Daniela Schier) in their explanation. A Special Mention in the same category went to Tara Gajović’s short film In Shoulders.

The Prof Vlada Petrić Award for the Most Cinematic Sequence, in honour of Slavko Vorkapić, was shared by Thomas Salvador’s The Mountain [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Thomas Salvador
film profile
]
and Alexandr Sokurov’s Fairytale [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
. Salvador’s film was also handed the Aleksandar Petković Award for Best Cinematography. Finally, the Audience Award of the Network of Film Festivals in the Adriatic Region, which the Festival of Auteur Film is also part of, was also given out at the festival, and it went to Cristèle Alves Meira’s Alma Viva [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
.

The Festival of Auteur Film happens annually in Belgrade in late November and early December, and has done every year since 1994. This edition saw around 130 screenings of over 70 films, encompassing fiction and documentary, feature-length titles and shorts, from more than 20 countries in 11 competitive, non-competitive and retrospective sections all dedicated to artistic cinema with a strong auteur signature, while for industry attendees, the festival also hosted the seventh French-Serbian Cinema Meeting.

Here is the full list of award winners:

Competition

Aleksandar Saša Petrović Grand Prix for Best Film
Have You Seen This Woman? [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Dušan Zorić and Matija Gluš…
film profile
]
- Matija Glušćević, Dušan Zorić (Serbia/Croatia)

Best Director
Juraj Lerotić – Safe Place [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Juraj Lerotić
film profile
]
(Croatia/Slovenia)

Gordan Mihić Award for Best Screenplay
Mani Haghighi, Amir Reza Koohestani – Subtraction [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
(Iran/France)

Special Mention (for acting)
Arswendy Bening Swara – Autobiography [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
(Indonesia/Poland/Germany/Singapore/France/Philippines)

Brave Balkans

The Bravest Film in Brave Balkans
Pelican [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Filip Heraković
film profile
]
– Filip Heraković (Croatia/Portugal)
Special Mention
In Shoulders – Tara Gajović (Serbia, short)

Non-statutory Awards

Prof Vlada Petrić Award for Most Cinematic Sequence in Honour of Slavko Vorkapić (ex-aequo)
The Mountain [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Thomas Salvador
film profile
]
– Thomas Salvador (France)
Fairytale [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
– Aleksandr Sokurov (Russia/Belgium)

Aleksandar Petković Award for Best Cinematography
Alexis Kavyrchine, Victor Pichon – The Mountain

Audience Award of the Network of Film Festivals of the Adriatic Region
Alma Viva [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
– Cristèle Alves Meira (Portugal/France/Belgium)

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