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FESTIVALS Germany

Cottbus ends on high note

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The highly successful 17th edition of the Cottbus Eastern European Film Festival (November 6-10) screened 80 titles from 25 different countries and closed on Saturday with the screening of the German film Family Rules! (Marc Meyer) and the triumph of a film that revolves around a criminal investigation.

The award for Best Film (€15,000 prize) went to Iglika Triffonowa’s Investigation, a Bulgarian/Dutch/German co-production in which the suspect of a murder committed in Sofia must face a tenacious female detective.

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The special award for Best Director and the award for Artistic Contribution went, respectively, to Russian filmmaker Vera Storozhewa for Travelling With Pets and her lead Xenia Kutepova. The film also won over the FIPRESCI and Ecumenical juries, as well as the jury of the International Federation of Film-Clubs (who awarded it the Don Quixote Prize).

The two prize-winners outdid eight other contenders, including Hamlet by Serbian director Aleksandar Rajkovic, the German/Hungarian Opium: Diary of a Madwoman by János Szász, Rules of Lies by Czech director Robert Sedlácek, the Croatian/Bosnian feature The Living and the Dead by Kristijan Milic and Tricks [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Andrzej Jakimowski
interview: Tomasz Gąssowski
film profile
]
by Polish director Andrzej Jakimowski. 4 months, 3 weeks and 2 days [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Cristian Mungiu
interview: Oleg Mutu
film profile
]
was screened out of competition.

The Audience Award went to Jan Sverák’s Empties [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
(a Czech/UK/Danish co-production), screened in the National Hits section. Viewers also had a chance to discover more about the films of the former Yugoslavia in the Focus entitled After YU and there was once again a special section devoted to young viewers.

The variety of films on offer at Cottbus makes this a unique and wide-ranging event and accounts for the viewers’ enthusiasm: approximately 17,000 people attended the screenings, concerts, conferences and parallel exhibitions organised for the festival and sponsored by the MEDIA Programme.

This 17th edition hosted 500 accredited visitors from 32 different countries. Of these, 140 came from 22 of the countries to participate in the East-West co-production market Connecting Cottbus.

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(Translated from French)

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