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FESTIVAL / PREMI Irlanda

Animal di Sofia Exarchou si aggiudica il premio Spirit of the Festival al Festival di Cork

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- La 68ma edizione del raduno irlandese si è rivelata di grande successo e quest'anno ha accolto oltre 16.000 spettatori

Animal di Sofia Exarchou si aggiudica il premio Spirit of the Festival al Festival di Cork
Animal di Sofia Exarchou

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It’s a wrap for the 68th edition of the Cork International Film Festival (9-26 November), the Emerald Isle’s oldest cinematic gathering. As is customary, this year’s award winners were announced at the Triskel on Sunday 26 November, ahead of the screening of the closing film, Alexander Payne’s The Holdovers.

The Spirit of the Festival Award went to Sofia Exarchou’s Animal [+leggi anche:
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intervista: Sofia Exarchou
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(Greece/Austria/Romania/Cyprus/Bulgaria), which was world-premiered at Locarno earlier this year. In her sophomore feature, brimming with glitter and karaoke nights full of false notes, the helmer puts the Greek tourism machine in the spotlight with cruel honesty and imagination. The jury’s supporting statement reads as follows: “It was a robust discussion to find our winner, but ultimately, we were unanimous in awarding this prize to a film that moved all of the jury members with its precise depiction of the melancholy that grips the characters, each one more moving than the last. Sofia Exarchou’s impeccable direction plunges us into the heart of the daily lives of a group of seasonal performers working in a Greek seaside resort hotel, caught up in their excesses, drunkenness and sadness.”

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A Special Mention was bestowed upon Itsaso Arana “for her beautifully intimate and affecting debut”, The Girls Are Alright [+leggi anche:
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intervista: Itsaso Arana
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(Spain).

Meanwhile, the Youth Jury Award went to “one of the gems from this year’s ACID at Cannes”, Ryutaro Ninomiya’s fourth effort, Dreaming in Between (Japan). The film stars Ken Mitsuishi as the lead actor and revolves around a life-changing situation that causes a high-school vice-principal to take stock of his life, and reassess the relationships he has with his family, friends and students.

“In the end, our winner might seem like an unconventional choice for the Youth Jury Award, seeing as it focuses on an older protagonist. However, we felt that the internal struggle of the character is something that anybody of any age can relate to. Whether you’re 25 or 55, everyone can understand the isolation that this film captures. The power of this movie is in its ability to make you reflect on your decisions, your regrets, and whether it’s too late to create the life you want,” went the Youth Jury statement.

Finally, the Award for Cinematic Documentary went to Ekiem Barbier, Guilhem Causse and Quentin l’Helgoualc’h’s Knit’s Island [+leggi anche:
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(France). In it, a French documentary filmmaking team infiltrates the sprawling, entirely self-contained VR world of the titular video game in an attempt to understand its peculiar attractions. This is an online space populated by overtly religious cowboys, paranoid survivalists, anarchically brutal death squads and hippy farmers. In particular, the jury praised its “unique and innovative approach to storytelling”, which marks “a commendable and genre-pushing achievement in the documentary genre, showcasing the cinematic potential of the virtual realm”.

This year, the Rebel City-based festival welcomed over 16,000 people, thus marking a 40% increase on last year’s figures. A total of 230 films were screened in 14 different venues across Cork City and the county over the course of 18 days.

Here is the full list of this year’s award winners:

Spirit of the Festival Award
Animal [+leggi anche:
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trailer
intervista: Sofia Exarchou
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]
- Sofia Exarchou (Greece/Austria/Romania/Cyprus/Bulgaria)
Special Mention
The Girls Are Alright [+leggi anche:
recensione
trailer
intervista: Itsaso Arana
scheda film
]
- Itsaso Arana (Spain)

Youth Jury Award
Dreaming in Between - Ninomiya Ryûtarô (Japan)
Special Mention
The Sweet East - Sean Price Williams (USA)

Award for Cinematic Documentary
Knit’s Island [+leggi anche:
recensione
trailer
scheda film
]
- Ekiem Barbier, Guilhem Causse, Quentin l’Helgoualc’h (France)

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