FNE at Zagreb Film Festival 2016: Puiu Wins New Festival Award

Sieranevada by Cristi Puiu Sieranevada by Cristi Puiu

ZAGREB: The Egyptian film Clash by Mohamed Diab won the best film prize in the main competition of the 14th Zagreb Film Festival, which concluded on 20 November 2016.

Romanian director Cristi Puiu won the best film in the festival’s new competiton section Together Again for his film Sieranevada. The Berlinale winner Balcony by Toby Fell-Holden won the short film competition.

This was a break-out year for the festival, with a record number of international guests, a major industry event and two Croatian films screening in the main competition. Festival director Boris Matic told FNE, “We’ve been growing every year. This year we made a bigger festival than we even had the money for.” Speaking on the choice to include two Croatian films in the competition, he said, “Last year there was no Croatian film in competition. But because of the Croatian Audiovisual Center, in Croatia we have a new miracle.” He added, “It’s a strong year for women directors in Croatia,” noting that both the films are debuts from women directors in a male-dominated industry. There were also two Croatian minority coproductions in the main competition.

The film’s industry section hosted several events, which drew wide domestic and international attention. Martina Petrovic of the Croatian Media Desk organized the first MEDIA meeting in the region, marking the 25th anniversary of the MEDIA Sub-programme, which brought together government dignitaries, MEDIA decision makers, MEDIA Desk representatives from across the Balkan territories, Canadian film industry experts looking ahead to Canada’s admission as the first non-European country to join Eurimages and dozens of Croatian film industry professionals. HBO was also present to push its first foray into original series development in the Balkan region, drawing a standing room only crowd of writers and producers. All of this led Matic to tell FNE that he sees the Zagreb festival in position to be the country’s industry festival.

Selected films from the festival will travel to three other Croatian cities through 4 December.

List of winners:

Best Film

Clash (Egypt, France, UAE, Germany)
Directed by Mohamed Diab

Special Mentions

In Between (Israel, France)
Directed by Maysaloun Hamoud

Quit Staring At My Plate / Ne gledaj mi u pijat (Croatia, Denmark)
Directed by Hana Jušić
Produced by Kinorama
Coproduced by Beofilm
Supported by the Croatian Audiovisual Centre, the Croatian Radiotelevision

Best Short Film

Balcony (UK)
Directed by Toby Fell-Holden

Special Mention

Ferdinand 13 (Romania)
Directed by Cecilia Stefănescu
Produced by Libra Film

Checkers Best Croatian Short Film

Milk Tooth (Croatia)
Directed by Sasa Ban

Special Mentions

Milk and Honey (Croatia)
Directed by Marko Jukić

13+ (Croatia)
Directed by Nikica Zdunić

Together Again Best Film

Sieranevada (Romania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, France)
Directed by Cristi Puiu
Produced by Mandragora
Coproduced by Studioul de Creaţie Cinematografică Romania, 2006 d.o.o., Spiritus Movens, Sisters and Brother Mitevski Production, Alcatraz Films
Supported by the Romanian National Film Centre, Fondacija za Kinematografiju Sarajevo, the Macedonian Film Agency, Eurimages, Region Ile de France

In Between (Israel, France)
Directed by Maysaloun Hamoud

PLUS Best Youth Film

One of Us (Austria)
Directed by Stephen Richter

Audience Award

In Between (Israel, France)
Directed by Maysaloun Hamoud