COTTBUS: Russian films took the Best Film and Best Director awards at the 23rd Cottbus IFF which concluded on 9 November 2013, with The Geographer Drank His Globe Away by Aleksandr Veledinsky winning the main prize and Yury Bykov winning best director for The Major.
The festival, which provides a window on film production from across CEE, distributed its awards throughout the region, with Slovakia, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, and Croatia all laying claim to prizes. Young Slovak actress Michaela Bendulova won the Best Actress award for her role in Juraj Lehotsky’s Miracle (Artileria) and Emir Hadzihafizbegovic won Best Actor for the Slovenian/Croatian coproduction Chefurs Raus! (Arsmedia).
The FIPRESCI Prize went to the Romanian/Moldovan coproduction The Unsaved (Saga Film). And Poland took two prizes: Best Debut to The Girl From the Wardrobe (WFDiF) by Bodo Kox and Best Short Film to Maria Zbaska’s Brother Dog.
With long time festival director Roland Rust absent from this year’s event due to illness, programme director and head of the Connecting Cottbus pitching forum Bernd Buder stepped into the role. Asked by FNE how he was managing both roles, the amiable and omnipresent Buder quipped, “I think it’s more about them managing me.” Festival Manager Andreas Stein told FNE that the festival had adapted smoothly to the substitution, adding that he hoped Rust would be able to return to his position sometime soon.
The festival’s sections had already been put into place by Rust, including a special focus on Sinti and Roma in Contemporary East European Film. The cultural and ethnic group, perhaps the last remaining outsiders in CEE, was both on the subject of some 35 full-length and short films and, however rarely, taking on the role of creator. The international Roma community hopes to be more active in the latter, as witnessed by the presentation at Cottbus of a group of Romani filmmakers who are in the process of creating the International Romani Film Commission.
The complete list of winners follows:
Main Prize for Best Film
(ex aequo to the director and to the producers)
THE GEOGRAPHER DRANK HIS GLOBE AWAY
Special Prize for Best Director
Award for Outstanding Actress
Juraj Lehotský, Slovakia, Czech Republic 2013
Award for Outstanding Actor
Slovenia, Croatia 2013
Short Feature Competition
Main Prize (to the director)
Special Prize (to the director)
U18 German-Polish Youth Film Competition
Prize for Best Youth Film
DIALOGUE Prize for Intercultural Communication
FAREWELL MR SCHWARZ
Germany, Israel 2012
The Cottbus Student Jury awards the Prize for Best Debut Film
THE GIRL FROM THE WARDROBE
RUN, BOY, RUN
Germany, France 2013
Romania, Moldova 2012
Serbia, Switzerland 2013