COTTBUS: The power of Polish cinema was on display in Cottbus, with Anna Jadowska’s drama Wild Roses winning the Best Film prize at the 27th Cottbus Film Festival, and its leading lady Marta Nieradkiewicz winning the Best Actress award.
The Best director went to Maciej Pierczycz and Best Actor went to Miroslaw Haniszewski for I Am a Killer. Wild Roses also won the FIPRESCI prize and the award of the Ecumenical Jury.
Poland also won the prize of the U-18 Youth Film competition for Breaking the Limits / Najlepszy (aka The Fastest) directed by Lukasz Palkowski. Czech director Jan Sverak was on hand to introduce his film Barefoot, which won the Audience Award.
The festival, which wrapped on 12 November 2017, also boasted record attendance, of special note to Cottbus Fest CEO and Cottbus native Andreas Stein. “This is my hood,” he told FNE.
Speaking with FNE, Cottbus programme director Bernd Buder said of the programming selection, “The concept is to show the variety of Eastern Europe and the films, in both content and style…. The idea is to break the clichés of the region. I see relevance both in art house and commercial production.” One of the festival’s popular draws is the section of National Hits, with films from Serbia, Poland, Latvia and the Czech Republic among the selection. “Blockbusters and commercial films are picking up relevant topics more quickly than before,” he added.
The festival, which introduced the first CEE pitching forum/market Connecting Cottbus 19 years ago, is expanding into a mentorship role with workshops for young students and filmmakers from Germany and its neighbors Poland and the Czech Republic. It also launched a meeting of film festival representatives, whose discussion topics included how to support social discourse and the long-standing issue of screening fees.
Complete list of awarded films:
Best Film: Wild Roses (Poland) Directed by Anna Jadowska Production Alter Ego Pictures Supported by Polish Film Institute
Best Director: Maciej Pieprzyca for I’m A Killer (Poland) Produced by RE Studio Coproduced by the National Audiovisual Institute, TVP, Agora S.A., Monternia Supported by the Polish Film Institute
Best Actress: Marta Nieradkiewicz for Wild Roses
Best Actor: Miroslaw Haniszewski for I Am a Killer
Best Short Feature: Atlantis, 2003 (Slovakia)Directed by Michal Blasko
Short Film Special Prize: Merry-go-round (Russia)Directed by Ruslan Bratov
Best U 18 Youth Film: Breaking the Limits (Poland)Directed by Łukasz PalkowskiProduced by Iron FilmsSupported by the Polish Film Institute
DIALOGUE Prize for Intercultural Communication: Farewell Halong (Germany)Directed by Duc Ngo Ngoc
Best Debut Film: Good Morning (Armenia)Directed by Anna Arevshatyan
FIPRESCI Prize: Wild Roses
Audience Award: Barefoot (Czech Republic, Slovakia, Denmark)Directed by Jan SverakProduced by Biograf Jan Svěrák PicturesCoproduced by Novinski, Phoenix Film
Ecumenical Jury Award: Wild Roses