FNE at Art Film Fest: CEE Filmmakers Triumph at Art Film Fest

By Michal Prochazka

    {mosimage}Twilight Portrait by director Angelina Nikonova won the Blue Angel for Best Film at Art Film Fest (www.artfilm.sk), held from 16 to 23 June 2012 in the Slovak spa and mountain towns Trenčianske Teplice and Trenčín.

    The Saturday gala brought a second award for this film from Baraban Films (and acquired by Rezo International). The international jury headed by Serbian filmmaker Srdjan Karanovič gave the Best Actress award to the picture's star, actress Olga Dihovichnaya.

    The low budget Romanian/Dutch coproduction Everybody In Our Family (Toata lumea din familia noastra, HiFilm, www.hifilm.ro) also took home two prizes: Best director for Radu Jude; and Best Actor to the protagonist of this realistic bitter familly drama, Serban Pavla, who came to Trenčianské Teplice to receive his award. The festival gave two Special Mentions. The first went to the Danish film Teddy Bear (SF Film Production, Beofilm, Minerva Film), a sweet and sour drama of a bodybuilder looking for love in Thailand. The second was granted to Austrian director Umut Dag for his film Kuma about a traditional Turkish Muslim family living in Vienna.

    There was one more success for Central European young talent when Pawel Ziemilski from Lodz school PWSFTviT (www.filmschool.lodz.pl) won the Short Film Angel copmpetition with his daring black grotesque film about racism, The Swedish Job. The talk of the festival was the Slovak short animation film The Last Bus by Ivana Laučíková and Martin Snopek (www.feelmefilm.com) who recieved the prize of the multimedia company Film Europe "for the young Slovak filmmakers' extraordinary creative effort, earning acclaim both at home and abroad." This film has already been awarded at other festivals, receiving the Grand Prix from the prestigious Trixi Stuttgart Animation Festival.

    The festival's Golden Camera awards were given to a Slovak Animation Co-founder Rudolf Urc, Slovak cameraman Dodo Šimončič and Russian director Andrej Konchalovsky. The major stars at the festival were Oscar-winning actor Sir Ben Kingsley and French actress Emanuelle Béart who had their names engraved on the festival Bridge of Fame.

    Tthe 20th anniversary Slovak festival was organised by Slovak production house Forza (www.forza.sk) and held under the auspices of Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico. Festival director Peter Nágel noted, "This year edition was difficult due to the economical reasons - programme and budget cuts - but ended up in a rather great style."