FNE at Ljubljana IFF 2021: Panah Panahi's Hit The Road Wins Kingfisher Award

    Kingfisher Award winner - Hit the Road by Panah Panahi Kingfisher Award winner - Hit the Road by Panah Panahi credit: Ajda Martinčič

    LJUBLJANA: The Iranian road film Hit the Road directed by Panah Panahi, the son of acclaimed director Jafar Panahi, won the Kingfisher Award for the best film at the 32nd Ljubljana IFF. This directorial debut with a subtly humorous multi-layered portrait of a loving Iranian family on its unique road trip, has already won at the London Film Festival 2021 and was shown at this year's Cannes Film Festival.

    The Kingfisher Special mention went to the Hong Kong/Chinese film The Cloud in Her Room by Zheng Lu Xinyuan.

    The members of this year's Kingfisher Award jury were: Hungarian screenwriter Zsófia Ruttkay, Turkish director and producer Leyla Yilmaz, and Slovenian actor Sebastian Cavazza.

    Laura Samani won the FIPRESCI award for her feature debut Small Body, an Italian/French/Slovenian coproduction drama about a young woman searching for redemption for her stillborn child, which was also awarded with two Vesna Awards at the 24th Festival of Slovenian Film.

    The audience awarded And Then We Danced by Levan Akin as the best film of the festival. The Georgian/Swedish/French teenage drama about young love and growing up in conservative Tbilisi received the Dragon Award based on the highest audience score (4.61 out of 5).

    The festival screened 79 feature films and 16 short films representing 52 countries in Ljubljana and satellite locations in the cities of Maribor, Celje and Novo Mesto, with attendance around 24,000 including VOD viewers, whose represented a 20% share. 

    The complete list of winners follows:

    Kingfisher Award for Best Film: Hit the road / Jadde Khaki / Pohodi plin! (Iran)
    Small Body by Laura SamaniDirected by Panah Panahi
    Produced by JP Productions (Iran)

    Special Mention 1: The Cloud in Her Room / Ta fang jian li de yun / Oblak v njeni sobi (Hong Kong, China)
    Directed by Zheng Lu Xinyuan
    Produced by Blackfin Production (China)

    Best Short Film: Steakhouse (Slovenia, Germany, France)
    Directed by Špela Čadež
    Produced by Finta

    Special Mention: The Game / Das Spiel / Tekma (Switzerland)
    Directed by Roman Hodel

    FIPRESCI Prize: Small Body / Piccolo corpo / Telesce (Italy, France, Slovenia)
    Directed by Laura Samani
    Produced by Nefertiti Film (Italy)
    Coproduced by Vertigo (Slovenia), Tomsa Films (France), RAI Cinema (Italy)
    Supported by Slovenian Film Centre, Friuli Venezia Giulia Audiovisual Fund, Creative Europa MEDIA, Eurimages, Direzione generale Cinema e audiovisivo del Ministero della Cultura DGCA-Mic (MIBACT)

    Audience Dragon Award: And Then We Danced / Da chven vitsek'vet / In potem sva zaplesala (Georgia, Sweden, France)
    Directed by Levan Akin
    And Then We Danced by Levan AkinProduced by French Quarter Film (Sweden)
    Coproduced by Takes Film (Germany), AMA Productions (France), RMV Film (Sweden), Inland Film AB (Sweden)

    Art Cinema Network of Slovenia Award: I Am Your Man / Ich bin dein Mensch / Pravi moški (Germany)
    Directed by Maria Schrader
    Produced by Letterbox Filmproduktion (Germany)

    Kinotrip Youth Jury Award: Happening / L'evenement / Dogodek (France)
    Directed by Audrey Diwan
    Produced by Rectangle Productions
    Coproduced by France 3 Cinema (France), Wild Bunch (France), Srab Films (France)