News Winners of non-statutary awards were announced

Published: July 08, 2023| 03:55 PM

Films have a chance to win awards from other than KVIFF's Crystal Globe Competition and Proximal. The FIPRESCI Award goes to Imago and Hypnosis, which also takes home the Europa Cinemas Label Award. The Ecumenical Jury was impressed by the films Citizen Saint and Blaga's Lessons.


Since 1994 the Ecumenical Jury has awarded films from the Crystal Globe Competition that display high artistic quality while questioning social, political ethical, and spiritual values. It promotes directors who emphasize the search for truth, justice, and hope in accordance with Christian Gospels.


Hana Ducho, Czech Republic

Anna Grebe, Germany

Hermann Kocher, Switzerland


Blaga's Lessons 

Directed by: Stephan Komandarev

Bulgaria, Germany, 2023

"As if that weren’t enough, a 70-year-old widow literally throws her money over the balcony into the hands of scammers who pressured her over the phone. The woman now also lacks the urgently needed money to finance the tomb for her recently deceased husband and herself. She, who has fought hard all her life, does not lose sight of this goal and in the process becomes a perpetrator herself: through criminal acts, she inflicts what she has experienced on others. Until the very last minute of the film, the audience believes that the protagonist is experiencing a cathartic moment and regrets her actions. But Blaga remains true to her strong beliefs and seems to have no choice but to act immorally. The fate of that woman reflects the plight of older people in post-communist or market-economy-capitalist Bulgaria, who often no longer know who they can rely on when struggle for survival among corruption and exploitation. Her behaviour is exacerbated by a religiously motivated fear for her husband's salvation. This film convinced the jury because it captures the link between individual responsibility and social norms with a poignancy that makes it hard for us to feel any sympathy for the protagonist, outstandingly portrayed by Eli Skorcheva, and yet makes us consider whether we would not act just like her. The Award of the Ecumenical Jury 2023 goes to Blaga’s Lessons by Stephan Komandarev."


Citizen Saint

Directed by: Tinatin Kajrishvili

Georgia, France, Bulgaria, 2023

"A village in a barren Georgian mining region worships a heavily weathered saint. Suddenly, he seems to have come alive. Miracles happen, the lame walk, lost miners appear to their relatives and every Bible-savvy viewer believes they have seen or heard all of this before. But this film is not simply a retelling of the New Testament. Rather, it raises an essential and quite self-critical question of Christian religion: Why do we worship the dead, immobile, interchangeable instead of the living? Do we want to live, or survive? For this and for its exceptional visual, aesthetic and musical design, the Ecumenical Jury awards a Special Mention to Citizen Saint by Tinatin Kajrishvili."


Since 2003, the Europa Cinemas Label has been awarded to a European film by a jury of Europa Cinemas exhibitors at five European festivals. It aims to increase the promotion, circulation and exhibition lifespan of winning films. The Europa Cinema Label awards the best European film from the Crystal Globe Competition and Proxima Competitions.​


Anna-Lena Arreborn, Sweden

Ilona van Heeckeren, Netherlands

Jörg Jacob, Germany

The Hypnosis

Directed by: Ernst De Geer

Sweden, Norway, France, 2023

"Ernst De Geer’s The Hypnosis is a light and quirky satire and our unanimous choice as the winner of the Europa Cinemas Label here in Karlovy Vary. This Swedish debut feature film is a portrait of modern society with strong situational humour and impressive, razor-sharp acting.

While today’s society may encourage individualism and the expression of one’s authentic self, it remains unyielding in its expectations regarding acceptable behaviour.

Balanced and well-structured, this movie deserves attention, and we are already convinced that this film will be a success especially in cinemas all over Europe. We as a Jury want to encourage Ernst De Geer’s fresh work!"


The International Federation of Film Critics Jury awards two FIPRESCI Prizes: to a film from the Crystal Globe Competition and a film from the Proxima Competition, for works that best promote film art and encourage new and young cinema.


Jana Bébarová, Czech Republic

Max Oliver Borg, Switzerland

Engin Ertan, Turkey

Cerise Howard, Australia

Hamed Soleimanzadeh, Germany

Jan Storø, Norway

The FIPRESCI award for the best film in the Crystal Globe Competition

The Hypnosis

Directed by: Ernst De Geer

Sweden, Norway, France, 2023

"It is always a pleasure to see a well-written, well-acted comedy with complex characters that is also relevant to today’s society. 

In this year’s Crystal Globe Competition at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, the FIPRESCI jury discovered a new talent who cleverly uses the genre to point out how we in the modern world deal with our addiction to success. And in the search for it, we end up repressing our true selves. 

The FIPRESCI prize in the Crystal Globe Competition goes to The Hypnosis by Ernst De Geer."

The FIPRESCI award for the best film in the Proxima Competition


Directed by: Olga Chajdas

Poland, Netherlands, Czech Republic, 2023

"An immersive, inspirational depiction of a rudderless young woman prone to mental health episodes, whose impulsivity proves a boon artistically but a challenge to tame when accommodating an unplanned pregnancy and the social norms associated with it. Set in Poland’s Baltic Tricity against a backdrop of the burgeoning Solidarność movement led by local hero Lech Wałęsa, it’s febrile evocation of a late-‘80s post-punk scene bristles and throbs with a grimy authenticity through a perfect yoking of era-perfect sounds and restless cinematography and montage. Co-writer Lena Góra’s embodiment of her own mother in the lead role of Ela is wholeheartedly committed; the ensemble supporting her are all perfectly matched to the time-capsule narrative universe this film so compellingly conjures."i


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