News The Crystal Globe goes to Blaga’s Lessons at the 57th KVIFF. Birth won the Proxima Competition

Published: July 08, 2023| 09:39 PM

Blaga’s Lessons by Bulgarian director Stephan Komandarev won the Grand Prix – Crystal Globe. The social drama about an elderly woman forced to abandon her moral principles after losing all her savings presents a great opportunity for the lead actress. Eli Skorcheva excels in her role, for which the jury granted her the Best Actress Award. The director also mentioned her in his speech: “I would like to dedicate the award to the generation of my parents – they are the true heroes of our film. They fell victims to the market economy in Bulgaria, which often stole most of their possessions. I would also like to thank my colleagues and the incredible Eli.”

The Special Jury Prize goes to Iran. In this country is set the film Empty Nets by Behrooz Karamizade, a romantic story with an underline of social criticism. The director mentioned the young generation of Iranians in his speech. “I hope the film will give them courage and strength,” he said.

The Best Director Award goes to Babak Jalali for Fremont, a sensitive comedy drama about new beginnings in life. The director joked that it would be difficult to take the heavy statuette home by plane. 

Herbert Nordrum received the Best Actor Award for his role in the Scandinavian absurd psychological comedy The Hypnosis. He expressed his gratitude sparked with humour: “I hope you won't mind me splitting the prize and sending one half to my acting partner Asta.”

The Lebanese documentary Dancing on the Edge of a Volcano, about a group of filmmakers facing obstacles in their creative work due to the tough situation in the country, received the Special Jury Mention. 

The Právo Audience Award goes to The Edge of the Blade by Vincent Perez, a film excursion to the times of duels with épées, pistols, and sabres in 19th century Paris.

Southeast Asia films enchanted the Proxima jury

Two films that succeeded in the Proxima section were made in Southeast Asia. The Proxima Grand Prix goes to Birth, a South Korean film about partners who have to make a life-changing decision due to unexpected pregnancy. “I did not expect to win. I am shaking and I don’t know what to say,” said the moved director Ji-young Yoo in the introduction to her speech. She also thanked the festival for the invitation, as this was her first journey abroad.

The Special Jury Prize goes to Guras, a story of a girl’s quest to find a lost dog among the tea trees of Darjeeling. Director Saurav Rai thanked the festival, his crew, the audience and the other films in competition. 

The 12 award-winning films included Czech ones. The Proxima Special Jury Prize goes to the film Brutal Heat by Albert Hospodářský. Ondřej Lukeš , the producer of the film, noted that the hottest day in the history of the planet was recorded only day before the film's premiere. 

Woody Harrelson attended the closing ceremony at least virtually. “Karlovy Vary is my favourite festival,” he greeted the audience in Czech in the online broadcast. “Miloš Forman brought me to the Czech Republic for the screening of The People versus Larry Flynt. The Czechs are an amazing and strong nation,” he said and promised to come next year, if possible. He thus presented the final film Champions, which symbolically closed the 57th KVIFF.


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