George Ovashvili's CORN ISLAND Wins HP Bridging The Borders Award at 2015 Palm Springs International Film Festival


Palm Springs – January 10, 2015— Today, the Palm Springs International Film Festival named George Ovashvili’s  Corn Island as the winner of HP Bridging the Borders Award offered by Cinema Without Borders. Isa Qosja ‘s Three Windows and a Hanging, from Kosovo, took home Cinema Without Borders’ Special Jury 

Mr. Frank P. Greine Honorary Georgian Consul in California, received HP’s Bridging The Borders Award on behalf of George Ovashvili for Corn Island. The prize for HP Bridging The Borders Award is an HP ZBook 15 with a built-in HP DreamColor display, a $3000 value. The prize was provided by HP, who sponsors the award.
This year’s nominees for the award were  A FEW CUBIC METERS OF LOVE (Afghanistan), CHARLIE’S COUNTRY (Australia), Corn Island (Georgia), THREE WINDOWS AND A HANGING (Kosovo), TIMBUKTU (Mauritania) and TODAY (Iran).
The award luncheon for the 2015 Palm Springs International Film Festival was held at Spencer’s Restaurant in Palm Springs, where Bijan Tehrani, Editor-in-Chief of Cinema Without Borders announced the Bridging The Borders Award winner.
“At Cinema Without Borders, we are proud to be a part of the Palm Springs International Film Festival’s celebration of world cinema by bestowing our Bridging the Borders Award to a film that helps bring the people of our world closer together. Continuing with tradition, our jury has chosen a second outstanding film for a Special Jury Award. The film that garnered the Cinema Without Borders Special Jury Award is Three Windows and a Hanging from Kosovo, directed by Isa Qosja. This film is about a woman that stands against the silent world of rape victims who are considered a shame on their families and societies. The Special Jury Award winner receives a certificate for an upcoming Method Acting Intensive provided by The Lee Strasberg Theater & Film Institute in West Hollywood, CA—valued at $2000.” said Bijan Tehrani, Editor In Chief of Cinema Without Borders.

“The film that shone the brightest and earned HP’s 2015 Bridging the Borders Award presented by Cinema Without Borders is about the struggle of a man who wants to have a peaceful place to live and raise his granddaughter, orphaned by war. He is living on a small island beyond any borders, and his life reflects our world today. This brilliant,poetic is George Ovashvili’s Corn Island.”

 After announcement of the Birdging The Borders Award winner, Helen du Toit Artistic Director of the festival read George Ovashvili’s award acceptance statement: “That’s nice surprise, the big honor for me, thank you very much for this amazing news.
Bridging the Borders Award– sounds very exciting. I think this is the main idea of the art, generally:  to connect the people, connect the hearts, bring all of us together. I would like to thank you all: The organizers of Palm Springs Festival, which is really the people’s festival and deserves more to receive this award by Bridging the Borders between the people. The organization who gives this very important award, their jury, the Palm Springs audience, and the best audience I have met ever. George Ovashvili”

“HP congratulates George Ovashvili, winner of the 2015 Bridging Borders Award,” said Jeff Wood, Vice President, Worldwide Product Management, Commercial Solutions Business Unit, HP.  “As the leading workstation provider for the media & entertainment industry, we understand the important role that technology plays in artists bringing their visions to life and HP is committed to help bridge the world’s cultural gaps through art, entertainment, and technology.”

Corn Island
Simindis kundzuli
Georgia, 2014, 100 Minute Running Time
Topics: Drama, Seniors, War
Programs: Another Europe, Awards Buzz
Language: Abkhazian English Sub-Titles
Awards: KVIFF Grand Prize

The Inguri River forms a natural border dividing Georgia from Abkhazia. Tensions between the two nations have not abated since the war of 1992–93. This fable-like drama, shot on 35mm, captures the inexorable cycle of life in this harsh place, which is nevertheless full of wild, expressive beauty. Every spring the river brings fertile soil from the Caucasus down to the plains of Abkhazia and northwestern Georgia, creating tiny islands. The islands are havens for wildlife and occasionally also for local peasants who find them perfect for the cultivation of a crop to supplement their income. An old Abkhaz farmer builds a hut for himself and his teenage granddaughter on one of these islands. He ploughs the earth and together they sow corn. As his granddaughter blossoms into womanhood and the corn ripens, border patrol boats from the two feuding countries frequently pass, reminders of the dangers of cultivating in no-man’s land. “An astonishing feat of cinema presented with the utmost modesty… an unparalleled big screen experience.” Peter Debruge, Variety Winner: Best Film, Ecumenical Prize, Karlovy Vary Film Festival; Grand Prix, Split; Audience Award, Athens

DIRECTOR: George Ovashvili
Producer: Guillaume de Seille, Nino Devdariani, Eike Goreczka, George Ovashvili
Editor: Sun-min Kim
Screenwriter: Roelof Jan Minneboo, George Ovashvili, Nugzar Shataidze
Cinematographer: Elemer Ragalyi
Music: Iosif Bardanashvili
Principal Cast: Ilyas Salman, Mariam Buturishvili, Irakli Samushia, Tamer Levent

Three Windows and a Hanging
Tri dritare dhe nje varje
Kosovo, 2014, 93 Minute Running Time
North American Premiere
Topics: Drama, War, Women
Programs: Another Europe, Awards Buzz
Language: Albanian English Sub-Titles

Awards: Connecting Cottbus 2012, Best Pitch Award; Sarjevo Film Festival 2013, Cinelink’s Work in Progress

Set in a traditional Kosovar village a year after the war with Serbia, this finely written and directed drama provides a critical look at a patriarchal culture threatened by the knowledge that the enemy violated their women. When a local woman anonymously reveals to an international journalist that she and others were raped, the fallout from this once-repressed secret threatens to tear apart the fabric of village life. The action takes place in a scenic mountain enclave that is trying to rebuild after the war. When the article about the wartime rapes appears, the controlling mayor tells the local men that schoolmarm Lushe must be the source, and advises them to shun both her and her lad. While they are happy to comply because they believe Lushe has brought shame on them and their village, they can’t stop wondering about the identities of the three other raped women mentioned in the article. The choice of Three Windows as a foreign-language Oscar entry signals a coming to terms with something previously considered too shameful to discuss. Winner: Cineuropa Award, Sarajevo Film Festival

Producer: Shkumbin Istrefi, Mentor Shala
Editor: Agron Vula
Screenwriter: Zymber Kelmendi
Cinematographer: Gökhan Tiryaki
Principal Cast: Irena Cahani, Luan Jaha, Donat Qosja, Orik Morina, Aurita Agushi, Leonora Mehmetaj


About Author

Luz Aguado

Luz Aguado was born in Guanajuato, Mexico and grew up in East Los Angeles. She is the oldest of four siblings. Prior to attending The Art Institute, Luz was a student at the University of California Riverside where she studied biology and aspired to become a medical doctor. Now she studies Media Arts and Animation at The Art Institute of Los Angeles and hopes of one day having the opportunity to work for Disney Animation Studios. Three dimensional animation and the innovative techniques that have given animation a more realistic appearance is something that she wishes to focus on while at The Art Institute.

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