Winners of the 44th FEST; ‘The Diary of a Teenage Girl’ Takes Top Prize


The best films of the 44th FEST have been awarded, within 3 selections – Main program, national selection Serbian film (including minority co productions) and Frontiers; Jury prize Nebojsa Djukelic, Politika’s prize Milutin Colic and Jury prize FEDEORA have also been awarded.

The Belgrade Victor for the best film in the Main program has been awarded to the film ‘The Diary of a Teenage Girl,’ directed by Marielle Heller.

“Absolute favourite of the jury because of its humane views, talent and humour, which is something everybody needs in their life,” was the official explanation of the international jury members Darko Bajic, Hristina Popovic, Janko Popovic Volaric and Gjermund Gisvold, headed by Pavel Lungin. Marielle Heller also won the award for best directing, with a notion that “the director managed to create a vulnerable celebration of the film in a fresh and non-judgmental way”.

Las elegidas, directed by David Pablos, won the Jury prize. “Film that touched the jury emotionally because of its tragic, yet also heartwarming love story of two young people trapped in a brutal society.”

Best screenplay award went to 99 Homes and Ramin Bahrani because of “a relevant and strong story about a man who makes a deal with the devil in order to save his family.”

Bel Powley won the Best actress award, “for showing us the exploration of sexuality of the youth in a world of immature grown-ups” in ‘The Diary of a Teenage Girl.’

Michael Shanon won the Best actor award, “for showing us that the monsters we love to hate are just as human as we are” in the film 99 Homes.

Jairo Bustamante, a young director with a very promising future, won the Best debut award for his refreshing contribution to the film world for his first feature, ‘The Volcano.’

Belgrade Victor for the best film in the national selection was awarded to the film ‘Humidity,’ directed by Nikola Ljuca, produced by Natasa Damjanovic and Vladimir Vidic. “It’s a film that announces a new and significant voice of the Serbian film by its authentic expression and specificity of the style”

The jury prize was awarded to ‘Next to Me,’ directed by Stevan Filipovic. “For choosing an important topic and promoting young actors, who have brought this story convincingly and confidently”

Best directing award went to Nikola Ljuca for ‘Humidity,’ “[an]author who has skillfully built his own cinematic world, demonstrated maturity in his directing work and consistently materialized his directing vision.”

Milena Markovic received Best screenplay award for ‘Patria,’ “…a unique expression whose poetic strength surpasses the banality of the reality, creating a new world of extraordinary tragedy and a strong and brutal beauty.”

Best actress award went to Mirjana Karanovic “for a lavish range of acting elements exhibited in the construction of a complex and emotional character whose strength and appearance carries the entire film”. She won the award for her role in ‘A Good Wife,’ the film she also directed.

Best actor award went to Milos Timotijevic for the role in ‘Humidity,’ for “a modern and minimalist expression he used to bring a complex character in an existential angst to the big screen”.

Director of the film ‘Panama,’ Pavle Vuckovic was awarded with the best debut, “for a unique debutante work which exhibits an authentic emotion and a new sensibility, both in the directing approach and acting performances.”

Belgrade Victor for the best film in the minority Serbian co production was awarded to ‘On the Other Side’ by Zrinko Ogresta, “…a skillful and precise accomplishment, devoid of pathos, with an original and exciting approach to current social topics, relevant to the entire region.” Ogresta also won the Best directing award.

For the acting interpretation that provided another dimension to the character, making it more alive and convincing, “best performance award went to Lana Baric for her role in ‘You Carry Me’.”

Jury of the Frontiers selection consisted of the following members: Slobodan Sijan, Dragan Jovicevic and Marko Njegic, awarding the NIN award for Best film to the film ‘LUDO’ by the Indian director Qaushiq Mukherjee. “This is the work that goes furthest in its pushing of the frontiers, out of all of the films we’ve seen this year in this selection. ‘LUDO’ is one of very few films where it’s impossible to anticipate where the story might go next. In this rollercoaster film, whose aesthetics is actually complemented by a visible lack of funds, the director builds the story on the foundation of social drama, topping it off with an extraordinary visual interpretation of the old motifs of Indian epics. On top of that, the author exhibits an extraordinary grasp of the genre, providing an entirely new dimension to the elements of drama and horror in the film, and also a very unique stamp of the Indian film.”

‘The Blue Hour’ by Anucha Boonyawatana was awarded the Special prize. “Exploring the relation between an extremely patriarchal community and gay men, the director connects a narrative on the problems of gay community with the elements of horror, thus creating a refined widening in the niche of both the specific theme and genre. Visual aspects of this art film contribute to the basis of the story, subtly creating another take on the issue of crime and punishment.”

The Nebojsa Djukelic award went to Zrinko Ogresta’s ‘On the Other Side.’ The jury explained their decision as it follows: “The films stands out both in terms of the craftiness of the composition and the current nature of its topic. Despite the apparent minimalist volume of the film, wide vision of the author is evident. Serbo-Croatian juncture works well – it’s interesting and potent, and the film also brings an intriguing novelty in terms of genre.”

The Special prize was awarded to ‘Humidity’ by Nikola Ljuca. “The film stands out in its evident courage in tackling the ever so present issue of estrangement. Aside from that, Humidity is also unique in terms of a bold directing approach – it allows multiple interpretations, while providing an interesting view of the so called winners of the transition.”

The new prize awarded by Politika, the Milutin Colic prize, went to ‘A Good Wife.’ The jury cited: “The taking of someone else’s blame upon oneself is one of the greatest themes in creative work. In life, this act of self sacrifice is often what makes the difference between generous people and others – the small, insignificant people, unable to face their own evil. This moral principle is what we should all strive for.”

The FEDEORA jury awarded the Best film award in the international selection to ‘Mediterraneo’ by Jonas Carpignano. “Eerie and hypnotizing. This is an intense and moving homage to the migrants that takes over your imagination.”

Best film in Serbian selection was awarded to ‘Next to Me’ by Stevan Filipovic. “Avoiding all of the clichés of the genre, the author has made a compelling and refreshing piece of humane cinematography.”

Taken from – 44th FEST International Film Festival website


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