'Blaga's Lessons' wins the first prize of the Karlovy Vary Film Fest

‘Blaga’s Lessons’ wins the first prize of the Karlovy Vary Film Fest

by Stephan Komandarev Blaga lessons, a Bulgarian-German co-production, was chosen as the grand prize winner — the Crystal Globe, which carries a $25,000 prize — at the 57th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. The festival announced the winners during the closing ceremony on Saturday. The film’s star, Eli Skorcheva, was nominated for Best Actress. (See DAYmovie review here.)

Meanwhile, the First Czech Festival’s Special Jury Prize, which comes with a check for $15,000, has been awarded to Behrooz’s Iranian-German co-production Karamizade Empty networks (See DAYreview by). The Audience Award went to Vincent Perez The edge of the bladea French film (cf DAY‘s interview with Perez), and a special mention of the jury was designated for Cyril Aris’ Dancing on the edge of a volcanoa German-Lebanese entry (cf DAYreview by).

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Babak Jalali was awarded the Best Director award for the American film Fremont, presented earlier this year at Sundance; and Herbert Nordrum won Best Actor for his work in the Swedish/Norwegian/French co-production Hypnosis (See DAYreview by).

The judging panel consisted of Oscar-nominated actress Patricia Clarkson, whose new film monica screened at the festival out of competition; Tunisian film producer Dora Bouchoucha (Buried secrets, Foreign body); Slovenian director Olmo Omerzu (Family movies, Winter flies); Sundance festival programmer John Nein and Irish actor Barry Ward (The end of the fucking world).

The second edition of the Karlovy Vary Proxima competition, which focuses on daring works by young directors and well-known authors, has also revealed its winners. The Grand Prix, which comes with a $15,000 reward, went to South Korea’s Yoo Ji-young photo Birth. A Special Jury Prize of $10,000 was awarded to Saurav Rai’s Indian/Nepali co-production By Gurusand a special jury mention was noted for the Czech/Slovakian work of Albert Hospodářský Brutal heat.

The 57th Karlovy Vary Film Festival, known as the largest film festival in Central Europe, opened on June 30 with the presentation of a Lifetime Achievement Award to Oscar-winning actor Russell Crowe and a Festival President’s Award to Academy Award-winning actress Alicia Vikander; a spectacular ice skating act; and concerts by British electronic music band Morcheeba and Crowe’s band, Indoor Garden Party.

Two more Festival President’s Awards were presented at this year’s festival: to Ewan McGregor during the first weekend and during the closing ceremony to actress/director Robin Wright. American producer Christine Vachon and Czech cinematographer Daniela Kolářová were also feted at the festival.

A new trailer was also unveiled, starring KVIFF 2021 awardee Johnny Depp. (The festival trailers, which play before screenings, are notoriously irreverent and have featured big names like Mel Gibson, Helen Mirren, John Malkovich, Casey Affleck, Jude Law, Harvey Keitel, Andy Garcia, Miloš Forman and Danny DeVito.)