On Sunday night, March 3rd, the 47th FEST was officially closed at Sava Centre, and the FEST Awards Ceremony was also held. The hosts of the ceremony were actors Jelena Gavrilović and Zoran Pajić, and at the very beginning a short film was shown by the students of the Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Belgrade about the past ten festival days. After the awards were presented, the audience had the opportunity to watch Paolo Sorrentino’s latest film, Loro.
This year, the films competed within two programmes - the Main Competition Programme presented 14 films, and a national programme titled the Serbian Film (Serbia and Friends) presented 13 films.
The Jury of the Main Competition Programme was composed of Goran Bogdan, Nada Šargin, Ioana Uricaru, Bojan Vuletić and Sanja Vejnović. Their decision was to present the Belgrade Victor Award for Best Film to Wildlife. ‘The break-up of the family as a universal theme represents the biggest trauma in any child's life. With a subtle film language and minimalistic style, this film introduces us into the authentic, sincere and emotional world of a young teenager, who is suddenly forced into the role of an adult, trying to cope with the changes that his parents are going through. Excellent acting, a fascinating visual style appropriately patient and powerful emotional suspense are the reasons that the Belgrade Victor Award for Best Film belongs to Wildlife directed by Paul Dano’.
The Jury Award went to the film The Angel (El Angel) by Luis Ortega. ‘By suggestive stylization, and above all by the fascinating acting enthusiasm of both actors, the authors of this film have convinced us, with all the senses - and with the image and sound and heart, that in all of the beautiful there is something demonic’.
Nadine Labaki received Best Director Award for Capernaum. ‘With extraordinary skill for directing unprofessional actors and a convincing documentary approach, the director has ushered in an authentic and powerful story about current issues of refugees, human trafficking, parental love, and made an extremely emotional film that leaves no one indifferent’.
Ivan Salaj was given the award for Best Screenplay for the film The Eighth Commissioner. ‘At a time when there seems to be no hope, a place appears outside every system that defies all laws and rules. In order to preserve their utopian independence, the heroes of this original story succeed in changing themselves, but also the world around them, sparking the necessary hope in the end. Because of the original, witty and emotional storytelling, the award for Best Screenplay went to Ivan Salaj’.
The Best Actress Award was given to Graciela Borges for the film The Quietude directed by Pablo Trapero (Graciela Borges - La quietud). ‘For the fantastic showing of a strong woman with secrets and passions, trapped between her family's intrigue and storms of the past, for creating a fascinating character that gives the necessary weight to a film seemingly without depth, the award for Best Actress is given to Graciela Borges’.
Zain Al Rafeea was given the Best Debut Award for the film Capernaum, ‘For an incredible performance that shows the complete range of emotions, with a distinct depth and maturity, regardless of his age, for the acting presence and sincerity that touches our hearts’.
Matej Zemljič received the award for Best Actor for the film Consequences by Darko Štante. ‘For an intense performance that finds the balance between violence and vulnerability, which makes us feel uncertain about what will the character do next, for showing the inner world of emotions with extraordinary subtlety, Matej Zemljič wins the award for Best Actor for the role of Andrej in the film Consequences’.
The best films in the Serbian Film (Serbia and Friends) Competition Programme were decided by a five-member jury consisting of Wang Yao, Lazar Bodroža, Milan Marić, Danijel Rafaelić, Albert Wiederspiel. The Belgrade Victor for Best Film in this selection went to the film The Makavejev Case or Trial in a Movie Theater, directed by Goran Radovanović. ‘The Makavey Case is an excellent reconstruction of the milestone of the new Yugoslav Wave and an important moment in film history. By re-linking the present and the past, we can better understand the film and politics of Serbia and the world, as well as time and memory. The Jury admires and appreciates the courage of the director and his unique vision of reconstructing the images found in such a sensitive structure. Mr Goran Radovanović, we welcome you. Mr Dušan Makavejev, we miss you," the jury explained.
The Jury Award was given to Ivan Marković, director of photography of the film I was at home, but… ‘In the film by Angela Šanelec, the viewer participates in the puzzle that he has to solve. Ivan Marković's intensive camera manages to create a topography of parts of the puzzle. It is the topography of the lives of the protagonists, their surroundings and Berlin. The Jury, beside being impressed by the work of Ivan Marković, with this award it also wishes to give recognition to the skills of Serbian directors of photography. We highly appreciate the choice of Angele Šanelec to hire a young Serbian director of photography and we hope that this kind of creative cooperation with Serbian artists will further develop in the coming years’.
The best director, according to the Jury, was Bobo Jelčić. ‘In the film All Alone, the protagonist is never alone. Nevertheless, the film manages to show how much Marko feels alone without his daughter. In the clearly defined chapters, director Bobo Jelčić creates a collage of Mark's world. Through this collage we gain insight into many layers of Croatian society. One must also mention the spectacular work of Bobo Jelčić with the actors; the director directs the actors brilliantly even in the smallest roles. The Jury is looking forward to the future work of Bobo Jelčić’.
The best screenplay was written by Miha Mazzini for the film Erased. ‘Due to his brilliant way of joining a traumatic and absurd historical background along with the struggle of a woman who refused to remain invisible, and his impressive depiction of the emotions and experiences of a single mother facing violence and the pressure of her strong will’.
Snežana Bogdanović received Best Actress Award for the film Stitches. ‘Snežana Bogdanović in the role of Ana brings something new in acting, at the level of contemporary European film. In a very reduced, unpretentious, but very prominent acting process, Snežana ushers us almost hypnotically into the personal drama of the someone who devoted her life to the fight for the truth. With the strength of her habitus and expression, Snežana has elevated her role to the level of the symbol of the struggle of a man against the system that is globally understandable and reflects the present time more than ever’.
The Best Actor Award went to Tihomir Stanić for the film Delirium Tremens. ‘Tihomir Stanić in the role of Dagi reminds us of the golden age of the Yugoslav film when the actors had the space to show their ravishing talent constantly balancing between emotional and ironic, dramatic and comical, believable character and commentary. With the strength of his expression, Tihomir takes us into the favourite genre of his director - tragicomedy. With his exquisite and unconstrained acting, Stanić proves deep understanding of the acting process, and he enters unhesitatingly into a brave problematization of the acting profession, showing all its misery and splendor’.
Barbara Vekarić, director of the film Aleksi, received the Best Debut Award in this selection. ‘Barbara Vekarić brilliantly combined the Dalmatian aesthetics, the acting tradition of South Slavic countries and the contemporary preoccupation of a young woman, chained by tradition she cannot escape, but also does not want to. With superior directing, she encompassed the space that inspires her, and which will surely enrich her future work’.
The Jury composed of Nevena Matović, Miloš Pavlović and Jurica Pavičić presented the Nebojša Đukelić Award to the film Stitches, which deals with the current topic that has not yet found social clarification, but does not deal with the topic in a sensational way, but seeks personal human drama in it, building tension and suspicion in the way of an excellent genre film. The Jury decided to give the special award to the film All Alone ‘which puts the drama of parenting into the context of an oppressive traditional family and the dysfunctional state. The director has found a way to show the state of the hero with film language and once again showed that as a director he manages to bring out the best in actors’.
The Jury that gives the Milutin Čolić Politics Award for Best Film in the Serbian Film (Serbia and Friends) Competition Programme was composed of Goran Radaković, Dubravka Lakić, Kosta Ristić. The prize was awarded to the film The Makavejev Case or Trial in a Movie Theater. ‘For a film that revives the times we thought were the past, but that keep reminding us of incomplete tasks’.
The most wanted film this year was the film The Favourite by Yorgos Lanthimos, who won the Audience Award - Most Wanted Gorki list Movie Award. ‘Since the true value of the film is reflected in the transformation that is experienced in a person, the reaction of viewers has always been the only true and most objective criterion’. It is the same case this year. Dear audience, you have decided. Gorki list has the honour of presenting the award to the film that was the most sought after and the most watched at this year’s FEST. Because only true films are made only by the true ones’, said a representative of the Gorki list and handed the prize.
The FEDEORA Jury awarded the film Capernaum ‘for the masterful direction and a powerful and touching display of those on the extreme margins of society’.
The FIPRESCI Jury awarded the films Capernaum and Stitches.
The Merlinka Prize for Best Queer Film went to the film Sauvage.