Georgian filmmaker George Ovashvili’s ‘Corn Island’ took the top prize for Best Film at this year’s Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in the Czech Republic.
Set by the river on the border between Georgia and Abkhazia, ‘Corn Island’ is a psychological drama about an old peasant living with his granddaughter on an island in the middle of the Inguri River.
“It was quite difficult. We spent 70 shooting days during two seasons spring and fall. so it was technically quite hard because we built the island by ourselves and then we destroyed the island by ourselves as well,” said Ovashvili.
The Crystal Globe for Best Director went to Hungary’s Gyorgy Palfi for his film ‘Free Fall’.
Absurd and at times grotesque, the movie tells the story of several characters all living in the same apartment block. The director also received a Special Jury Prize for his film.
“To be in Karlovy Vary in a competition is a very big honour. To get two awards it’s… Karlovy Vary opened a gate for us to the world cinema and to the European cinema,” said Gyorgy Palfi.
Young Russian director Ivan Tverdovsky won the flagship East of the West competition with ‘Corrections Class’ – a debut film that focuses on a group of disabled teenagers in a Russian high school.
Shot mostly with handheld cameras and featuring trained as well as non-professional actors, the film hints at the underfunding in education, poor training and endemic xenophobia in Russian society.
Finally, the Crystal Globe for Best Documentary was awarded to Belgium’s ‘Waiting for August’ by Teodora Ana Mihai. It’s the story of seven Romanian siblings forced into premature adulthood when they are left to fend for themselves after their mother goes to earn a living in Italy.