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Serbian director Stefan Arsenijevic takes top prize at Czechia’s Karlovy Vary film festival

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By Jiri Skacel
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Serbian director Stefan Arsenijevic takes top prize at Czechia’s Karlovy Vary film festival
Copyright  Petr David Josek/Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved
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Hundreds of film fans thronged around the red carpet to welcome film stars to the 55th edition of the Karlovy Vary Film Festival.

The International Film Festival in the spa town in the Czech Republic was founded in 1946 and is among the oldest in the world.

Actor, film director, and writer Ethan Hawke was awarded the Festival President’s Award.

“It’s the one time when people stop and really look at this new art form of cinema as an art form and not as a business,” he told Euronews. “I value that so much.”

Serbian film director Stefan Arsenijevic won the Crystal Globe in the main competition with “As far As I Can Walk”, or Strahinja in the original version, an epic film about migration and love.

“We were very lucky to get so much support from real migrants from the refugee camps,” said Arsenijevic. “All the extras you can see in our film are real migrants, we offered to be in our film.”

The film also got the best actor award for French actor Ibrahim Koma.

“I don’t know if I will be able to sleep tonight,” he said. “If my statue is around, maybe. She is very hard so it is not easy to hold.”

The winning film inspired by the medieval poem - Strahinja Banovic - tells the story of two African migrants who need to find a place in the world and about love, which can also be painful.

Unusually there are just ten months until the 56th edition, and preparations are already underway.