Romanian film wins at Karlovy Vary International Film Festival

The drama “I Do Not Care If We Go Down in History as Barbarians” took the Crystal Globe

The 53rd edition of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival has ended, with awards given out after nine days of films in the spa town.

The Crystal Globe for Best Feature Film went director Radu Jude’s film “I Do Not Care If We Go Down in History as Barbarians.” The title is a quote from the 1940s attributed to Romanian Prime Minister Ion Antonescu.

The Romanian-Czech-French-Bulgarian-German co-production explores the banality of evil and examines Romania’s guilty conscience. “As children, we watched Romanian movies which always showed the Romanian army as being against the Nazis. But that didn’t happen until 1944. No one realizes that today, because of all that propaganda,” the director said before the award was announced.

The Grand Jury also gave out two Special Mentions, one for the Russian co-production film Jumpman, about a boy left in a baby box and his mother’s regrets, and one for the Slovenian co-production film History of Love, about a young woman dealing with the loss of her mother.

The jury — consisting this year of Mark Cousins, Zrinka Cvitešić, Marta Donzelli, Zdeněk Holý and Nanouk Leopold — gave the Special Jury Prize to Sueño Florianópolis by Argentinian director Any Katz, Mercedes Morán received the Best Actress Award for the same film. The Best Actor Award went to Moshe Folkenflik for his role in the Israeli film Geula. Olmo Omerzu, born in Slovenia and currently living in the Czech Republic, received the Best Director Award for his road movie Winter Flies.

The East of the West Award went to the debut by Elizaveta Stishova called Suleiman Mountain, about life in Kyrgyzstan. A Special Jury Prize in the East of West Competition went to the Hungarian film Blossom Valley.

Vitaly Mansky’s film Putin’s Witnesses, made in co-production with the Czech Republic, won the Documentary Films Competition. The film uses testimony of people close to the events to show the rise of Russia’s current leader.

The Documentary Special Jury Prize was awarded to the film Walden.

Barry Levinson received the Právo Audience Award for his 30-year-old movie Rain Man. He also received the Crystal Globe for Outstanding Artistic Contribution to World Cinematography. Rain Man won three Academy Awards in 1989 including Best Picture and Best Director, so the new prize is just icing on the cake.

Czech actor Jaromír Hanzlík, and British actor Robert Pattinson accepted the Festival President’s Award. “I have always wanted to come to this Festival as so many filmmakers told me how wonderful it was. The more the film industry changes, the more important festivals such as the one in Karlovy Vary become. The reason is that they give voice to films with rather low promotion, and that is the kind of films I want to make,” Pattinson said. In an interview before the ceremony he said that when he first went to Hollywood he pretended to be American.

Hanzlík was pleased to receive his award. “Through this award, you have welcomed me into the community of wonderful people and artists and I really appreciate this. However, apart from you, I would also like to express my thanks to the audience as they are the reason for all my work,” said Hanzlík said while accepting the award from Festival president Jiří Bartoška.

The 53rd Karlovy Vary International Film Festival attracted 13,080 accredited visitors, of which 10,857 festival-pass holders, 403 filmmakers, 1,190 film professionals and 630 journalists. A total of 501 film screenings were held and 140,135 tickets sold during the Festival. The Festival showed 236 films, of which 181 fictions (143 feature-length and 38 short films) and 55 documentaries (of which 35 feature-length and 20 short films).

The 54th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival will take place June 28 to July 6, 2019.

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