The Award Winners of the 28th FilmFestival Cottbus

AYKA © Neue Visionen

AYKA wins the Main Prize for the Best Film at the 28th FilmFestival Cottbus

On the evening of the 10th of November at the awards ceremony held at the festival centre Stadthalle, the winners of the 28th FilmFestival Cottbus were announced. The Main Prize for Best Film was awarded to AYKA by Russian director Sergey Dvortsevoy. Ivan I. Tverdovskiy won the Special Prize for Best Director for his film PODBROSY | JUMPMAN. Martina Apostolova from Bulgaria received the Award for Outstanding Actress for her debut role in the drama IRINA. The Estonian actor Reimo Sagor impressed the jury in VÕTA VÕI JÄTA | TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT and received the Award for Outstanding Actor. In addition to the four coveted LUBINA awards in these categories, the FilmFestival Cottbus awarded monetary prizes with a collected worth of more than 80,000 Euros. The FilmFestival Cottbus also celebrated a new attendance record in its 28th edition, with over 22,000 visitors.

“The 28th edition of the FilmFestival Cottbus thrilled visitors and industry guests alike. From an extremely diverse competition that dealt with strong themes and was persuasive through artistic emphasis, the jury awarded completely different works, in the centre of all, stands family relations”, commented the program director of the FilmFestival Cottbus Bernd Buder.

The Main Prize for Best Film of the Feature Film Competition of the 28th FilmFestival Cottbus, receiving 25,000 EUR donated by the Gesellschaft zur Wahrnehmung von Film- und Fernsehrechten (GWFF), was won by AYKA (RU/DE/PL/KZ/CN). Director Sergey Dvortsevoy creates a truly memorable female character who represents all those who are forgotten and whose place in society is “right at the bottom”. 
The international festival jury comprised of Leonid Demchenko (Russia), Anna Palenchuk (Ukraine), Anna Jadowska (Polen), Gio Mgeladze (Georgia) and Uwe Kockisch (Germany), justified their decision as follows: „For letting us to come really close to the main character and to live her life. For consistent storytelling, harsh camera work and intense acting. The documentary approach enables us to cross the border between fiction and real life, which opens our eyes to the struggles of economic migrants which is a global challenge of our time.“

The Special Prize for Best Director, with a value of 7,500 EUR donated by the Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg (rbb), was awarded to Ivan I. Tverdovskiy for PODBROSY | JUMPMAN (RU/IL/FR/LT). ”The director uses innovative camera work and a disturbing rhythm to keep us constantly in the middle of the story. He brings Eastern European cinema traditions into contemporary storytelling, being at the same time multi-layered and entertaining. The film itself is an unexpected parable about love and pain within a selfish society, exposed in a fresh cinematic language”, explained the jury.

The International Festival Jury gave a Special Mention to Ognjen Glavonić‘s TERET | DIE LADUNG | THE LOAD (RS/FR/HR/IR/QA).

The Award for Outstanding Actress, worth 5,000 EUR donated by the city of Cottbus, rewarded the debut efforts of Martina Aposolova, who in the film IRINA (BG) played the main character of the same name – a young woman in the provinces of Bulgaria, who takes on a surrogacy to secure the life of her family.

The Award for Outstanding Actor, donated by the Sparkasse Spree-Neiße with a worth of 5,000 EUR, was awarded to Reimo Sagor for his role as a single father in VÕTA VÕI JÄTA | TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT (EE). The film is Estonia‘s nomination for the 91st Academy Awards (Oscars) in the category of “Best Foreign Film”.

In the Short Film Competition, Bogdan Mureșanu’s CADOUL DE CRACIUN | DAS WEIHNACHTSGESCHENK | THE CHRISTMAS GIFT (RO) was successful: The Romanian entry won the 2,500 EUR Main Prize donated by Druckzone, Cottbus.

The jury made up of the German actress Inka Friedrich, the Latvian director Dāvis Sīmanis as well as last year‘s Short Film Competition winner, director Michal Blaško, explained: “The Main prize goes to a film whose dramaturgy, sensitive humor and rhythmic narration allows the audience to visually experience how an innocent wish of a little boy becomes a great conflict shaped by the atmosphere of fear in the totalitarian system. ”

The Polish director Piotr Domalewski secured the Special Prize with of a worth of 1,500 EUR, supported by Tiede+ with his film 60 KILO NICZEGO | 60 KILO NICHTS | 60 KILOS OF NOTHING (PL). The short film jury explained: „Special prize goes to the film which impresses with its authenticity and feel of realism, with well crafted dynamic scenes and which reflects an important and universal topic that of illegal workers in Europe.“

Pupils from Poland, Czech Republic and Germany make up the six person jury for the U18 Youth Film Competition. They announced the Polish entry CÓRKA TRENERA | DIE TOCHTER DES TRAINERS | A COACH'S DAUGHTER (PL) as the winner.

Director Łukasz Grzegorzek received the prize worth 3,000 EUR for Prize for Best Youth Film, supported by the Lausitz Energie Bergbau AG (LEAG). On their decision the jury said: “Among all the great movies shown in this year‘s U18 Youth Film Competition of Film Festival Cottbus, our winning selection was chosen for its fully realized characters, compelling story and high quality production standards.“

As part of the 28th FilmFestival Cottbus, further prizes were awarded: The DIALOGUE Prize for Intercultural Communication, donated by the Federal Foreign Office with a worth of 3,000 EUR, was awarded to the director Aida Begić for NEVER LEAVE ME | VERLASS MICH NIE (BA/TR/RS). The Bosnian director and scriptwriter is a frequent guest of the festival and was part of the International Festival Jury in 2015. 

The Prize for Best Debut Film, worth 3,000 EUR donated by the Brandenburg Technical University Cottbus-Senftenberg and the Film University Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF, was awarded by the jury to the entry IRINA (BG) by Nadejda Koseva.

The FIPRESCI-Jury, an international group of film critics and journalists, awarded the Serbian director Ognjen Glavonić for his work TERET | DIE LADUNG | THE LOAD (RS/FR/HR/IR/QA).

The Prize of the Ecumenical Jury was also awarded to the winner of Main Prize for Best Film AYKA (RU/DE/PL/KZ/CN) of Sergey Dvortsevoy.

The festival audience particularly enjoyed COLD WAR (PL/GB/FR). Paweł Pawlikowski‘s film won the Audience Award and the accompanying 3,000 EUR donated by the Lausitzer Rundschau, and could celebrate for a second reason: The German distributor of the film, Neue Visionen Filmverleih GmbH, won the Prize „Cottbus at the Cinema“ for distribution support for a festival film, endowed with 10,000 EUR and donated by the Media Board of Berlin Brandenburg.

The 29th FilmFestival Cottbus will take place from the 5th to the 10th of November 2019.

Award Winners and Jury Statements 

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