Ivan I. Tverdovskiy wins the main prize for the best film in the Feature Film Competition of the 30th FilmFestival Cottbus. This is the third time the Russian director has been awarded the 25,000 EUR prize at the FFC, following CORRECTIONS CLASS (2014) and ZOOLOGY (2016). The Special Award for Best Director goes to Piotr Domalewski for I NEVER CRY. Acting debuts Marijana Novakov, Tijana Marković and Valentino Zenuni from Ivan Ikić's OASIS are honoured with the prize for an outstanding individual performance.
At the anniversary edition, not only the winners from the Feature Film Competition will be given the LUBINA, but also the winners from the Short Film and U18 Youth Film competitions. Altogether, prizes worth EUR 72,000 in total will be awarded at the 30th FFC, whose programme of 150 films can be viewed online and streamed nationwide until December 31, 2020.
"About a quarter of the 30th anniversary of the FFC is behind us - and we are overwhelmed by the consistently positive response we receive for our programme. We get massive approval for our digital FilmFestival Cottbus, from loyal festival fans as well as filmmakers and also from those who have just discovered the FFC for themselves. What we are developing out of crisis, is new strength and creativity, which empower us and lead into the next FFC weeks and into the future," says Andreas Stein, managing director of the organiser pool production.
"We notice a new special kind of appreciation for Eastern European cinema and the format we have implemented to present it online in the given situation", adds FFC programme director Bernd Buder. "We are delighted that we will continue to stream the film programme, as well as numerous discussion formats about the films nationwide until December 31, 2020, which allows us to celebrate our 30th birthday with the longest festival edition ever - for a whole 24 days."
The winners of the 30th FilmFestival Cottbus were announced on the evening of December 12, 2020 in an award ceremony broadcasted online.
The main prize for the best film in the Feature Film Competition of the 30th FilmFestival Cottbus, endowed with EUR 25,000, donated by the Gesellschaft zur Wahrnehmung von Film- und Fernsehrechten (GWFF), is won by director Ivan I. Tverdovskiy for CONFERENCE (Russia, Estonia, Italy, Great Britain, 2020), a reflection on the hostage-taking at Moscow's Dubrovka Theatre in 2002 within the framework of a memorial evening a group of survivors exchanges memories, directed with silent rage against collective amnesia.
"The fact that with CONFERENCE by Ivan I. Tverdovskiy once again at the FilmFestival Cottbus a film is awarded, which was previously pitched at connecting cottbus, serves as a proof of the successful work of our co-production market, the international standing of both events and last but not least the excellent interaction between the market and the festival," explains Andreas Stein.
The International Festival Jury, consisting of Arndt Schwering-Sohnrey, Axel Ranisch, Bodo Kox, Maria Trigo Teixeira and Yang Ge explained their decision as follows: "A film like a force of nature. […] At the end, you are speechless and moved realising that the film is a masterpiece composed in every detail. It is almost secondary to mention the perfection with which image and sound design are intertwined, the dramaturgical skill with which tension is built up and the matter-of-factness with which the players and director generate verisimilitude and create a film with the power of a whirlwind that simply sweeps everyone out of their cinema seats. "
The Special Prize for Best Director, worth EUR 7,500, donated by Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg (rbb), goes to Polish director Piotr Domalewski for I NEVER CRY (Poland 2020). „A film characterised by excellent storytelling ability and leading the young actress in a very difficult emotional character“, the jury states.
The powerfully narrated road trip with seventeen-year-old Ola, who has to organise the transfer to Poland of the body of her father, who died in a container port, was also pitched at connecting cottbus.
The prize for an outstanding individual performance, donated by Sparkasse Spree-Neiße in the amount of EUR 5. 000, the International Festival Jury honours the performance of the acting ensemble Marijana Novakov, Tijana Marković and Valentino Zenuni in Ivan Ikić's OASIS (Serbia, Slovenia, Netherlands, France, Bosnia and Herzegovina 2020), which provides a captivating insight into the emotional worlds of young people, filmed with non-professional actors in a residential home for mentally handicapped teenagers. The jury's statement about the three acting debuts states: „Three touching performances revealing their characters' unique personalities and rendering alive the complexity of adolescent epe of innocence, love, envy and desire – which have no option but to exit within a setting of constant surveillance. […]“
GREETINGS FROM NIGERIA (Slovakia 2020) by Peter Hoferica won the Short Film Competition. The Slovakian entry wins the main prize of 2,500 EUR, donated by Druckzone, Cottbus. The jury of the Short Film Competition - Vlada Senkova, Zuzana Bielikova and Sandro Fioravanti – „[…] has unanimously decided to give the Main Prize to this short film for its original style and witty portrayal of current problems of senior citizens in the cyber space. With ironic sense of humor and through compelling performances it shows how easy it is for seniors to become victim of virtual blackmailing.“
Bulgarian director Slava Doytcheva took the Special Prize in the Short Film Competition in the amount of 1,500 EUR, donated by Tiede+, with EGGSHELLS (Bulgaria 2020), an emotional reflection on a young woman's relationship with her father, who does not want to know about her homosexuality. The short film jury stated: „The Special Prize goes to a film that has touched us by very sensitive way of directing and strong visual style with typical Bulgarian colours.“
Students from Poland, the Czech Republic and Germany were the jury for the U18 Youth Film Competition. They chose the Kazakh drama about drugs 18 KILOHERTZ (Kazakhstan 2020) as the winner. Director Farkhat Sharipov receives the EUR 5,000 prize for the best youth film, donated by the city of Cottbus. On their decision, the jury said: „[….] Not only it had impacted us while watching it, but also had stayed in our minds and hearts as we began to live again – after the movie had took our breaths away.“
The following prizes were also awarded in the overall programme of the 30th FilmFestival Cottbus:
The DIALOGUE Prize for Intercultural Communication, donated by the Federal Foreign Office and endowed with 3,000 EUR, will be awarded to director Bohdan Sláma for SHADOW COUNTRY (Czech Republic, Slovakia 2020). His film is a chronicle of a South Bohemian village and its inhabitants in the dramatic period from the 1930s to the 1950s. They used to live together peacefully, regardless of nationality or religion. But then they have to decide whether they are German or Czech, as friendly neighbours suddenly become mortal enemies.
The jury awards the prize for the best debut film, endowed with 5,000 EUR and sponsored by the Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg and the Film University Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF, to the entry THE FLYING CIRCUS (Kosovo, Albania, 2019).
The feature film debut of Fatos Berisha is like Monty Python in Kosovo-Albanian, at the end of the nineties. In Kosovo the conflict between Serbs and Albanians threatens to escalate again. Nevertheless four young men embark on a journey that will change their lives; with the courage of the desperate, a lot of imagination and dry humour.
The “From Cottbus to Cinema” – Distribution support prize for a festival, donated by Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg (endowed with up to 10,000 EUR), has already been awarded to ADVENTURES OF A MATHEMATICIAN (Germany, Poland, Great Britain 2020) by Thor Klein to Filmwelt Verleihagentur GmbH on Friday, 11 December 2020 during a digital award panel.
The film follows Polish mathematician Stanisław M. Ulam, who went to the USA as a Harvard Junior Fellow in 1938. From afar he follows the German invasion of Poland, and in his new homeland he helps to develop the hydrogen bomb.
The FIPRESCI Jury, the jury of the international association of film critics and film journalists, awards the Serbian director Ivan Ikić for OASIS (Serbia, Slovenia, Netherlands, France, Bosnia and Herzegovina 2020).
The Prize of the Ecumenical Jury goes to I NEVER CRY (Poland 2020) by Piotr Domalewski.
The winner of the audience award can be chosen by voting until December 31, 2020. With support of FFC media partner and prize sponsor Lausitzer Rundschau, voting will take place online at www.lr-online.de/ffc-publikumspreis .
The 31st FilmFestival Cottbus will take place from November 2 to 7, 2021.
The FilmFestival Cottbus would like to thank its sponsors and partners, who have stood by the festival even in these difficult conditions. Special thanks go to the Land Brandenburg, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg GmbH, the city of Cottbus, Creative Europe – MEDIA and the Federal Foreign Office.
In addition, we would like to thank the Gesellschaft zur Wahrnehmung von Film- und Fernsehrechten (GWFF), Big Cinema, the Sparkasse Spree-Neiße and the Gebäudewirtschaft Cottbus, the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, the Bundesstiftung zur Aufarbeitung der SED-Diktatur, the Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung, the Investitionsbank des Landes Brandenburg, the Stiftung für das sorbische Volk, the Stiftung für deutsch-polnische Zusammenarbeit, the Deutsch-Tschechischer Zukunftsfond, the Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung as well as all our other loyal partners and supporters and our media partners.
Information on FFC tickets
The streaming offer of the 30th FilmFestival Cottbus will be available on the festival website from December 8th to 31st, 2020. Tickets can be booked through the respective film entry link. The films are streamed in their original language version, optionally German or English subtitles are available. As there is a limited contingent of tickets for the films offered online, it is recommended to book them in advance. The tickets for the streaming offer that have been already booked, remain valid. Rented films can be watched as often as desired within the 24 hours after the first start of the film. The film starts by entering the ID number of the previously purchased ticket.
Tickets for in-the-venues film screenings which were purchased in the sales points can be returned in the same spot. Tickets booked online via reservix can be returned via the portal.
About the FilmFestival Cottbus
The 30th FilmFestival Cottbus will take place in a nationwide online format: from December 8th to 31st, 2020. In four competitions and numerous side sections, the FFC will show approximately 150 films competing for prizes with a total value of 72,000 Euros and the prestigious sculpture prize LUBINA (Sorbian: the Lovely). For the first time, not only the laureates of the Feature Film Competition, but also the winners of the Short Film and the U18 Youth Film Competitions, will be honoured with the LUBINAs. Over 22,000 spectators have visited the Festival of Eastern European Film in Cottbus over the last few years. The 30th FFC is significantly supported by the State of Brandenburg, the Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg GmbH, the City of Cottbus, the German Foreign Office and the Creative Europe MEDIA Program of the European Union.