Swedish director Jens Assur’s debut feature, "Ravens", has won the “Theo Angelopoulos” Golden Alexander for Best Feature Film at the 58th Thessaloniki Int. Film Festival, which ran from 2-12 November. The prizes were given out yesterday at the closing-night ceremony, held in the Olympion Theatre.
The international jury, comprising Palestinian director-screenwriter-producer Annemarie Jacir, actor-screenwriter-director Payman Maadi, the artistic director of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, Karel Och, French sound designer Bruno Tarrière and Greek actress Maria Nafpliotou, handed the €8,000 prize to the Swedish drama, which explores the eternal conflict between generations, and between tradition and modernity. The movie also picked up the Best Actor Award for the excellent performance by Reine Brynolfsson.
The already well-travelled and award-festooned quirky Danish-Icelandic drama "Winter Brothers" left Thessaloniki with the Special Jury Award for Best Director - Bronze Alexander for Hlynur Pálmason, a Special Mention for the Sound and the FIPRESCI Special Mention. Belgium’s Gilles Coulier and Tom Dupont received the Best Screenplay Award for the family drama "Cargo".
The Best Actress Award was bestowed upon Darya Zhovner for her performance in Kantemir Balagov’s drama "Closeness", which also received the Human Values Award from the Hellenic Parliament TV channel. American actor Harry Dean Stanton posthumously received a Special Mention “for his last smile” in John Carroll Lynch’s "Lucky", which was also voted Best Film in the Audience Awards.
In the Greek Film Festival 2017 section, the indie comedy "Too Much Info Clouding Over My Head" by debutant director Vassilis Christofilakis scooped the FIPRESCI Award, the Greek Film Centre Award (worth €5,000) and ERT’s second “New Cinema” Award (worth €2,000). Meanwhile, ERT’s first “New Cinema” Award (worth €3,000) went to "Thorn" by Gabriel Tzafka and the Greek Film Critics’ Association Award to "Rosemarie" by Adonis Florides.
In the Virtual Reality Films Competition section, which was organised for the first time, the jury, comprising Edinburgh Film Festival project manager Emma Boa, director of the Nitra Gallery Aliki Tsirliagou and editor-in-chief of the website Lifo.gr Aris Dimokidis, awarded "Bloodless" by Gina Kim from South Korea with the Film Center Serbia Best Film Award, worth €3,000. The British-French co-production "Notes on Blindness" by James Spinney and Peter Middleton received the jury’s Special Mention.