Magazine article Screen International

'Losers' Triumphs at Moscow International Film Festival

Magazine article Screen International

'Losers' Triumphs at Moscow International Film Festival

Article excerpt

Jury president Jean-Jacques Annaud said that Hristov's film was "a movie we liked in all aspects - the cinematography [by Emil Hristov], the actors and the direction. We came to an agreement very quickly."

Produced by Profilm, Losers, which had its world premiere in Moscow, centres on four high school friends in a small provincial town whose lives are changed forever by a visiting rock band.

Hristov's film also won the Russian Film Critics Prize and the award from the jury of the Federation of Russian Film Clubs

Looking back on the week, Annaud said that the jury's deliberations had been "a very easy conversation" and spoke warmly of "an extraordinarily friendly jury" whose members included British actress Jacqueline Bissett, German screenwriter-producer Fred Breinersdorfer, Russian director Alexey Fedorchenko and Argentinian producer Fernando Sokolowicz (who took the place of Andy Vajna).

The jury special prize was awarded to Russian director Irina Evteeva for her first feature-length film Arventur, which was produced by Andrey Sigle's Proline Film and is handled internationally by Ant!pode Sales & Distribution.

The Silver St George trophy for best director went to the Danish director Frederikke Aspöck for the love triangle Rosita set in a small fishing town in the north of Denmark.

The acting honours this year were presented to Elena Liadova for her performance in Andrey Proshkin's Orleans and to Kazakh actor Yerkebulan Daiyrov for his role in Zhassaluan Poshanov's Toll Bar.

Accepting Daiyrov's award on his behalf, Poshanov said that Toll Bar had been real guerrilla filmmaking "without any budget and the actors working for free!"

Meanwhile, the documentary jury headed by producer-sales agent Philipa Kowarsky awarded its Silver St George to Matthew Heineman's Cartel Land, described as "a classic western setting in the 21st century, pitting vigilantes on both sides of the border against the vicious Mexican drug cartels."

The awards ceremony in Moscow's Rossiya Cinema included a nod to film history with a celebration of the 90th anniversary of Eisenstein's Battleship Potemkin and a commemoration of the late James Horner, who had composed the score for jury president Annaud's last film Wolf Totem, which opened the festival on June 19.

And before the ceremony came to a close the inveterate showman Mikhalkov sprung a surprise on Annaud by presenting him with a special prize for an outstanding contribution to world cinema.

At the beginning of the festival Bisset had become the latest recipient of the special prize for the outstanding achievement in the career of acting and Devotion to the Principles Of K Stanislavsky's School.

Independent awards

Earlier in the day, the internet portal ProfiCinema announced that this year's People's Choice Award for the best film in the main competition went to Goran Radovanovic's Enclave (Enklava).

The film, which had its international premiere in Moscow's competition, centres on a 10-year-old boy who dares to do the impossible when his grandfather dies in a Serb enclave in Kosovo and the cemetery is outside on enemy territory.

The Serbian-German co-production beat offcompetition from such films as Bulgaria's Losers and Japan's Being Good by Mipo Oh as well as the three Russian films in the main competition, My Good Hans, Orleans and Arventur. …

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