'Koza' Wins at Vilnius Film Festival

By Blaney, Martin | Screen International, April 7, 2015 | Go to article overview

'Koza' Wins at Vilnius Film Festival


Blaney, Martin, Screen International


The film, which had its world premiere in the Berlinale's Panorama section in February, won the ¨New Europe - New Names¨ competition at the festival, which ran from March 19 to April 2.

The film, about a former Olympic boxer who goes on a punishing 'tour' to raise some fast cash, also took home the CICAE Art Cinema Award.

Koza, which won the works in progress prize at last year's Karlovy Vary, is handled internationally by fledgling sales company Pluto Film.

The ¨New Europe - New Names¨ jury, which included Chilean director Cristián Jiménez, Israeli actress Hadas Yaron, and Romanian actor Vlad Ivanov, gave its award for Best Director to Ukraine's Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy for The Tribe and its acting honours to Hungary's Márton Kristóf (Afterlife) and Bulgaria's Margita Gosheva (The Lesson).

Meanwhile, the Baltic Gaze competition jury - including the Golden Apricot IFF's artistic director Susanna Harutyunyan and A'Est du Nouveau's Markéta Hodouskova - named German actor-director Sebastian Schipper's Victoria as Best Film and Copenhagen-based Joshua Oppenheimer as Best Director for his documentary The Look Of Silence.

The acting trophies went to Janusz Gajos (Body) and Bianca Kronlöf (Underdog) as well as a Special Mention for Signe Baumane's Rocks In My Pockets.

Xavier Dolan's Mommy, the 20th edition's opening film, won the Audience Award.

Industry gathers at Meeting Point Vilnius

Producers from the Baltic states, Armenia, Georgia and Ukraine presented 16 feature film and documentary projects at the sixth edition of the festival's parallel industry programme, the Meeting Point Vilnius (MPV).

Latvian producer Kristians Alhimionoks, one of Screen's Future Leaders at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, revealed to ScreenDaily that the UK-based sales agent Kaleidoscope Film Distribution will handle international sales for Latvian director Aigars Grauba's English-language medieval drama The King's Ring which will be shooting from August 2015.

Alhimionoks said that the cast will include UK and American actors and the production will be made in co-production with the Kaunas Film Studio, 100 kilometres west of Vilnius.

As Darius Baltusis of the Kaunas Film Office told Screen Daily, Lithuania's second largest city has recently hosted such visiting productions as an Italian adaptation of Anna Karenina, the Spanish feature Another Frontier, Sweden's Gentlemen & Gangsters, and the German documentary Mercedes - Die Geschichte der Silberpfeile.

Grauba's past films included 2012's Dream Team 1935 about the Latvian basketball team's triumph at the European Championships in 1935 and the 2007 action drama Die letzte Front - Defenders Of Riga, set in 1919 during Latvia's battle for independence.

Other projects featured included Georgian producer-director Rusudan Pirveli's second feature Sleeping Lessons, which had been presented at Locarno's Open Doors in 2013, Armenian documentary film-maker Harutyun Khachatryan's Deadlock, Latvian writer-director Renars Vimba's Mellow Mud, and Mikko Kuparinen's Lithuanian-Finnish production 2 Nights Till Morning, starring French Canadian actress Marie-Josee Croze and Finland's Mikko Nousiainen, which was also shown as one of MPV's industry screenings.

Film-makers Michel Hazanavicius and Joshua Oppenheimer spoke about the sources of inspiration for their work during MPV's three-day programme of presentations, discussions and closed screenings. …

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