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SANTIAGO, Chile  — A leading voice in Chilean auteur cinema, Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner Alejandro Fernández Almendras has stepped way outside the box with his latest feature, “Hra,” a black and white film set in the Czech Republic, which participated at this year’s Santiago International Film Festival (Sanfic) Works in Progress. The film takes […]
variety.com | 8/26/18

Radu Jude’s “I Do Not Care If We Go Down in History as Barbarians” won the Grand Prix Crystal Globe, the top jury prize at the 2018 Karlovy Vary Film Festival.

The international competition winner tells of an artist who reenacts a real-life ethnic cleansing perpetrated by the Romanian army in 1941, this time as an artistic installation.

The movie is a coproduction of six countries, led by Romania. In 2015, Jude won Berlin’s Silver Bear for best director for his film “Aferim!”

Also Read: Belarus to Enter Oscar Race After 22 Years With Indie Gem 'Crystal Swan'

The festival at Karlovy Vary, nestled in a spa town outside Prague, Czech Republic, also awarded a special jury prize to Ana Katz’s “Sueño Florianópolis,” and awarded a best director prize to Olmo Omerzu for “Winter Flies.” Mercedes Morán (“Sueño Florianópolis”) and Moshe Folkenflik (“Redemption”) won best actress and best actor, respectively.

Vitaly Mansky’s “Putin’s Witnesses,” which featured a trove of unaired, potentially damning footage from the early days of the Russian president’s rule, took best documentary. The jury also gave special mention to Ivan I. Tverdovskiy’s “Jumpman,” about a peculiar orphan who can’t feel physical pain until his estranged mother resurfaces.

Actor and director Tim Robbins joined a long line of American stars like Robert De Niro and Casey Affleck in receiving a special prize for his contributions to world cinema, TheWrap previously reported.

“Good Time” star Robert Pattinson was also handed this year’ President’s Award.

Read the complete list of winners:

GRAND PRIX – CRYSTAL GLOBE (25 000 USD)
The financial award is shared equally by the director and producer of the award-winning film.

“I Do Not Care If We Go Down in History as Barbarians” 
Directed by: Radu Jude
Romania, Czech Republic, France, Bulgaria, Germany, 2018

SPECIAL JURY PRIZE (15 000 USD)
The financial award is shared equally by the director and producer of the award-winning film.

“Sueño Florianópolis”
Directed by: Ana Katz
Argentina, Brasil, France, 2018

BEST DIRECTOR AWARD

Olmo Omerzu for the film “Winter Flies”
Czech Republic, Slovenia, Poland, Slovakia, 2018

Also Read: 'Cielo' Film Review: A Poet's Guide to the Galaxy Via Time-Lapse Views of the Chilean Sky

BEST ACTRESS AWARD

Mercedes Morán for her role in the film “Sueño Florianópolis”
Directed by: Ana Katz
Argentina, Brasil, France, 2018

BEST ACTOR AWARD

Moshe Folkenflik for his role in the film “Redemption”
Directed by: Joseph Madmony, Boaz Yehonatan Yacov
Israel, 2018

SPECIAL JURY MENTION

“Jumpman”
Directed by: Ivan I. Tverdovskiy
Russia, Lithuania, Ireland, France, 2018

SPECIAL JURY MENTION

“History of Love”
Directed by: Sonja Prosenc
Slovenia, Italy, Norway, 2018

EAST OF THE WEST – COMPETITION

EAST OF THE WEST GRAND PRIX (15 000 USD)

“Suleiman Mountain”
Directed by: Elizaveta Stishova
Kyrgyzstan, Russia, 2017

EAST OF THE WEST SPECIAL JURY PRIZE (10 000 USD)

“Blossom Valley”

Directed by: László Csuja
Hungary, 2018

DOCUMENTARY FILMS – COMPETITION

DOCUMENTARY FILMS JURY
Raúl Camargo, Chile
M. Siam, Egypt
Diana Tabakov, Czech Republic

GRAND PRIX FOR BEST DOCUMENTARY FILM (5 000 USD)
The financial award goes to the director of the award-winning film.

“Putin’s Witnesses”
Directed by: Vitaly Mansky
Latvia, Switzerland, Czech Republic, 2018

DOCUMENTARY SPECIAL JURY PRIZE

“Walden”
Directed by: Daniel Zimmermann
Switzerland, Austria, 2018

Related stories from TheWrap:

Karlovy Vary Film Festival to Honor Tim Robbins

Karlovy Vary Film Festival Delivers Cinema and Glamour, With a Side of Goulash

Karlovy Vary Film Festival to Give Awards to Jeremy Renner, Uma Thurman

www.thewrap.com | 7/7/18

Personal and national identity reverberate through “Crystal Swan,” a tough but irresistible debut from Belarusian director Darya Zhuk.

Set in the director’s native Eastern European nation in the mid-1990s, Zhuk co-wrote the story of an aspiring DJ hustling big time to flee her country for a life spinning house music in Chicago. Co-produced by Vice Films, “Swan” premiered at the Czech Republic’s Karlovy Vary International Film Festival on Saturday.

Featuring a breakout performance from star Alina Nasibullina and boasting a rare female cinematographer in Carolina Costa, the drama marks a progressive re-entry into the awards race for Belarus, as the country will submit “Swan” for the Best Foreign Language Oscar after a 22-year dry spell.

Also Read: Karlovy Vary Film Festival to Honor Tim Robbins

Nasibullina plays Velya, a club kid and serious DJ desperate to escape the squalor of her “liberated” homeland — which won its independence from the Soviet Union in 1994 only to elect an autocratic president who still rules to this day — for the promise of America.

Donning a blue wig and stomping around in Doc Martens, Velya flies in the face of a country mid-identity crisis. She has a law degree, but spends her days asleep and her nights raging in dank nightclubs. Her Walkman (shout out to cassette tapes) is the only company she cares to keep, as she manipulates her loved ones in the singular pursuit of her dream.

Velya steals from her mom, sells her clothes and hits up her tweaker boyfriend (a brief, amazing turn from Russian actor Yuriy Borisov) to scrape together the cash for a tourist visa and her ticket out. She forges employment by falsifying a letter from a crystal factory outside her capital city of Minsk, but it blows up in her face when the American embassy says they’ll call the phone number she gave to verify her gig.

She then travels to the remote crystal factory town in attempts to sway the owner of the phone number on the forged letter to lie for her and seal the deal on her visa. What she finds on arrival is a gruff and tight-knit family preparing for the wedding of their son, horrified by her request to sit beside their phone for a call that will implicate them in a lie.

Also Read: 'Black Panther' Cinematographer Rachel Morrison on Hollywood's Lame 'Excuse' for Not Hiring Women

But they don’t resist. Velya is swept into the bustle of wedding day prep, while the eldest son of the house (also the groom) teases her for her American ambitions and bristles at her criticism of their antiquated, controlled culture.

It’s here that Zhuk’s film takes a hard left, as Veyla is raped by the groom the night before his wedding. It’s a crushing and vile defeat that comes as a direct response to her laser focus on getting what she wants, a cruel reminder that women are rarely supported or rewarded when a man feels threatened by their power.

It’s a very serious incident that the film moves on from quickly (and Nasibullina shines in her character’s one vulnerable moment, warning her rapist’s younger brother that when he has sex in the future it must be consensual). Some may see it as a brash hit-and-run narrative device, but it’s supported by the context of a character who won’t be deterred no matter the circumstances.

Zhuk and Nasibullina create a character that harkens back to the enterprising, unapologetic heroines of ’80s films like “Desperately Seeking Susan,” “Working Girl” and Madonna’s underrated “Who’s That Girl?”

But Nasibullina’s Veyla is something new. You can dance to her beat or get the f— out of the way.

“Crystal Swan” was co-written with noted Russian poet and filmmaker Helga Landauer. It was supported by grants from the New York State Council, Hessen Film Fund and the Tribeca Film Institutive. Loco Films is handling domestic sales.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Karlovy Vary Film Festival to Honor Tim Robbins

Karlovy Vary Film Festival Delivers Cinema and Glamour, With a Side of Goulash

Karlovy Vary Film Festival to Give Awards to Jeremy Renner, Uma Thurman

www.thewrap.com | 7/1/18
Writer-director-producer Barry Levinson, who will screen his HBO-produced account of the Penn State sex-abuse scandal “Paterno” at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival, will be honored with the Crystal Globe for outstanding artistic contribution to world cinema, the organization announced Wednesday. At the fest, which launches its 53rd edition in the Czech Republic’s historic spa town […]
variety.com | 5/23/18