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Bright colours of Listapad

At 19th International Listapad Film Festival, audience of 30,000 watched over 300 films from 43 countries
By Olga Vasilieva

The festival’s international jury agree that this year’s film entries have been of exceptional quality, making their decisions much harder. Headed by famous film director Andrey Zvyagintsev, they debated through the night before choosing In the Fog, by Belarusian director Sergey Loznitsa, for the Grand Prix: The Gold of Listapad. The film is based on a book of the same title, by Belarusian Vasil Bykov, and is the joint work of cinematographers from five countries: Germany, Russia, Belarus, Latvia and the Netherlands.

Another favourite was My Own Honour Bright, by Russian director Alexander Karpilovsky, which has already won several awards: from the Listapadzik contest for children and youngsters; and the Prize of the President of Belarus ‘For Humanism and Spirituality in Cinema’.

Second place — The Silver of Listapad — went to Polish director Cristian Mungiu’s Beyond the Hills (Romania-France-Belgium) in the ‘Artistic Film’ nomination. Poland’s My Father’s Bike, directed by Piotr Trzaskalski, took The Bronze of Listapad. In the main feature film competition, ‘Best Art Direction’ went to Vasily Sigarev (Living, Russia) while ‘Best Camerawork’ (the Marukhin prize) went to Aadel Nodeh-Farahani (Juris Poškus’ Kolka Cool, Latvia). Mikhail Segal’s Short Stories (Russia) was awarded a special prize for best newcomer to comedy. Meanwhile, Yana Troyanova and Olga Lapshina were named best actresses for Vasily Sigarev’s Living (Russia) and Mikhail Meskhi was awarded the title of best actor (Zaza Urushadze’s Guardian, Georgia).

According to the jury, the forum saw an interesting and diverse programme of documentary films. Serbia’s Village Without Women received the Grand Prix for ‘Best Documentary’. In addition, Olga Dashuk (Belarus) was recognised for her direction of Cinema Goer: Autumn Dream, alongside the director of Minefield, Russian Ivan Golovnev; they shared a prize given by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union of Belarus and Russia ‘For Loyalty to Moral Ideals in Film Art’.

Russia’s Fan, directed by Vitaly Melnikov, received the Cinema without Borders special prize, awarded by the CIS Executive Committee for developing cultural co-operation and strengthening friendship between nations. Meanwhile, After Lucia, directed by Michel Franco of Mexico, was given a special diploma from the jury ‘For Topical Relevance and Outstanding Screenplay’.
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