cineuropa.org

03 September, 2008

Europeans Have Strong Showing At Montreal Film Awards



By Sandy Mandelberger, North American Editor

After a 10 day marathon of world cinema, the Montreal World Film Festival concluded on Monday night with its gala Awards Ceremony and a screening of the French/Swiss/Belgian film Home, starring Isabelle Huppert. While French-language films are de rigeur in this French speaking city, the Festival’s highest honor went to a Japanese film. The Grand Prix des Ameriques, announced from the stage of the Theatre Maisonneuve by Jury President (and Oscar nominated American director) Mark Rydell, was awarded to Okuribito (Departures) by Yojiro Takita. The most awards of the evening however went to a local Quebec film. Ce Qu’Il Faut Pour Vivre (The Necessities of Life), an audience pleaser about an Inuit man suffering from tuberculosis in 1950s Quebec, won three awards, a Special Grand Prix, as well as audience awards as Best Picture and Best Canadian Film.


European directors and talents figured strongly in the final awards tally. Two European films nabbed multiple prizes. Turneja (The Tour), Serbian director Goran Markovic’s film about a troupe of Serbian actors who go on the road during the height of the civil war in Bosnia in 1993, won the Best Director prize, and also scored the FIPRESCI International Film Critics prize. Varg (The Wolf) by Swedish director Daniel Alfredson took home both the Ecumenical Prize and an award for Best Artistic Contribution. Actor Peter Stormare (Fargo) stars as an indigenous father in the remote mountains of northern Sweden who tries to protect his family and his herd of reindeer from wild wolves.


Best Actress honors went to German thespian Barbara Sukowa (a veteran actress who has worked with such German icons as Rainer Werner Fassbinder and Margarethe von Trotta) for her performance as a housewife who hides a deserter in the waning days of World War II in the period film The Invention of Curried Sausage by Ulla Wagner.

Two films tied for the Best Screenplay award. Spanish writer/director Xavi Puebla and his collaborator Jesus Gil shared the prize for Bienvenido A Farewell-Gutman (Welcome to Farewell-Gutman), a bitter satire on the world of international business as exemplified in a hierarchical pharmaceutical company. Japanese director Riyoichi Kimizuka shared the prize for his hard-hitting policier script for Nobody To Watch Over Me.

First Film honors (the Golden Zenith award) were bestowed on Iranian-born Austrian director Arash T. Riahi for his debut film Ein Augenblick, Freiheit (For A Moment, Freedom). The film tells the tale of two young Iranian children who are being smuggled out of Iran by their cousins to join their parents in Austria. Runners-up includes Silver Zenith winner Weltstadt, German director Christian Klandt’s hard-hitting story of an attack on a homeless man by two drunk teenagers in a small East German town, and Bronze Zenith honoree Tatil Kitabi (Summer Book), Turkish director Seyfi Teoman’s lyrical portrait of family life.

AWARDS OF THE WORLD FILM FESTIVAL – MONTRÉAL 2008

FEATURE FILMS


Grand prix des Americas:
OKURIBITO (DEPARTURES) by Yojiro Takita (Japan)

Special Grand Prix of the jury :
THE NECESSITIES OF LIFE (CE QU'IL FAUT POUR VIVRE) by Benoît Pilon (Canada)

Best Director :
THE TOUR (TURNEJA) by Goran Markovic (Serbia/Bosnia and Herzegovina)

Best Actress :
BARBARA SUKOWA for the film THE INVENTION OF THE CURRIED SAUSAGE (DIE ENTDECKUNG DER CURRYWURST) by Ulla Wagner (Germany)

Best Actor :
ERI CAÑETE for the film TEO'S VOYAGE (EL VIAJE DE TEO) by Walter Doehner (Mexico)

Best Screenplay:
WELCOME TO FAREWELL-GUTMANN (BIENVENIDO A FAREWELL-GUTMANN) by Xavi Puebla, screenplay by Xavi Puebla and Jesús Gil (Spain)
NOBODY TO WATCH OVER ME by Riyoichi Kimizuka, screenplay by Riyoichi Kimizuka and Satoshi Suzuki (Japan)

Best Artistic Contribution :
WOLF (VARG) by Daniel Alfredson (Sweden-Norway-Finland)

Innovation Award:
IT ALL BEGINS AT SEA by Eitan Green (Israel)

JURY President : MARK RYDELL, director (U.S.A.)
EVELYNE BOUIX, actress (France)
JOHANNE DUGAS, representing the general public (Canada)
XIE FEI, director (China)
VOJTECH JASNY, director (Czech Republic)
DANY LAFERRIÈRE, writer and director (Canada)

SHORT FILMS

First Prize :
THE NECKTIE (LE NŒUD CRAVATE) by Jean-François Lévesque (Canada)

Jury Award:
FAL by Hans Van Nuffel (Belgium)

ZENITHS FOR THE BEST FIRST FICTION FEATURE FILMS

Golden Zenith for the Best First Fiction Feature films :
FOR A MOMENT, FREEDOM (EIN AUGENBLICK, FREIHEIT) by Arash T. Riahi (Austria/France)

Silver Zenith for the First Fiction Feature Film :
WELTSTADT by Christian Klandt (Germany)

Bronze Zenith for the Fisrt Fiction Feature Film :
SUMMER BOOK (TATIL KITABI) by Seyfi Teoman (Turkey)

PUBLIC AWARDS

Public Award for the most popular film of the Festival:
THE NECESSITIES OF LIFE (CE QU'IL FAUT POUR VIVRE) by Benoît Pilon (Canada)

Public Award for the most popular Canadian Feature Film :
THE NECESSITIES OF LIFE (CE QU'IL FAUT POUR VIVRE) by Benoît Pilon (Canada)

Glauber Rocha Award for the Best Latin American Film :
DON'T LOOK DOWN (NO MIRES PARA ABAJO) by Eliseo Subiela (Argentina-France)

Award for Best Documentary :
CHILDREN OF THE PYRE by Rajesh S. Jala (India)

Award for Best Canadian Short Film :
THE NECKTIE (LE NŒUD CRAVATE) by Jean-François Lévesque (Canada)

FIPRESCI PRIZE (INTERNATIONAL FILM CRITICS)
THE TOUR (TURNEJA) by Goran Markovic (Serbia/Bosnia and Herzegovina)

ECUMENICAL PRIZES
WOLF (VARG) by Daniel Alfredson (Sweden-Norway-Finland)
Special mention of the Ecumenical jury :
TEO'S VOYAGE (EL VIAJE DE TEO) by Walter Doehner (Mexico)

OTHER AWARDS
Special Awards for their exceptional contribution to the cinematographic art :
ALAN LADD JR.
TONY CURTIS
ISABELLE HUPPERT

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