The Trieste Award assigned by the jury (Edvinas Pukšta, Dubravka Lakić, Emanuela Martini) to the best feature film in competition (euro 5.000) goes to ÎNTREGALDE by Radu Muntean (Romania 2021) with the following motivation: the most unpredictable film in the International Feature Film Competition smartly changes gears bridging divergent genres and moods, convincingly blending professional actors with unforgettable local amateurs, and tensely driving us to a surprising destination of genuine tranquillity.
The jury also awarded two special mentions: to KELTI by Milica Tomović (Celts, Serbia 2021) For her ability to tell the story of an entire world through a single group of family and friends, in one house during one evening, and for the way she builds an ensemble film thanks to a meticulous script and the probing use of the camera; and to STRAHINJA BANOVIĆ by Stefan Arsenijević (As Far As I Can Walk, Serbia – Luxembourg – France – Bulgaria – Lithuania 2021) for its humanistic story – in which one of today’s burning topics in Europe merges with a love of epic proportions – and the strongly cinematic language which Stefan Arsenijević used to tell it.
The Alpe Adria Cinema Award assigned by the jury (Marta Popivoda, Nino Kirtadze, Gianfranco Pannone) to the best documentary film in competition (euro 2.500) goes to TVORNICE RADNICIMA by Srđan Kovačević (Factory to The Workers, Croatia 2021) with the following motivation: with its cinematic power and outstanding commitment, puts us in direct contact with a unique contemporary workers’ struggle. Honest and engaging, the film shows us the complexities of building and sustaining a socialist utopian project in the ocean of wild capitalism. Factory to the Workers!
The jury also awarded another special mention to FILM BALCONOWY by Paweł Łoziński (The Balcony Movie, Poland 2021) because This great little film struck us mostly for the empathy it shows; for its ability to connect with others in the difficult and somewhat sad days of Covid from a very simple point of view – the balcony on the first floor of an ordinary block of flats in a Warsaw residential district. What could have been a tricky position from which to reach out to people, was in fact managed very sensitively and compassionately, and succeeded in establishing a funny and even profound dialogue with the most disparate people, who come across as genuine and empathetic themselves. The director intentionally put aside a more complex way of looking at the world in favour of a much simpler style that eventually becomes political, thanks to his infectious faith in people. This is a film that touches our souls.
The Fondazione Osiride Brovedani Award assigned by the jury (Špela Čadež, Gerald Weber, Wim Vanacker) to the best short film in competition (euro 2.000) goes to PA VEND by Samir Karahoda (Displaced, Kosovo 2021) with the following motivation: In a film that crosses the border between documentary and fiction, a ping-pong table becomes an allegory for political conditions, but also a metaphor for the search for a safe place in times of displacement and migration. Pa Vend impressed us with its technical proficiency, its unusual framing, its concentrated view and its precise rhythm.
The films in the three competitions were also “judged” by the public and their votes determined the winners of the Audience Awards:
Best feature film: MRAK by Dušan Milić (Darkling, Serbia – Italy 2021)
Best documentary film: FILM BALCONOWY di Paweł Łoziński (The Balcony Movie, Poland 2021)
Best short film: BIG by Daniele Pini (Italy 2021)
Founded on the eve of the fall of the Berlin Wall (the “zero” edition dates back to 1987), the Trieste Film Festival – directed by Fabrizio Grosoli and Nicoletta Romeo – is the first and most important Italian event dedicated to Central and Eastern European cinema, which continues to be a privileged observatory on films and authors often little known – if not unknown – to Italian audiences, and more generally to “Western” audiences. More than a festival, it is a bridge that connects the different latitudes of European cinema, discovering in advance names and trends destined to impose themselves on the international scene.
Below is a list of the other prizes awarded.
The Corso Salani Award 2022 (euro 4.000), assigned by the jury (Massimo Causo, Andrea Adriatico, Maura Delpero) to the best film of the section and offered by Associazione Corso Salani and Vivo film, goes to DAL PIANETA DEGLI UMANI by Giovanni Cioni (From the Planet of the Humans, Italy – Belgium– France 2021) with the motivation: The film, set at the border between Italy and France, hovers between the immigrants’ tragic conditions in present-day Ventimiglia, and a scientific fairytale that took place a hundred years ago. In so doing, it addresses with wonder and imagination some key issues of our time, venturing into the confusion between reality and fiction that nowadays grips and stuns our senses. Alternating between phantasmagorical and ghostly figures and the physicality of reality, the director, though an almost hypnotic chant, focuses on the constant conflict between the instinct for survival and the horror of death.
The jury also awarded another special mention to: VIAGGIO NEL CREPUSCOLO by Augusto Contento (Journey into the Twilight, France – Italy 2021) because mixing with intriguing conceptual and visual breadth the rigour of archive work, the impulses of imagination and the fluidity of animation, the film reflects on Italy’s past and present identity, with stories where men, women and their aspirations are hostage to an oppressive family tradition, evoked by Bellocchio’s films, as well as to the course of history.
The Audentia Eurimages – Council of Europe Award (euro 30.000 for the next cinematographic project) assigned by the jury (Ursula Menih Dokl, Anne Laurent-Delage, Andrei Tănăsescu) goes to WOMEN DO CRY by Mina Mileva and Vesela Kazakova (Bulgaria – France 2021) with the following motivation: in an increasingly volatile social climate, the winner of this year’s Audentia Award answers the urgent call for change with ferocious immediacy, an uncompromising formal approach and all-encompassing exploration of the struggle for equality and the issues that still plague women in our society. Its rallying cry for women’s solidarity against misogyny, homophobia and toxic patriarchy is as local as it is universal, harnessing the empowering force of its multi-generational female cast to deliver a cinematic manifesto full of anger and tenderness, compassion and humour. For its unique cinematic voice and resolute bravery.
The SkyArte Award assigned by the Sky Arte HD tv channel through the acquisition and broadcast of one of the films in the TriesteFF Art&Sound section was awarded to MILAN KUNDERA: FROM THE JOKE TO INSIGNIFICANCE by Miloslav Šmídmajer (Czech Republic 2021)
The Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso Transeuropa Award to the best documentary film in competition goes to LOOKING FOR HORSES by Stefan Pavlović (The Netherlands – France – Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2021) because it is a celebration of an unusual friendship between the filmmaker and Zdravko, a fisherman who has retreated to live near a lonely lake after the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The film describes the growing bond between Zdravko, who lost his hearing after a grenade blast, and the filmmaker who narrates his own lifelong struggle with stuttering. Slowly overcoming their communication barriers, the two men establish a unique relationship, based on a desire for mutual understanding that turns into a form of mutual healing. Stefan Pavlović explores issues of communication and trauma in an original and touching work where he is not afraid to reveal insecurities, fears, and doubts. Today more than ever, Looking for Horses sends a clear message to Bosnia and Herzegovina: even when the conditions are difficult, listening to and understanding each other is not only possible but can also become an extraordinary experience.
The CEI (Central European Initiative) Award to the film that best interprets contemporary reality and dialogue between cultures (euro 3.000) goes to KELTI by Milica Tomović (Celts, Serbia, 2021) with the following motivation: the story of a family and a birthday party set in Belgrade in 1993 become powerful metaphors for the break-up of a country and the loss of collective identity. The young Serbian director in this debut film demonstrates maturity, clarity of vision and humour.
The Tënk Award 2022 given to the best film in the Corso Salani 2022 Prize section, which consists of the acquisition of the film for the platform, goes to Des Portes et Des Déserts by Loredana Bianconi for the poetic impetus with which the director transfigures the crossing of migrants, making it a universal journey capable of giving new meaning to the material of our imagination.
The Cineuropa Award to the best feature film in competition goes to NË KËRKIM TË VENERËS by Norika Sefa (Looking for Venera, Kosovo – North Macedonia, 2021) because among the range of excellent films in this section, one film really stood out for its various cinematic qualities. Looking for Venera is impressive in its sincerity and precision. The director Norika Sefa has succeeded in portraying the complexity of the two main characters, magnificently played by the actresses Kosovare Krasniqi and Rozafa Çelaj. We must also salute the work of Luis Armando Arteaga, the director of photography, for making this beautiful coming-of-age film shine.
The PAG Jury Award – Progetto Area Giovani of the Municipality of Trieste, awarded by a jury of young people aged between 18 and 35 (Abel Gambini, Alberto Loschi, Chiara Stella Lorenzi, Elisa Chiodi, Emiliano di Summa, Franco Morellato, Iris Paparelle, Leonardo D’Angelo, Rosa Maria Roccatagliata), representatives of youth associations, to the best short film in competition, goes to SAMOGŁÓW by Jakub Prysak (Headfish, Poland, 2021, 24′) for a cinematic microcosm in which the characters have their own time to grow and evolve, in a realistic context full of symbolic references to contemporary society. The direction and photography contribute effectively to create a complete and impactful communication.
The jury also assigned a special mention to BIG by Daniele Pini (Italia, 2021, 14’)
The Eastern Star Award 2022 which awards a personality from the world of cinema whose work has contributed, just like the Trieste Film Festival, to building a bridge between Eastern and Western Europe, goes to KORNÉL MUNDRUCZÓ and KATA WÉBER
The Cinema Warrior Award 2022 which awards the obstinacy, sacrifice and madness of those ‘warriors’ – be they individuals, associations or festivals – who work (or rather: fight) behind the scenes for Cinema, goes Luciana Castellina