Crystal Globe winner Blaga’s Lessons, focusing on the struggles of vulnerable seniors. Credit: KVIFF.

Bulgarian-German Film ‘Blaga’s Lessons’ wins Crystal Globe at Karlovy Vary Film Festival

Karlovy Vary, July 10 (CTK) – The Grand Prix in the main competition of this weekend’s Karlovy Vary Film Festival, the Crystal Globe, was awarded to the Bulgarian-German film ‘Blaga’s Lessons’ by director Stephan Komandarev.

The director received the Crystal Globe from festival president Jiri Bartoska for his social drama focusing on the vulnerable senior citizens. The grand prize of the main competition comes with an award of $25,000, split equally between the director and producer of the film.

The Special Jury Award, with a reward of $15,000, went to the German-Iranian film Empty Nets. Behrouz Karamizadeh’s feature debut is a realist drama set in contemporary Iran that depicts the struggle for the right to love.

The jury judged 11 films in the main competition.

Among the guests in the packed Grand Hall of the Thermal Hotel were: Michal Lukes, director of the National Museum; actress Eva Holubova; musician and director of the Soundtrack Festival Michal Dvorak; and Rene Zavoral, director general of Czech Radio. The ceremony was traditionally hosted by Marek Eben. The starting performance of the ceremony, just like last week’s opening ceremony, was provided by figure skaters from the Olympia Prague synchronised skating team.

The Best Director Award went to Babak Jalali for his direction of the American film ‘Fremont’, the story of an Afghan immigrant to the United States who works in a Chinese fortune cookie factory.

Eli Skorcheva’s performance as Blaga in the award-winning film ‘Blaga’s Lessons’ won her the Best Actress Award. The Best Actor Award went to Herbert Nordrum for his role in the Swedish-Norwegian-French film ‘Hypnosis’.

The Special Mention went to the German-Lebanese documentary ‘Dancing on the Edge of A Volcano’ by Cyril Aris, showing the difficulties of filmmakers shooting in contemporary Lebanon after the explosion in the port of Beirut. The Audience Award went to the French historical film ‘Edge of the Blade’ by Vincent Perez.

In the Proxima competition, the Grand Prix went to the South Korean film ‘Birth’, about a young writer’s unplanned pregnancy. The Special Jury Award in the Proxima Competition went to ‘Guras’, an Indian-Nepalese mystical odyssey about the pain of loss and the differences in mourning between children and adults.

The Czech disaster film ‘Brutal Heat’, directed by Albert Hospodarsky, received a special mention from the jury in this competition. Alongside the main competition, Proxima is the second competition section of the festival, a space for filmmakers waiting to be discovered as well as renowned filmmakers looking for new definitions of their work. Unlike its predecessor, the East of the West competition, Proxima is open to work from all over the world.

The 58th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival will take place from 28 June to 6 July 2024.

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