Trieste Film Festival wrapped Thursday night, honoring Georgian film Corn Island by George Ovashvili with its best feature film award, a prize it also took at Karlovy Vary this past July. The film was shortlisted on the Academy Award’s list of nine features competing for best foreign language film, but it ultimately didn’t make the final cut of five nominations.
Corn Island reveals two unlikely farmers, a grandfather and his grandaughter, toiling away on an impossible land, surrounded by border conflict. Ovashvili created an island from scratch for the shoot. The Hollywood Reporter‘s film critic Stephen Dalton wrote that the title “weaves a powerful life-and-death fable from simple ingredients in this almost wordless drama.”
Something Better to Come, by Hanna Polak, won best documentary. The Oscar-nominated director takes an in-depth look at the families living in the largest junkyard in the world, the Svalka, right outside of Moscow.
Ukraine’s Christina Syvolap won best short film with Not Today. And the Central European Initiative Award went to Croatia’s Tiha K. Gudac for Goli, about how a family’s secret and a nation’s past can haunt its present. The best Italian film went to coming-of-age story Uproar by Davide Maldi.
And the Sky Arte award went to Rocks in My Pockets by Signe Baumane. The film is an animated tale about five women using imagination to overcome insanity. Sky Arte HD has acquired the film as part of the prize.
Carlo Zoratti’s La Vita Nuova won the fifth edition of When East Meets West, among 21 other projects pitched during the week of panels and meetings. Produced by Italian company Alpis, La Vita Nuova will be Zoratti’s second feature. It tells the story of Franco and Pia, who as part of a group re-enact their own dreams as an attempt to heal their existential anxieties.
A brand new prize, the HBO Europe Award, went to work-in-progress documentary Last Stop Trieste by Poland’s Wojciech Staron. This year’s East Meets West focused on English-speaking countries. The 2016 edition will look to Spain, Portugal and Latin America.