Karlovy Vary Film Festival Wraps With Grand Prix for Bulgarian Drama 'Father'

Karlovy Vary International Film Festival
Tim Mielants' 'Patrick'

Best director honors went to Belgium's Tim Mielants for 'Patrick,' a tragicomedy set in a nudist colony.

The Bulgarian drama Father, directed by Kristina Grozeva and Petar Valchanov, on Saturday took the Crystal Globe for Grand Prix at the closing of the 54th edition of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.

An intimate family drama about a grieving father who has lost his wife of many years, the Bulgaria-Greece co-production contained elements of dark farce.

Among other honorees, a special jury prize went to the producers and director of Lara, German helmer Jan-Ole Gerster's tragicomedy about a mother attending her son's piano recital — something that has surprising unpredictable results. Corinna Harfouch, who played the title role, was named best actress.

Best director honors went to Belgium's Tim Mielants for his breezy tragicomedy Patrick, which is set in a nudist colony.

Milan Ondrik was tapped as best actor for his part in Slovakia-Czech Republic co-production Let There Be Light, in which a father returning home from working abroad discovers his son is involved in an extremist paramilitary group.

There also were special jury mentions for Spanish director Jona Truebas' The August Virgin and for Antonia Giesen for her role in the Chile-Argentine drama The Man of the Future.

In the festival's East of the West sidebar, Bull by Russian director Boris Akopov won the Grand Prix. Set in the turbulent 1990s in Russia, the project also took best film honors last month at the Russian national film awards Kinotavr in Sochi. There also was a special jury prize for Ukrainian filmmaker Antonio Lukich's sound-man drama My Thoughts Are Silent.

The Grand Prix for best documentary film went to Ksenia Okhapkina for her Estonia-Latvia co-production Immortal, a lyrical 60-minute look at life in a small town in Russia, while a special jury prize was awarded to China's Mijie Li for Confucian Dream, a doc about a child's wish to study the writings of the great philosopher.

The Czech spa town-based festival also presented honorary Crystal Globes to Patricia Clarkson and Julianne Moore for outstanding artistic contribution to world cinema and the President's Award to Czech cinematographer Vladimir Smutny.

The 55th edition of Karlovy Vary International Film Festival is set to run July 3-11, 2020.