'Geographer' Wins Top Prize at Russia's Kinotavr Film Festival

Meanwhile, "Ship of Theseus" won the 12th Transilvania international film festival in Cluj, Romania.

MOSCOW – The Geographer Has Drunk Away The Globe, Alexander Vedinsky’s lyrical comedy of the adventures of a provincial misfit teacher with a drinking problem, won the main prize of the 24th edition of Russia’s national film festival Kinotavr in Sochi Sunday night.

Loosely based on a bestselling semi-autobiographical 2003 novel by Alexyi Ivanov, the teacher is played by Russia’s biggest star - Konstantin Khabensky, giving the film strong local box office prospects. Khabensky also picked up the best actor award at the festival.

The best director honor went to Vitaly Mansky for Pipeline, a documentary about the people who live along the route of the natural gas pipeline that starts in the permafrost of Siberia and ends on the warm beaches of the Bay of Biscay.

Best screenplay went to Alexey Fedorchenko’s assemblage of 22 shorts stories about women from the Volga Finno-Ugric ethnic group, the Mari, Celestial Wives of the Meadow Mari.

The traditional white elephant Russian critics’ guild prize went to Intimate Parts a tale of modern day Moscow middle class manners by Natasha Merkulova and Alexei Chupov. The film’s Yulia Aug picked up best actress.

This weekend also saw the closing of the 12th Transilvania international film festival in Cluj, Romania, where the $18,000 main prize went to Indian director Anand Ghandi for Ship of Theseus. The film also picked up the best cinematography honor.

The best director award went to Japan’s Rikya Imaizumi for romentic comedy I Catch a Terrible Cat.

Best actor/actress award went to Denmark’s Gustav Dyekjaer Giese, for his role in Nordvest directed by Michael Noer.

Veteran Czech New Wave director Jiri Menzel was honored with a lifetime achievement award at the festival, along with composer Adrian Enescu.