Iceland's 'Jar' top shelf at Karlovy Vary festival

Norway's Breien named best director

Icelandic director Baltasar Kormakur's gritty thriller "Jar City" won the $20,000 crystal globe grand prix Saturday at the closing of the 42nd Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (HR 7/9).

Accepting his award from Danny DeVito onstage at the festival's Thermal Hotel headquarters, Kormakur held aloft the award — a nude muse with a crystal globe — and said: "We make only about five films a year, and three are here at this festival. Now we've got this."

Earlier, DeVito, who starred in the festival's closing film, Jake Paltrow's "The Good Night," accepted a lifetime achievement award from festival president Jiri Bartoska.

Best director went to Norway's Bard Breien for his wickedly funny take on disability, "The Art of Negative Thinking."

Dressed in a bright red suit and zebra-striped shoes, Breien said: "Scandinavians are often asked why we are obsessed with making films about deeply depressed alcoholic lonely people, but now I can see to have success in Eastern Europe you here are just as depressed!"

Best actor went to Sergei Puskepalis for his debut performance in Russian director Alexsei Popogrebsky's "Simple Things."

Popogrebsky, who accepted the award on his behalf, remarked that Puskepalis was actually a theater director who had not acted before.

"Simple Things" also took anex-aequo (according to what is right and good) special mention for elderly Russian actor Leonid Bronevoy and FIPRESCI and ecumenical jury nods.

Best actress was Elvira Min-guez for her role in the Spanish film "Pudor" (directed by David and Tristan Ulloa).

In the East of the West competition section, dedicated to films from former Communist countries, the $10,000 top prize went to Ognjen Svilicic's multicountry co-production, "Armin."