Russian Films Take Top Prizes at Cottbus Festival
The Eastern European movie showcase honored 'Corrections Class' and 'Test' director Alexander Kott
Russian films were the big winners Saturday night at the closing of the 24th Cottbus Festival of Eastern European Film.
Ivan Tverdovsky's Corrections Class, which won Karlovy Vary's East of the West competition in July, took the event's main prize worth $25,000, and Test won best director and $10,000 for helmer Alexander Kott.
The festival, held in a small former East German town southeast of Berlin, is one of the world's leading showcases of movies from Soviet and former Warsaw Pact countries.
Tverdovsky's film, his feature debut, is about a paraplegic named Lena who learns how emotionally unstable personal relations can be among young people on the edge of society. The Cottbus jury was impressed by its "unsentimental, unpretentious approach to an important social issue by an excellent ensemble of actors."
Kott's "quirky and visually stunning" film, based on an obscure chapter in postwar Soviet history, is about a young woman involved in a love triangle.
In other awards, best actress went to Piroska Molnar for her role in Hungarian director Gyorgy Palfi's Free Fall and best actor to Emir Hadzihafizbegovic for his part in These Are the Rules by Yugoslav-born Ognjen Svilicic.
There was a special jury mention for Kosovar-German co-production Three Windows and a Hanging by Isa Qosja. The film was produced after being first pitched to professionals in 2012 at the festival's co-production market Connecting Cottbus.