Russia's 'Geographer' Wins Top Awards in Odessa

Alexander Veledinsky’s comedy claims Grand Prix and Best Film as Ukrainian festival wraps.

MOSCOW -- Alexander Veledinsky’s comedy about a drunken schoolteacher and his unruly class won the $15,000 Grand Prix prize at the closing Saturday of the 4th Odessa International Film Festival. 

The title, The Geographer Drank His Globe Away, also picked up best film.

Best Ukrainian Feature Film was handed to the directors of the biopic Paradjanov, Serge Avedikian and Olena Fetisova, who also receive a $6,500 prize. Best director went to India's Ritesh Batra for The Lunchbox.

Best actor jointly went to young Georgian actresses Lika Babluani and Mariam Bokeria, for their roles in In Bloom directed by Nana Ekvtimishvili and Simon Gross.

After the end of the awards ceremony, festival president Viktoriya Tigipko noted that the number of visits increased by 15 percent this year and that OIFF plans to expand the festival locations.

The 5th Odessa Film Festival will be held from July 11-19, 2014.