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The High Sun named Best Film at FilmFestival Cottbus 2015
10 November 2015
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Dalibor Matanic΄s The High Sun (Croatia/Slovenia/Serbia, 2015) got the top prize at the 25th FilmFestival Cottbus, with the awards ceremony in the Stadthalle Cottbus. A total amount of €77,750 were awarded to the prize-winning filmmakers, while more than 20,000 visitors let themselves to be captivated by the diversity of Eastern European cinema. 

“It was an extraordinary situation since all the members of the jury actually are directors and therefore, at least in some cases, we ended up having extremely diverging opinions,” stated the member of the International Festival Jury Visar Morina, and added: “In the end we understood each other, however, even though we did not always share the same view.”

Actress Tihana Lazovic with the Best Film Award for The High Sun

The High Sun΄s protagonist, Tihana Lazović accepted the Main Prize for Best Film, on behalf of the film crew. The prize in equal parts went to director Dalibor Matanić and Ankica Jurić Tilić, the producer of the film. Lazović’s exceptional acting performance to grant her the Award for Outstanding Actress, for embodying the three different women portrayed in the film. The film, which returned to Cottbus after it got off the ground in the context of the East-West co-production market Connecting Cottbus in 2011, also won the FIPRESCI Prize.

“The fact that with The High Sun and Ungiven by Branko Schmidt (Croatia 2015), which won the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury, there are two Croatian productions among the prize winners honours the fantastic work of the Croatian Audiovisual Centre (HAVC) which has systematically bolstered the film industry for the last couple of years”, said Bernd Buder, the Programme Director of the FilmFestival Cottbus, as a reaction to the juries’ decisions.

The Award for Outstanding Actor was awarded to Karel Roden, playing in Family Film by Olmo Omerzu (Czech Republic/Germany/Slovenia/France 2015).

The Special Prize for Best Director was awarded to Lili Horváth for The Wednesday Child (Hungary/Germany 2015). The jury commented on its decision with the words: “Lili Horváth led her actors and characters through the story with an emotion, talent and precision outstanding for a debutant directress.”

The director Aksinya Gog received the Main Prize of the Short Feature Competition for Fedor’s Journey Through Moscow At The Turn Of The XXI Century (Russia, 2014). The decision of the binational Polish-German student jury of the U18 German-Polish Youth Film Competition did not come about quite as easily, however. The prize went to 4 Kings (Germany,  2015) by Theresa Von Eltz. 

International Festival Jury 2015

Other films from the region awarded, were Visar Morina΄s Father (Germany/Kosovo*/FYROM/France, 2015 - Best Debut Film), The World is Mine by Nicolae Constantin Tanase (Romania, 2015 - Cottbus Discovery Award) and Siska Deluxe by Jan Cvitkovic (Slovenia, 2015 – Audience Award).

The winners line-up:

Feature Film Competition

Main Prize for Best Film 
The High Sun by Dalibor Matanic (Croatia/Slovenia/Serbia, 2015)

Special Prize for Best Director 
The Wednesday Child by Lili Horváth (Hungary/Germany 2015)

Special Prize for an Outstanding Actress 
Tihana Lazovic for The High Sun

Special Prize for an Outstanding Actor 
Karel Roden for Family Film by Olmo Omerzu (Czech Republic/Germany/Slovenia/France 2015)

Special Mention
Demon by Marcin Wrona (Poland/Israel, 2015)

Short Feature Competition

Main Prize (to the director) 
Fedor’s Journey Through Moscow At The Turn Of The XXI Century (Russia, 2014)

Special Prize (to the director) 
Grandma΄s Day by Milosz Sakowski (Poland, 2015)

Special Mention 
Ogasavara by Tato Kotetishvili (Georgia, 2015)

U 18 German-Polish Youth Film Competition

Prize for Best Youth Film 
4 Kings by Theresa Von Eltz (Germany, 2015)

Special Mention
Raging Rose by Julia Kowalski (France/Poland, 2015)

Filmmaker and International Jury member, Visar Morina

Overall Programme

DIALOGUE Prize for Intercultural Communication 
Santigay΄s First Wife by Daniyar Salamat (Kazakhstan 2015)

Prize for the Best Debut Film 
Father by Visar Morina (Germany/Kosovo*/FYROM/France, 2015) 

The High Sun by Dalibor Matanic (Croatia/Slovenia/Serbia, 2015)

Prize of the Ecumenical Jury 
Ungiven by Branko Schmidt (Croatia, 2015)

"From Cottbus to Cinema" Distribution Support Prize for a Festival Film 
Heavenly Nomadic by Mirlan Abdykalykov (Kirgisistan, 2015)

Cottbus Discovery Award 

Audience Award 
Siska Deluxe by Jan Cvitkovic (Slovenia, 2015)

The festival΄s Managing Director, Andreas Stein, had some things to say after the awards handing was over: “We had hoped for continuing, increased interest, especially on the occasion of the anniversary, and this edition was indeed worthy of a quarter century festival history. So I am all the more happy that our guests have once again praised us for the informal atmosphere at this excellently organised and internationally renowned festival. I cordially thank all people involved, who have made this possible with us.”

Source: FilmFestival Cottbus official website
  The World is Mine
  The High Sun
  Siska Deluxe
  Family Film
  Dalibor Matanic
  Branko Schmidt
  Ankica Juric-Tilic
  Jan Cvitkovic
  Olmo Omerzu
  Tihana Lazovic
  Nicolae Constantin Tanase
  Visar Morina
  Karel Roden
  Balkan films and highlights of the 25th Film Festival Cottbus
  FilmFestival Cottbus officicial website
  FilmFestival Cottbus on Twitter
  FilmFestival Cottbus on Facebook
  altcine Explore movies by Country People To read
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