THE GRAND PRIZE
Offered by the National Magazine FORMULA AS
LETTER TO THE DEAD by Eytan Kapon and Andre Iteanu, France
The jury of the International Competition of ASTRA FILM FEST 2002 gives the Grand Prize to “Letter to the Dead” by Eytan Kapon. The jurors have been extremely impressed by the way in which the author shows an encounter between tradition and modernity. The film presents the world view of the people living in their communities that is constructed out of bits and pieces of information at hand, conditioned by local traditions, Christian missionaries’ teachings and millenary fears. The film is a sucessful combination of ethnographic research, deep understanding of intricate religious problems and cinematographic skills.
AWARD FOR THE BEST FILM - INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION
offered by National Centre For Cinematography
DUKA'S DILEMA by Jean Lydall, Germany
The Jury of the International Competition decided to give the Award of the NATIONAL COUNCIL FOR CINEMATOGRAPHY to the film “Duka’s Dilemma” directed by Jean Lydall. The author successfully presents the difficult subject of everyday life in a small Ethiopian household in a way that creates the feeling of naturalness. Domestic life and problems are pursued in a diligent and sensitive way. The filmmaker managed to earn people’s trust, that results in original and deeply moving pictures. Duka’s story and life is shown with an unpreceded intimacy and empathy.
THE KEY de Dan and Noit Geva; THE BRIGADE de Liivo Niglas; NORTHLANDS de Furedi Zoltan
THE KEY - The jury of the International Competition recognize and respect the courage of the two filmmakers, Dan and Noit geva, authors of the film “The key”, who present with great honesty some of the torments existing in present-day israeli society. The film gives a new insight into the understanding of the complex Jewish religious life.
THE BRIGADE - The Jury of the International Competition commends the film The Brigade by Liivo Niglas for showing us in a very natural way the life of people living in extreme and severe conditions. Communism and its collapse have affected many elements in the life of reindeer herders, but they haven’t changed the core of their culture and lifestyle. The author succeeded in catching tradition and continuity, nostalgia and the uncertainty of the Nenets people in a simple and direct way, bringing together images of daily life that make up an interesting film narrative.
NORTHLANDS - The Jury of the International Competition appreciates the work of Furedi Zoltan for the film Northlands. The filmmakersucceeded to catch with much accuracy and without any distortions the everyday life of people making a living in vanishing professions. At the same time, the film provides a good example of how three different cultures can coexist harmoniously.
AWARD FOR THE BEST FILM - BALKAN COMPETITION
offered by the Foundation Deventer-Roemenie and Filmhuis De Keizer, The Netherlands
THE LAS YUGOSLAVIAN FOOTBALL TEAM by Vuk Janic, The Netherlands
The film portrays the ultimate vulnerability of a group of people, who normally belong to the world of success, wealth, fame, and top media attention, in the turmoil of war caused by the encompassing and violent nationalism of post-communist Yugoslav leaders. The filmmakers convincingly sum up the whole story of the falling apart of Yugoslavia by telling the story of particular group of people with different ethnic backgrounds. The falling apart of the football team could make the viewers understand the destructive effects of war without filming gunfire, bloodshed and ruins. The film also expresses the possibility of moral resistance and personal stamina against political pressure and manipulations.
WOMEN, THE FORGOTTEN FACES OF WAR by Susan Muska and Greta Olafsdottir
Through a realistic approach the film explores the real destinies of women affected by war. The excruciating pain and suffering of women from different ethnic backgrounds is conveyed to the viewer through interview sequences that are almost unbearable to watch. The jury regards the film as an important contribution in giving women a voice and peace a chance. It is sad but necessary that such films are made.
AWARD FOR THE BEST FILM - ROMANIAN COMPETITION
Offered by The British Council (split)
SHELTER by Gheorghe Sfaiter; PENITENCIARY by Catalin Stefanescu
SHELTER - In a day and age when the film and media industry and, perhaps, television in particular, seems to move at an increasingly rapid pace, it can almost seem an act of courage for a television company to produce a film like Shelter. Beautifully shot, in a pure observational style, the film lets the viewer into the life of an old woman coming to terms with loneliness and harsh conditions. The result is a gentle portrait of a remarkable individual woman through whom we see universal aspects of life, solitude and widowhood.
PENITENCIARY - This, in many ways, remarkable film explores the difficult world of convicts with a life sentence. A daring film, choosing a topic, institutions, which is well covered in a number of international documentaries, for example films by Frederick Wiseman, Penitentiary reveals what is on the minds of hardcore criminals, as regards both the crimes they have committed, their hopes for the future and their relationships to other inmates. Structured entirely through a succession of interviews, inter-cut with glimpses of prison life, the film conveys an understanding of a category of people who are normally depicted in a very negative way only.
TWO VILLAGES: MODERNIZATION AND DEMODERNIZATION OF THE ROMANIAN VILLAGE by Alina Mungiu-Pippidi
The film nicely portrays the complexity of post-socialist transformations in rural Romania. It succinctly explicates the shifting power relationships among individuals and families in the social space of the village, drawn and redrawn by unending political battles and ideological experiments in Romania in the 20th century. Combining the devices of documentary and ethnographic cinematography, the filmmakers convincingly show the different destinies of two villages during socialism, which ultimately have become one and the same in the destiny of the peasantry in Central and East European societies in socialist transformation.