The juries for the 49th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (July 4-12) handed out prizes in four competition categories Saturday night at the Hotel Thermal at a ceremony punctuated by slippery girls in black bikinis sliding across a watery stage. "Karlovy Vary is the face of this country," president of the competition Jury Luis Miñarro told the crowd before a screening of the hilarious dark Argentinian comedy "Wild Tales."
The grand jury for the official competition (Miñarro, Spain, Mira Fornay, Slovakia, Phedon Papamichael, Greece, Kjartan Sveinsson, Iceland and Viktor Tauš, Czech Republic) awarded the $25,000 Grand Prix Crystal Globe for the producer and director to "Corn Island" ("Simindis kundzuli"), directed by George Ovashvili and financed by Georgia, Germany, France, Czech Republic and Kazakhstan.
A special jury prize of $15,000 went to the director and producer of "Free Fall" ("Szabadesés"), directed by György Pálfi, and financed by Hungary, France, and South Korea. Pálfi also won for Best Director.
American Elle Fanning took home Best Actress for Jeff Preiss's Sundance debut "Low Down," making its international premiere here. Ron Yerxa and Albert Berger produced the film, which Oscilloscope will release stateside. "She channels light from above," said director Preiss.
Nahuel Pérez Biscayart won Best Actor for his role in David Lambert's Belgian/Canadian film "All Yours" ("Je suis à toi"). "I really grew up making this film," the young actor told the crowd.
The $20,000 East of the West Award--given by the jury headed by chairman Ahmet Boyacıoğlu of Turkey which also comprised Ivana Ivišić, Croatia, Levan Koguashvili, Russia, Amanda Livanou, Greece and Tomasz Wasilewski, Poland--went to the director and producer of "Corrections Class" ("Klass korrektsii"), directed by Ivan I. Tverdovsky and financed by Russia and Germany.
The jury gave a special mention to "Barbarians" ("Varvari"), directed by Ivan Ikić and financed by Serbia, Montenegro and Slovenia. Organizer Film Servis Fesival Karlovy Vary, a.s., with Jiří Bartoška as president (often described as the Czech Sean Connery) and Karel Och as artistic director, announced that the 50th Karlovy Vary IFF will be held from July 3rd to July 11th, 2015.
More prizes below.