12nd Motovun International Film Festival
Croatia, July 27 - July 31 2009
The eleventh edition of International Motovun Film Festival this year, situated in a picturesque old country town at the top of an Austrian mountain, screened sixty-five films from around thirty countries. A particular focus of this year’s Festival edition were stories of greed and poverty, and, although this was the title of only one of the program selections, the topic seemed to dominate the majority of the films’ contents. The Greed and poverty section included classics such as Chaplin’s The Gold Rush, Bunuel’s Las Hurdes and Stroheim’s Greed. The festival program was selected by: Rajko Grlic, Jurica Pavicic and Igor Mirkovic. This year’s focus on national cinema went to new Finnish film (selected by Mirkovic from the last five year’s of Finnish cinema production), with respectable guests including representatives of the Finnish Film Council; Jaana Puskala and Petri Kemppinen; the directors of intriguing documentaries Pavlov’s Dogs and Basket Case; Arto Halonen and Oskari Pastila; and famous Mika Kaurismaki with his latest feature based on a Biblical story, Three Wise Men, which has been awarded in Tallinn 2008 for triple best actor (Kari Heiskanen, Pertti Sveholm, Timo Torikka). Motovun also screened Croatian and regional films, mainly ex-Yu, including Guardians of the Night by Namik Kabil (Bosnia and Hertzegovina), documentaries Goodbye, How Are You by Boris Miti (Serbia) and Go For It by Dejan Acimovic (Croatia). The special 50-Years-in-Cinema Award went to a celebrated Croatian animated film artist and one of the most prominent representatives of the famous Zagreb animation cinema school, Nedeljko Dragic. Dragic was nominated for an Oscar for his film Tup Tup (1973). His retrospective was shown on Wednesday, July 29.
The Amnesty International Award, given from this year by The Jury of the unemployed (!) (Jelena Dvorzak, Zagorka Golec, Mirta Jusic Dovodja), went to Birdwatchers (Italy, Brasil, 2008), by Marco Bechis. The Main International Jury’s (Jaana Puskala, Zvonimir Juric, Ahmed Buric) Prize went to Fish Tank (UK, 2009) by Andrea Arnold. The International Critics Prize, given by Fipresci Jury: Ivana Kronja (Serbia), Pamela Messi (France), and Kresimir Kosutic (Croatia), which judged films in the main competition program, went to Fish Tank (UK, 2009), by Andrea Arnold. The film, with its engaging story and phenomenal young protagonist, triumphed at Motovun Film Festival this year. (Ivana Kronja, Pamela Messi, Kresimir Kosutic, edited by Tara Judah)
Motovun International Film Festival: www.motovunfilmfestival.com