“107 Mothers” by Peter Kerekes, a Slovak drama about women living and working in a Ukrainian prison, won the Crystal Arrow Award at the 13th edition of the Les Arcs European Film Festival.
The festival, which ended on December 18, was held in person with “The Artist” director Michel Hazanavicius chairing the jury which also included actors Laetitia Dosch and Sidse Babett Knudsen, author Tania de Montaigne and actor-director Eric Judor. The selection was organized by Frédéric Boyer, artistic director of Les Arcs and Tribeca.
Represented in international markets by Films Boutique, “107 Mothers” had its world premiere in Venice in the horizons section and revolves around the relationship between Leysa (Maryna Klimova), a new inmate who gives birth in prison, and Iryna ( Iryna Kiryazeva), the room.
The Grand Jury Prize went to “Captain Volkonogov Escaped”, a Russian historical thriller movie directed by Natasha Merkulova and Aleksey Chupov. The film, sold by Memento Film International, follows a loyal National Security Service (NKVD) agent who fled during political persecution by the Soviet regime in 1938.
Jonas Carpignano’s “A Chiara” won the best actor award for Swamy Rotolo, as well as the press award. The film, picked up by MK2 Films, had its world premiere in the Directors’ Fortnight section of Cannes, where it won the Europa Cinemas Cannes Label award. Set in Calabria, “A Chiara” focuses on a 16-year-old girl who realizes that her beloved father may be part of the local criminal organization.
The nod for best actress went to Laure Calamy (“Call my agent!”) For her performance in “A Full Time” by Eric Gravel, another film premiered in Venice in the horizons section. The film, sold by Be for Films, is a drama about a single mother who goes to great lengths to raise her two children in the countryside while keeping her job at a luxury Parisian hotel. “Full-time” also won the Cineuropa award.
Blerta Basholli’s “Hive”, a drama set against the backdrop of war in Kosovo, won both the Audience Award and the High School Award. The film follows a woman who starts a small business to support her children after her husband goes missing. Spotted by LevelK, “Hive” has already won Audience and Achievement Awards at Sundance.
Best Original Music and Best Photography went to Alex Baranowski for “True Things” and Renato Berta for “Il Buco”, respectively.
The festival and its Industry Village brought together more than 500 professionals from all over Europe and screened more than 120 films, most of them French premieres. Special tributes were paid to the French director Laurent Cantet (“Arthur Rambo”), to the actor Matthias Schoenearts (“Bullhead”) and to Antoneta Alamat Kusijanovic, the Croatian director of “Murina” who won this year’s award for the Camera d’Or and won the Prix Sisley / Prix Arcs Femme de Cinéma in Les Arcs.
Les Arcs also hosted Swedish actress Noomi Rapace who presented her film “Lamb” at the opening night, as well as Bérénice Béjo, Alex Lutz, Deborah Luklumena, Reda Kateb, Lyna Khoudri and Calamy.
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