‘Year’ takes grand prix at Karlovy

'Nowhere' nabs two; 'Pudding,' 'Brats' win aud kudos

See nomineesKARLOVY VARY, Czech Republic — Czech helmer Petr Zelenka and producer Pavel Strnad snagged the crystal globe grand prix for mockumentary “Year of the Devil” (Rok d’able) at the Karlovy Vary film fest’s closing ceremony on Sunday.

Prizes were all over the map, with only German entry and local hit “Nowhere in Africa” by Caroline Link getting double mention — the special jury prize and the film critics’ Firpesci prize.

Other standout prizes included the Audience Award for Cedric Klapisch’s hit French comedy “Euro Pudding” (L’auberge espagnole) and second Czech competish entry “Brats” (Smradi) winning the phone-in audience prize.

Documentary section was widely singled out for praise. Main winners were “Daughter from Yan’an” (En’an no musume) by Japanese helmer Kaoru Ikeya, and short film winner “Village B.” (Obec B.) by Czech helmer Filip Remunda.

Capping a smooth fest that had even the hard-boiled fest circuit regulars murmuring approval, was a crowd-stopping line-dance performance by the main jury, led by jury pres Jean Marc Barr and caboosed by critic Roger Ebert.

Topping the very-unofficial VIP list: President Bush’s partying daughter Jenna, making an incognito appearance at the closing night’s festivities. Photographers were too busy flashing bulbs at Czech president Vaclav Havel to notice yet another blond trying to wriggle past the security guards.

Industry reps turned out on an unprecedented scale, crowding the social events calendar. France’s TV5, duelling law firms Linklaters and Becker & Poliakoff and Prague Studios were among the newcomers vying for attention.

Variety launched a panel on women in film, in addition to its fifth Variety Critics’ Choice film section. SRO crowds turned out for the Variety-hosted Eurowood panel, with John Boorman and “The Others” producer Sunmin Park discussing film financing as movie-makers descend on Europe.

Serge Bodrov, Jr., won the 4th annual Freedom Award for his debut film “Sisters.” Award was announced on Friday by Gary McVey, executive director of the American Cinema Foundation at the Karlovy Vary film festival. The prize carries a $5,000 cash award.

A record 16 films by 18 directors were eligible for the award, which goes to first, second or third films from East European filmmakers shown at the Karlovy Vary fest.

The American Cinema Foundation also organizes the Freedom Film Festival presented in Baku, Moscow, Berlin and Los Angeles.

And the Karlovy Vary winners are …

Grand Prix

“Year of the Devil” (Czech Republic), dir. Petr Zelenka

Special Jury Prize

“Nowhere in Africa” (Germany), dir. Caroline Link

Director

Asghar Massombagi, “Khaled” (Canada)

Actress

Ugla Egilsdottir, “The Seagull’s Laughter” (Iceland)

Actor

William H. Macy, “Focus” (USA)

Special mentions

“Let’s Not Cry” (Korea), dir. Min Boung-hun

“Smoking Room” (Spain), dir. Julio Wallovits and Roger Gual

Long Documentary

“Daughter from Yan’an” (Japan), dir. Kaoru Ikeya

Short Documentary

“Village B.” (Czech Republic), dir. Filip Remunda

Special mentions

“Devil’s Playground” (USA), dir. Lucy Walker

“Hunting Down an Angel” (Russia), dir. Andrei Osipov

Audience Award

“Euro Pudding” (France), dir. Cedric Klapisch

Audience Prize

“Brats” (Czech Republic), dir. Zdenek Tyc

Philip Morris Freedom Award

“Sisters” (Russia), dir. Sergei Bodrov, Jr.

Fipresci Award

“Nowhere In Africa” (Germany), dir. Caroline Link

Special Mention

“Let’s Not Cry” (Korea), dir. Min Boung-hun

FICC Don Quixote Prize:

“Bedtime Fairy Tales for Crocodiles” (Mexico), dir. Ignacio Ortiz Cruz

Ecumenical Jury Award

“Silence” (Poland), dir. Michal Rosa

Special mention

“Filament” (Japan), dir. Jinsei Tsuji

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