Polanski recieves fest's Scythian Deer career prize
KIEV, Ukraine — Danish helmer Jacob Thuesen’s “Accused” won the Grand Prix and $10,000 at Kiev’s Molodist Festival on Friday, capping nine days of screenings that began with a gala presentation of Roman Polanski’s “Oliver Twist.”Ukraine President Viktor Yushchenko gave Polanski the fest’s Scythian Deer career prize at the packed opening ceremony on Oct 22. Now in its 35th year, fest competish is for feature debuts while student films and shorts have their own prize categories. Belgium’s multi-helmed comedy “The Iceberg” received the runner-up award of $2,500. “Iceberg” actress/co-helmer Fiona Gordon shared thesping honors with Marcell Nagy, whose performance in Lajos Koltai’s Holocaust drama “Fateless” has earned wide praise. The Fipresci international critics’ award went to Iran’s “From the Land of Silence,” the Intl. Federation of Film Societies honor went to Ahmed Imamovic’s “Go West,” and the Ecumenical Jury gave its prize to Brazilian Esmir Filho’s student pic “Paired Off.” No local films were in competition and only one Russian title, Artem Antonov’s “Half-Light,” was on the list. While screen problems at fest headquarters didn’t always do justice to prints shown, the largely young local crowd maintained an enthusiastic buzz. A Margarethe von Trotta retrospective played to packed houses, while non-competition features unspooled at a variety of cinemas throughout the capital. In a bid to raise international awareness of Ukrainian cinema and talent, Molodist and KinoExpo Ukraine co-sponsored the launch of the first Ukrainian film market, held Oct. 26-29. Among international companies participating were German distribs/sales agents Kinowelt and Bavaria Film, and French companies MK2 and Celluloid Dreams.