MADRID — Goran Paskaljevic’s pessimistic portrait of post-Milosevic Serbia, the ironically titled “The Optimists,” triumphed at the 51st Valladolid Film Festival on Saturday taking the Golden Spike for film and actor nod for Lazar Ristovski.
Inspired by Voltaire’s “Candide,” Paskaljevic said, the five-parter — with Ristovski playing different characters in all stories — turns on misplaced optimism, fear of Serbia’s unchanging establishment, collective brainwashing, an obsession with money and abuse of power.
Iranian Rafi Pitts’ Tehran drifter tale “It’s Winter” took the Silver Spike while Laura Linney won actress for her perf in Ray Lawrence’s “Jindabyne.” Audience award went to Rachid Bouchareb’s Cannes competish player “Days of Glory,” a sign of its box office potential in Spain. Spain’s premiere platform for arthouse releases, Valladolid sparked protests in the local press because of the lack of major kudos for Spanish talent. Fest ran Oct. 20 to Saturday.