‘Optimists’ triumphs at Valladolid

Paskaljevic pic inspired by Voltaire's 'Candide'

MARRAKECH — Goran Paskaljevic’s pessimistic portrait of post-Milosevic Serbia, the ironically-titled “The Optimists,” triumphed at the 51st Valladolid Intl. Film Festival on Saturday taking both the top Golden Spike and actor for Lazar Ristovski. Both prizes were applauded.

Inspired by Voltaire’s “Candide,” Paskaljevic said, the five-parter — with Ristovski playing different, though equally corrupt characters in all stories — turns on the themes of misplaced optimism, fear of Serbia’s unchanging establishment, collective brainwashing, an obsession with money and abuse of power.

Iranian Rafi Pitts’ Teheran drifter tale “It’s Winter” took the second-prize Silver Spike while Laura Linney won actress for her perf in Ray Lawrence’s “Jindabyne.”

The audience award went to Rachid Bouchareb’s Cannes competish player “Days of Glory,” a sign of its box office potential in Spain.

Spain’s premier platform for arthouse releases, Valladolid sparked some polemics in the local press because of the lack of major kudos for Spanish talent.

Among well-received Spanish world preems were Antoni Canet’s docu “Las alas de la vida,” about the last years of a terminally-ill doctor, which won the Time of History section, and Mario Iglesias’ feature debut “De bares,” screening in the Meeting Point sidebar — nine allegorical stories climaxing in a notable coda about love beyond the grave, all told with percipience and sometimes force.

Fest ran Oct. 20-28.

More Film

  • Peter Debruge Variety Best Films of

    Peter Debruge's 10 Best Films of 2017

    MARRAKECH — Goran Paskaljevic’s pessimistic portrait of post-Milosevic Serbia, the ironically-titled “The Optimists,” triumphed at the 51st Valladolid Intl. Film Festival on Saturday taking both the top Golden Spike and actor for Lazar Ristovski. Both prizes were applauded. Inspired by Voltaire’s “Candide,” Paskaljevic said, the five-parter — with Ristovski playing different, though equally corrupt characters […]

  • Alexander Payne and Director of Photography

    Director Alexander Payne Shares 'Downsizing' Production Team's Sizable Contributions

    MARRAKECH — Goran Paskaljevic’s pessimistic portrait of post-Milosevic Serbia, the ironically-titled “The Optimists,” triumphed at the 51st Valladolid Intl. Film Festival on Saturday taking both the top Golden Spike and actor for Lazar Ristovski. Both prizes were applauded. Inspired by Voltaire’s “Candide,” Paskaljevic said, the five-parter — with Ristovski playing different, though equally corrupt characters […]

  • Coco

    'Coco' Tops $400 Million at Worldwide Box Office

    MARRAKECH — Goran Paskaljevic’s pessimistic portrait of post-Milosevic Serbia, the ironically-titled “The Optimists,” triumphed at the 51st Valladolid Intl. Film Festival on Saturday taking both the top Golden Spike and actor for Lazar Ristovski. Both prizes were applauded. Inspired by Voltaire’s “Candide,” Paskaljevic said, the five-parter — with Ristovski playing different, though equally corrupt characters […]

  • The 15:17 to Paris Trailer

    Watch American Heroes Portray Themselves in Trailer for Clint Eastwood's '15:17 to Paris'

    MARRAKECH — Goran Paskaljevic’s pessimistic portrait of post-Milosevic Serbia, the ironically-titled “The Optimists,” triumphed at the 51st Valladolid Intl. Film Festival on Saturday taking both the top Golden Spike and actor for Lazar Ristovski. Both prizes were applauded. Inspired by Voltaire’s “Candide,” Paskaljevic said, the five-parter — with Ristovski playing different, though equally corrupt characters […]

  • Finn Wolfhard

    'Stranger Things' Actor Finn Wolfhard to Star in Haunted House Film 'The Turning' (EXCLUSIVE)

    MARRAKECH — Goran Paskaljevic’s pessimistic portrait of post-Milosevic Serbia, the ironically-titled “The Optimists,” triumphed at the 51st Valladolid Intl. Film Festival on Saturday taking both the top Golden Spike and actor for Lazar Ristovski. Both prizes were applauded. Inspired by Voltaire’s “Candide,” Paskaljevic said, the five-parter — with Ristovski playing different, though equally corrupt characters […]

  • Owen Gleiberman Variety Best Films of

    Owen Gleiberman's 10 Best Films of 2017

    MARRAKECH — Goran Paskaljevic’s pessimistic portrait of post-Milosevic Serbia, the ironically-titled “The Optimists,” triumphed at the 51st Valladolid Intl. Film Festival on Saturday taking both the top Golden Spike and actor for Lazar Ristovski. Both prizes were applauded. Inspired by Voltaire’s “Candide,” Paskaljevic said, the five-parter — with Ristovski playing different, though equally corrupt characters […]

  • Esport BAR conference : Brands &

    Reed Midem Expands Its eSports BAR Event For Third Edition

    MARRAKECH — Goran Paskaljevic’s pessimistic portrait of post-Milosevic Serbia, the ironically-titled “The Optimists,” triumphed at the 51st Valladolid Intl. Film Festival on Saturday taking both the top Golden Spike and actor for Lazar Ristovski. Both prizes were applauded. Inspired by Voltaire’s “Candide,” Paskaljevic said, the five-parter — with Ristovski playing different, though equally corrupt characters […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content