‘Geographer’ Grabs Top Prizes at Ukraine’s Odessa Film Fest

Biopic 'Paradjanov' wins top Ukrainian pic prize

LONDON — Russian tragicomedy “The Geographer Drank His Globe Away” won both the Grand Prix, voted for by the audience, and the international jury’s best film award at the Odessa Intl. Film Festival, one of Eastern Europe’s largest film biz gatherings.

Alexander Veledinsky’s pic, which also won at the Kinotavr Film Fest, is about a biologist who has to take a job teaching geography at the local school to pay the bills, but dreams of a more fulfilling life. International sales are repped by Antipode.

The award for a top Ukrainian film went to “Paradjanov,” directed by Serge Avedikian and Olena Fetisova. The pic, which is a Ukraine-France-Armenia-Georgia co-production, is a biopic of filmmaker Sergei Paradjanov, who came into conflict with the Soviet regime.

The helming kudos went to Ritesh Batra for India-set social drama “The Lunchbox,” which played at Cannes.

The thesping prize was taken by Lika Babluani and Mariam Bokeria for Georgia-set coming-of-age pic “In Bloom.”

The international jury comprised Ukrainian writer Andriy Kurkov, British producer Tanya Seghatchian, German actress Franziska Petri, helmer Nana Djordjadze and Russian-Ukrainian producer Alexander Rodnyansky.

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