‘Old women’ takes top prize at Kinotavr

Debut film leads pack at Russian fest

MOSCOW — “Old Women”, the debut pic from Russian helmer Gennady Sidorov, took surprise top honors at the 14th “Kinotavr” Russian Open Film Fest, which closed June 17 in the Black Sea riviera resort town.

Up against a program which included some veterans of the local industry as well as other directors already working in the West, the film won event’s top Golden Rose prize, as well as the prize for Best Debut, and FIPRESCI and Russian critics’ awards. It was also an audience favorite in the open-air screenings outside Sochi’s Winter Theater, which drew impressive crowds throughout the event.

Runner-up Grand Prix went to Tajik-born, Berlin-resident helmer Bakhtiar Khudoynazarov for his Berlin-screened “Shik”, which was made largely on German coin.

Vadim Abrashitov, working as usual with his longterm scripter Alexander Mindadze, took the more symbolic Jury Special Prize for “Magnetic Storms”, which also received the Best Screenplay award.

In a program which many local critics acknowledged was generally weak, there were some discoveries in the accompanying market. In particular, attention went to debut director Petr Buslov, who won high plaudits – and comparisons with the early Tarantino – for his criminal drama “Boomer”.

In the 10th Sochi International Festival, running in parallel with Kinotavr, top prize went to Hungarian pic “Hukkle” from director Gyorgy Palfi. Denmark’s Nils Malmros with “Facing the Truth” shared the Jury Special Prize with Croatian helmer Dalibor Matanic for “Fine Dead Girls”.

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