MADRID – “Ida,” Pawel Pawlikowski’s restrained portrait of a novice nun discovering her Jewish origins, swept nearly all before it at Spain’s 51st Gijon Festival, winning its best film Principality of Asturias Award, plus its Youth Jury Prize plus plaudits for art direction and screenplay.
Agata Kulesza also won actress for her turn as the novice’s only surviving relative, a hard-drinking cynical judge.
World preeming at Telluride, and playing as a special presentation at Toronto, “Ida” achieved the singular distinction of topping two European festivals over the same weekend, with Lucasz Zal and Ryszard Lenczewki collecting a Golden FrogSaturday at Poland’s Camerimage for their b/w cinematography on “Ida.”
“Ida” “was the first film we saw and we adored it from the first: It’s normal it won so many awards,” jury president Patrice Leconte, the celebrated French auteur, told journalists.
Pawlikowski’s first film in his native Poland, having carved out a career in Britain from 2000’s “Last Resort,” “Ida” already won the FIPRESCI International Federation of Film Critics’ Award for Toronto Special Presentations, Gdynia Fest Golden Lion, Warsaw Fest Grand Prix and BFI London Festival Best Film.
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Leconte’s jury awarded actor to Alexandre Landry for his performance as a developmently disabled singer in Louise Archambault’s “Gabrielle;” “Blue Ruin,” a film that has grown in status since meriting a FIPRESCI nod at Cannes, won Jeremy Saulnier director; the Special Jury Prize went to Mexican Claudia Sainte-Luce’s “The Amazing Cat-Fish,” which also won Best Ibero-American Film at Cuenca’s La Orquidea Festival in Ecuador on Saturday, plus Mexico First at Los Cabos’ Baja Fest a week ago.
With festival prizes, it never rains but it pours.
Spain’s Gijon Festival ran Nov.15-23.
Emilio Mayorga contributed to this report
51st GIJON INTL. FILM FESTIVAL
OFFICIAL COMPETITION AWARDS:
PRINCIPALITY OF ASTURIAS AWARD, BEST FILM
“Ida,” Pawel Pawlikowski (Poland)
Jeremy Saulnier, “Blue Ruin” (U.S.)
Alexandre Landry, “Gabrielle” (Canada)
Agata Kulesza, “Ida”
“Ida,” Rebecca Lenkiewicz, Pawel Pawlikowski
GIL PARRONDO AWARD, BEST ART DIRECTION:
“Ida,” Marcel Slawinski, Katarzyna Sobanska-Strzalkowska
SPECIAL JURY PRIZE
“The Amazing Catfish,” Claudia Sainte-Luce (Mexico)
“Henri,” Yolande Moreau, (France, Belgium)
“Little One,” Darrell James Roodt (South Africa)
YOUTH JURY PRIZE
“Parvaneh,” Talkhon Hamzavi (Switzerland)
“Cargo Cult,” Bastien Dubois (France)
“The Fake,” Yeon Sang-ho (South Korea)
“Cheatin’,” Bill Plympton (U.S.)
ENFANTS TERRIBLES BEST FILM AWARD, 6-12 YEAR OLDS
“The Little Ghost,” Alain Gsponer (Germany)
ENFANTS TERRIBLES BEST FILM AWARD, OVER-13s
“La cite rose,” Julien Abraham (France)