×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Karlovy Vary Competition Title ‘Babai’ Wins Big at German New Talent Awards

KARLOVY VARY, Czech Republic — “Babai,” which has its international premiere in competition at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival this week, was the big winner at the Munich Film Festival’s German Cinema New Talent Awards on Friday. The jury described “Babai” as a “masterpiece.”

The director award went to “Babai’s” Visar Morina, who is from Kosovo but moved to Germany as a child. His feature debut tells the story of 10-year-old Nori, who lives in Kosovo. His father Gezim dominates his world, but one day Gezim leaves for work in Germany. Nori refuses to accept this sudden disappearance.

“The film forces us to cry — tears of rage, helplessness and mourning — and then casts us back into life full of hope, even more strength and especially responsibility. Responsibility for our lives. For life itself. The lives people live. With each other. ‘Babai’ is a masterpiece from a young master for whom we have great respect and gratitude,” said the jury.

Morina also took the screenplay award. The jury said: “When all the fears of failure finally disappear. The fear of not being good enough. Of being ostracized and alone. When all the wrong things don’t mean anything, a soft voice can be heard. Precious and shy. Relentless, not sugary in the least — but full of truth and love. ‘Babai’ is written in this voice from the very first to the very last line. It had us spellbound, moved and overwhelmed,” the jury said.

And the film took the award for actor, which was shared by Astrit Kabashi and Val Maloku, who — in their first film roles — play the father and son. They “convinced and moved us,” said the jury. “How the son, like a small adult, confronts his father for leaving him, for betraying him by leaving for Germany without him, just ‘beat it,’ is unforgettable. The father, on the other hand, is torn between his understandable desire for a new chance in life, and his feelings for his son, who forces him to take responsibility and fulfill his obligations as a father,” the jury added.

“Both of them perform so naturally, it is almost as if it was their own story. Through them, we understand what happens to people when their desire to live a normal life of self-determination remains unfulfilled, and they have to struggle to make that wish come true,” the jury said, adding Maloku’s and Kabashi’s performances “startled and touched us to the core.”

“Babai” is produced by NiKo Film’s Nicole Gerhards. She is a very experienced producer so was not eligible for the German Cinema New Talent Award for best production, which went to producers Sonja Ewers and Steve Hudson of Cologne-based Gringo Films for comedy “Happy Hour.” The movie, which was directed by Franz Müller, “blew away the entire jury and was absolutely impressive on all levels,” said the jury. It follows a warmhearted group of fortysomething friends on a journey of self-discovery in Ireland.

“This witty and wise comedy stands out because of its first-rate screenplay, perfect timing, a brilliant sense of humor, charm and marvelous camera work,” the jury said. “A successful low-budget production through and through with a brilliant cast that will have great potential at the box office.”

More Film

  • Jon Feltheimer

    Lionsgate Posts Loss, Underperforms Wall Street Expectations

    Lionsgate has posted a quarterly loss and its revenues and operating income have come in under Wall Street projections, despite growth from its premium cable channel, Starz. The studio reported a net loss of $24 million, or 11 cents a share, with adjusted operating income of $103 million for its fourth fiscal quarter ended March [...]

  • Cannes: China's 'Summer of Changsha' Debuts

    Cannes: China's 'Summer of Changsha' Debuts Without Censorship Approval

    Chinese crime drama “Summer of Changsha” screened at the Cannes Film Festival in the Un Certain Regard section despite lacking the necessary approvals from China’s censors. It premiered without its director or creative team in attendance, who blamed “technical reasons” for their absence — marking the third time that Chinese censorship appears to have caused [...]

  • Jane Austin SAG AFTRA

    SAG-AFTRA Secretary-Treasurer Jane Austin Running for President

    Jane Austin, the National Secretary-Treasurer of SAG-AFTRA, has become the third candidate for the presidency of the performers union, joining incumbent Gabrielle Carteris and Matthew Modine. Austin is running as an independent for the top post at SAG-AFTRA, which has 160,000 members. Carteris will seek re-election as the head of the ticket for the Unite [...]

  • John Wick Chapter 3

    'John Wick: Chapter 3' Tones Down the Blood and Gore to Keep Look 'Totally Real'

    When Jeff Campbell, a visual effects supervisor with VFX studio Spin, initially set to work on the first “John Wick,” the 2014 action thriller from director Chad Stahelski and writer Derek Kolstad, he started with an industry-standard test: Establish a single, simple kill effect meant to get a sense of the look of the violence [...]

  • Louise Courvoisier’s ‘Mano a Mano’ Wins Cinéfondation

    Louise Courvoisier’s ‘Mano a Mano’ Wins Cannes Cinefondation Selection Top Prize

    CANNES–“Mano a Mano,” by Louise Courvoisier of France’s CinéFabrique, won the first prize Thursday at the 22nd Cinéfondation Selection,the Cannes Film Festival’s top film school shorts awards. The prize was awarded by a jury headed by French director Claire Denis (“Beau Travail”). The jury also included French actress Stacy Martin (“Godard mon amour”); Israeli writer-director Eran [...]

  • The Traitor

    Cannes Film Review: 'The Traitor'

    What surprises most about Marco Bellocchio’s Mafia drama “The Traitor” is just how straightforward it is. Given its subject — Tommaso Buscetta, the highest-ranking Mafia don to sing to the authorities — there were expectations that the director would deliver a theatrical drama along the lines of “Vincere,” but notwithstanding a few operatic flourishes, his [...]

  • Perfect Strangers

    Zhao Tao, Rajkumar Hirani Join Shanghai Festival Jury

    Italian director Paolo Genovese and Chinese actress Zhao Tao are among members of the jury for the upcoming Shanghai International Film Festival. They join the previously announced jury president, 2014 Cannes Palme d’Or winner Nuri Bilge Ceylan, the Turkish director behind last year’s “The Wild Pear Tree.” Genovese’s 2016 film “Perfect Strangers” made $7.7 million [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content