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All Prize-Winners at the 17th Neisse Film Festival

Three-Country Film Prize of Saxon's Minister of Art for the best feature film

(endowed by the Saxon Ministry for Science, Culture and Tourism)
"Jiyan" (Life) by Süheyla Schwenk (DE) endowed with €10,000

laudatory speech: There is no negative character, no antagonist of the story or a bad guy. All Character feel and behave like real humans. Which makes this Drama about two Refugees hiding in Berlin so heartbreaking, engaging and sad. The film portraits current humanity crises by original, suggestive, bold and uncompromising cinematic means. Its a film that stays with you, long after the credits end. Süheyla Schwenk and her team created a little Masterpiece, that we hope will find a big Audience.

 

Best acting

(endowed by the City of Zittau)
Milan Ondrík and František Beleš for „Nech je svetlo“ (Let There Be Light) by Marko Škop (SK/CZ)
endowed with €1,000

laudatory speech: For a profoundly moving way of portraying a Father and Son relationship in escalated circumstances, the Jury agreed for the award for Best acting to be shared between Milan Ondrík in the role of the Father and František Beleš in the role of the Son of the film “Let there be light” by Marko Škop. The acting challenge of depicting tension and at the same time intimacy in turmoil of crises was handled in a sovereign but humble manner by both performers.

 

Best production design

(endowed by the City of Goerlitz)
"Jiyan" (Life) by Süheyla Schwen (DE), production design: Süheyla Schwenk
endowed with €3,000

laudatory speech: The most difficult set design to create, is one that makes a great impression on the viewer and at the same time gives out a feeling of a real interior, without the interference of the scenographer. Here, the scenery plays an additional role, it is not only a background for the characters, it is an additional hero creating yet another layer of the story. It has something magical to it, and at the same time it gives the impression of a documentary film. A masterful combination of realism with elements of emotional set design.

 

Best screenplay

(endowed by the District of Liberec)
"Vlastníci" (The Owners) by Jiří Havelka (CZ/SK), screenplay: Jiří Havelka
endowed with €1,000

laudatory speech: Its an Art to write different Characters , where each of them has a distinct unique voice. Its also an Art to write a wonderful allegory about our Society, just using the setting of an mundane Apartment Owners Assembly. This script combines both of those things. The scenes can be playful or absurd, but at the same time they are natural an realistic. The Characters only talk about their Apartments and living situation, without tendering to the bigger subjects of the film. And still the Allegory works just fine. But the biggest Art of all is, to make it look easy. And that he Author did.

 

Best documentary film

(endowed by So geht sächsisch.)
"Sólo" by Artemio Benki (CZ/FR/AG/ATL)
endowed with €5,000

laudatory speech: It´s the simple and universal stories that touch people the most. Here´s is a talented young man and artist struggling to find back into normal life after experiencing a long period of social exclusion in a mental institution. Without unnecessary pathos or sensationalism, the filmmaker follows his struggle to reenter society and the regular artistic life and his obssesion with creation in a very sensitive way, gently balancing between close observation, humane compassion and deep respect towards his protagonist.

Honorable mention in the documentary film category: "Wieloryb z Lorino" (Whale from Lorino) by Maciej Cuske (PL) and "Zustand und Gelände" (Status and Terrain) by Ute Adamczewski (DE)

 

Best short film

(endowed by the Student Council of the University of Applied Sciences Zittau/Görlitz)
"Dcera" (Daughter) by Daria Kashcheeva (CZ)
endowed with €1,000

laudatory speech: The temporary animation has a really strong voice not only in this year´s festival selection, but in the European short film production in general. We decided to reflect it in our decision and award the animated film. With her film "Daughter", Daria Kashcheeva takes us into a very special world. Unpolished papier-mâché figures in brittle, handmade settings tell a touching father-daughter conflict as a refreshing alternative to the child-schematic digital high-gloss look of most of the American blockbuster cinema. With sophisticated handheld camera optics and the intensive play with blurriness, Kashcheeva breathes an intimate life into the scenes, which carries us away into childhood memories full of awkwardness, misunderstandings and speechlessness. Especially the latter, because there is no dialogue in Kashcheeva's film. Instead, the excellent sound design makes us feel the longing for a comforting word all the more intensely. A film that not only gives wings to our fantasy.

Honorable mention in the short film category: "Bajka na niespokojny sen" (Night-time Story for Not-Peaceful Dreams) by Nawojka Wierzbowska (PL)

laudatory speech: In "No bedtime story" Nawojka Wierzbowska subtly shows us what contradictions of religious imperatives can do to a child's psyche, especially when it is not sufficiently moderated in a harsh family environment. By means of an elaborate visual language and the outstanding acting performance of the young leading actress Judyta Pajak in particular, Wierzbowska lets us participate in the destructive escalation of an inner conflict of loneliness, the desire to belong and trained obedience to authority.

 

Special Prize

(endowed by The Saxon Film Union (Filmverband))
„Pan Müller – hier geblieben!“ von Patrick Weißig (DE)
dotiert mit 1.000€