Saturday, August 29, 2009

37th Norwegian International Film Festival Award Winners

The fest run from August 20 to 27 in Haugesund, Norway and last Thursday they had their award ceremony and here are the winners.

Film Critics Award: Fish Tank, Andrea Arnold, UK, 2009
Jury Statement: The winner is a film with the rawest and most intense female character the jury has seen in a long time. In addition she is played with impressive complexity by a 17-year-old amateur actress. We follow her as the protagonist of a merciless fight to survive where the terms change more rapidly than it is possible to adapt to them, and the director succeeds in creating sympathy for all characters in a story where there are no good Samaritans. As regards the film’s directorial devices, the jury wants especially to emphasise the excellent cinematography and a creative use of music, which becomes like a distinct actor in the action. The award winner proves that she is at the same level as the best and established directors in this genre. Even though it is natural to compare with Ken Loach and Mike Leigh, there can be no doubt that this filmmaker has a distinct, personal voice.

Ray of Sunshine: Looking for Eric, Ken Loach, UK, France, Italy, Belgium, and Spain, 2009
Jury Statement: This year’s Ray of Sunshine goes to a small masterpiece of a film. Through a highly realistic narrative style, but with a touch of magic, a story is told about daring to be honest, to oneself, one’s friends and the world at large. The film is funny, fast-talking and stylistically assured, and manages to touch painful and difficult aspects of life without for one moment to become sentimental. The powerful characters are impressive and believable, we root for our heroes and are delighted along with them in the film’s decisive final scene. A victory for the value of human life and for wisdom!

Andreas Award: The White Ribbon, Michael Haneke, Austria, France, Italy and Germany, 2009
Jury Statement: This year’s award winner has stated that a feature film is twenty-four lies a second. Nevertheless, we are speaking about a director who on numerous occasions has shown a strong determination and a strong ability to uncover lies. Through subtle means and by asking dangerous questions, in his new film the director reaches discouraging but important insights. Various states and degrees of innocence are questioned, religious and secular abuse of power is criticised, and everything is done with an exquisite sense of the ethical and aesthetic force inherent in the special expressive powers of cinema.

Audience Award: UP, Pete Docter and Bob Peterson, USA, 2009

To read the official press release go here.

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