At the ceremony that took place in Motovun on Thursday 28 July, the acclaimed Polish filmmaker Agnieszka Holland received this year’s Maverick Award as its first female laureate. Since 2008, Maverick Award is given to the filmmakers who, with their individualistic approach, free spirit and innovations, push the boundaries of film. This year’s laureate is one of very few filmmakers – not to mention female filmmakers – from the former Eastern Bloc (the present-day Eastern Europe) who won acclaim outside her homeland and successfully linked the cinematic East and West.
Before the packed audience in Motovun’s main square, the award was presented to Holland by her colleague from the student days at FAMU in Prague and a co-founder of Motovun Film Festival Rajko Grlić, who said: “Agnieszka Holland is a woman of the world who is living a very eventful life; she is one of the most prominent filmmakers of today and, above all, a beautiful human being”.
“While I am very glad to receive this award, I am not glad to be the first female laureate. I hope there will be more of us in the years to come because Motovun Film Festival is one of my favorites – thanks to its films, this town, the people and Croatian language”, said Holland.
The award-presentation ceremony was followed by the screening of her latest film Spoor, which won acclaim and a Silver Bear at Berlinale. This anarchoid-feminist crime story with elements of black comedy faced condemnation in Poland, where it was labeled as promoting eco-terrorism and anti-Christian values. The theatrical release of Spoor has coincided with the neoconservative revolution in Poland, Croatia and many other countries. This makes Holland’s work all the more topical. Owing to the importance of Holland’s work, her efforts in pushing the boundaries of cinematic expression and, certainly, her perseverance, this year’s Motovun Maverick Award has certainly gone to the right person.
During Holland’s stay in Motovun, not only the latest film, but also the 1978 film Provincial Actors and the pilot episode of the HBO series Treme directed by this three-time Oscar nominee were shown.