The 21st edition of the Motovun film festival closes with the award ceremony

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After having presented more than a hundred independent films from around the world, the21st Motovun Film Festivalsaw its wrap-up on its fifth night, with the award-presentation ceremony.

The best film and the winner of the Propeller of Motovun is the Columbian filmKilling JesúsbyLaura Mora. The decision was made by the jury consisting of German film directorsSebastian Schipper(president) andUli M Schueppel, Moldavian director of short filmsAna-Felicia Scutelnicu, British musician and producerMark Reederand Croatian directorOgnjen Sviličić. The jury explained: “InKilling Jesúswe follow a Columbian contract killer, a creature we hate. But the film changes our view. Not with cheap tricks of filmmakers and not with expensive ones either – but with the most powerful means the cinema has: by watching and listening – by spending time with the enemy. Telling us how to deal with hate, filmmaker Laura Mora not only made a political statement but also a film about a challenge we are all facing today.“

The jury gave Spcial Mention to Croatian documentary filmSrbenkabyNebojša Slijepčević, with the following explanation: „A very deep and sensitive look into the preparations and rehearsals of a Croatian theatre group dealing with the still open wounds of the last war. Particularly striking is the feeling of death breathing down our neck, now and today, like it does while walking behind the 12 year old girl Nina, an ethnic Serbian, in the streets of Rijeka at the end of the powerful documentary film.“After having won the prestigiousDoc Allianceaward in Cannes, the film had its Croatian premiere in Motovun. While receiving the award, the director said that the screening of his film in Motovun had been his childhood dream. He finds the film important because it creates space for a diallogue in our society.

The FIPRESCI Jury, consisting ofAngelo Mitchievici,Ana SturmandNino Kovačićawarded the filmBirds of PassagebyCristina Gallego and Ciro Guerra.They explained:„Set at the backdrop of windy deserts and wild grasslands of northern Colombia, in turbulent times of drug-trafficking Bonanza, this family saga turns into a tragedy of Shakespearean proportions.This skillfully crafted and multilayered work, full of rich and vibrant colors, expressive faces and gripping visual details, spanning from anthropological research and landscape poetry to gangster film and western genre codes, takes us on an extraordinary journey from the mythical past to the uncertain future. The film is a mediator between old traditions, rituals and superstitions of the country's tribal history and the ever-growing appetite of the capitalism behind the drug-trafficking spiral of death that still strongly echoes in Colombia's conflict-torn present.“

Driving Lessonby Finnish directorJarno Lindemarkwas pronounced Best Short Film of the 21st Motovun Film Festival. The winner received a cash award in the amount of EUR1,000 and a huge bottle of Jameson whiskey. Slovenian filmmakerPeter Bratušis also among the winners: hisGaja'sWorldwas declared the best film of the recentBuzz@teen, the festival of cool films for children and youth. The festival takes place in Buzet and is organized by Motovun Film Festival.

Before the screening ofAleksi, the debut of the young Croatian filmmakerBarbara Vekarić(announced by the film's lead actressTihana Lazović), Motovun Film Festival was closed: the organizers and the audience made a joint toast to yet another departing festival and to the following one, on the merriest hill in Istria.

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