Awards of the Ninth Küstendorf Handed

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The ninth Kustendorf Film and Music Festival wrapped up tonight with a closing ceremony in the Damned Yard theatre in Mećavnik.

The first act of the ceremony was a performance by folklore ensemble Svetozar Markovic, who performed traditional Serbian dances from Sumadija, the central part of the country, and Homolje, the Eastern part. The songs, dance and national dress of the performance elevated the audience and lifted the mood of the bittersweet end of the festival.

Following the performance, Professor Emir Kusturica presented diplomas to the 17 young film makers who participated in the Competition Programme.

The stage was then taken by our jury members to present the Kustendorf awards. Diane Baratier and Istvan Borbas presented the Vilko Filac Award for Best Cinematography, highlighting that the award for best cinematography at Kustendorf is different because it is named after Vilko Filac, whose “work is a perfect example of an image that is deeply part of the narration.” With these criteria, they presented the award to Eric Mizrahi for Ave Maria for taking the “risk of having different textures … and being at the service of the film, showing his personality and expressing the narrative desire of the director.”

Next, Maji-da Abdi and Divna Vuksanovic took the stage to present the Special Jury Award as well as the Bronze, Silver, and Gold Eggs. The Special Jury Award was presented to Masa Sarovic for her film Grad. The members of the jury praised Sarovic for “talented and well balanced directing, strength of atmosphere creation, excellent metaphor on many levels of fear, and power of the poignant and suggestive acting.”

The Bronze Egg was presented to Maria Guskova’s Return of Erkin, a movie with “excellent composition, powerful images, great expressive silence, and deep attention in society and forgiveness.

The jury awarded the Silver Egg to Basil Khalil. His movie, Ave Maria, was given the second place award for “cinematic high standards, liberating humor, power of the script, and the way it transcends belief systems.”

Finally, the first place Golden Egg was awarded to David Borbas for Wartburg. Upon presenting the award the jury emphasized his, “fresh new ideas, humor and depth, stylish chic, and social research.” Borbas was accompanied by two of his crewmembers, who were clearly moved by the accolade.

Professor Emir Kusturica brought the ceremony by emphasizing that, “even though Mecavnik is in the middle of nowhere, it has now become not only a tourist destination but a cultural one.” He officially closed the ceremony by inviting all of us to the 10th Kustendorf Film and Music Festival next year.

See photo gallery here.