Hungarian action-comedy Kills On Wheels and Icelandic-Danish coming of age story Heartstone take top prizes at Greek festival
Hungarian director Attila Till’s Kills On Wheels (Tiszta Szivvel) has been named best film at the 57th Thessaloniki International Film Festival (Nov 3-13) winning the “Theo Angelopoulos” Golden Alexander award.
The film beat out 16 first and second films screened in this year’s competition section.
Kills On Wheels’ three leading young actors, Zoltan Fenyvesi, SzaboIcs Thuroczy and Adam Fekete were jointly awarded the Best actor trophy.
The film, arriving from the Chicago film festival where it won the Roger Ebert award, deals with three wheelchair-using young adults who decide to offer their services to the mafia in an effort to overcome their daily routines. World sales are handled by the Hungarian Film Fund.
Icelandic-Danish co-production Heartstone (Hjartasteinn) by Icelandic director Gudmundur Arnar Gudmundsson, was awarded the Special Jury Prize, Silver Alexander.
The film is a coming of age drama about two teenage boys in a remote Icelandic fishing village. It has been recently awarded at Chicago (Queer Hugo) and Venice (Queer Lion) and was written and developed by the director at the Cannes Cinefondation Residency. International sales are handled by Film Boutique.
Japan’s Yosuke Takeuchi received the Best Director Bronze Alexander for his debut The Sower (Taneomakuhito) which had its world premiere at Thessaloniki.
The screenplay, written by director Takeuchi, deals with the release of its main character from a mental hospital and the aftermath of his reunion with his estranged family.
The film’s seven year-old star Suzuno Takenaka received the Best actress award ex-aequo with Dimitra Blagkopoulou from the Greek competition entry Park by Sophia Exarchou, which premiered earlier this year at Toronto and also received the New Directors award at San Sebastian.
The Sower is sold worldwide by Japanese outlet K Zone.
Greek entry Afterlove by Sergios Paschos was the recipient of the Best Artistic Achievement award.
The film, which premiered in Locarno’s competition, deals with two young former lovers who try, in an unorthodox way, to figure out the reasons behind their recent break up. Male lead Haris Fragoulis received a special mention. Afterlove is sold worldwide by Athens based Heretic Outreach.
Another special mention went to actor Vassilis Koukalani for his portrayal of a Syrian refugee in Athens in the Greek feature America Square by Yannis Sakaridis, which played in Thessaloniki fresh from its world premiere in Busan.
World sales are handled by German outlet Patra Spanou.
The international jury was comprised of Amir Naderi, director (Iran), Peter Scarlet, film curator, producer (USA), Frederique Moreau, screenwriter (France), Sofian El Fani, director of photography (Tunisia) and Eva Stefani, director (Greece).
Screen Daily by Alexis Grivas