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THESSALONIKI 2019 Awards

Fire Will Come wins Thessaloniki’s Golden Alexander

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- Óliver Laxe’s powerful drama conquered the selection, while Maya Da-Rin and Melina León won the other main awards at the 60th Thessaloniki International Film Festival

Fire Will Come wins Thessaloniki’s Golden Alexander
Melina León with her Special Jury Award for Best Director - Bronze Alexander for Song Without a Name (© Motionteam)

The third feature from French-born Galician film director, screenwriter and actor Óliver Laxe, Fire Will Come [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Óliver Laxe
film profile
]
, has won the “Theo Angelopoulos” Golden Alexander for Best Feature Film at the 60th Thessaloniki International Film Festival, which ran from 31 October to 10 November. The prizes were given out yesterday at the closing-night ceremony, held in the Olympion Theatre.

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The international jury, comprising German director and festival programmer, Wieland Speck; Lithuanian director and visual artist, Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė; UK producer Jacqui Davies, Greek-French actress and director Ariane Labed; and Greek actress Angeliki Papoulia, handed the €15,000 prize to the Spanish-French drama, which through its austere and powerful narration about the forces of nature, follows a paria leaving prison and returning to his mother. For that performance, leading actor Amador Arias received the Best Actor Award.

The second award, the Special Jury Prize - Silver Alexander, was bestowed upon Maya Da-Rin’s sophomore feature, The Fever [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Maya Da-Rin
film profile
]
, a drama that guides the audience through the complex universe of Brazil’s indigenous Desana community. The other big winner of the night was another film from South America, Melina León’s debut feature film-noir Song Without a Name [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, which tells the story of a mother looking for her kidnapped child in 1980s Peru and received the Special Jury Award for Best Director and a Special Mention for the best LGBTQI-themed film, the Mermaid Award.

Finally, Greta Fernández snagged the Best Actress Award for her performance as a young mother forced to grapple with loneliness, her troublesome father and a lack of affection, in Belén Funes’ debut feature A Thief’s Daughter [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Belén Funes
film profile
]
.

At the newly-formed Meet the Neighbours competition, which aimed to offer an insight into the life of the countries of the region, Tlamess [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Ala Eddine Slim
film profile
]
, the sophomore feature by Tunisian director Ala Eddine Slim, received the section’s Golden Alexander. Also, for his sophomore feature, Not to Be Unpleasant, But We Need to Have a Serious Talk, Greek director Yiorgos Georgopoulos received the J.F. Costopoulos Foundation Award.

The Greek Film Centre (GFC) crowned ex aequo Rinio Dragasaki and Costas Athousakis with the Best Greek Debut Award for their features Cosmic Candy and Persephone respectively. Furthermore, the Best Location Award, handed out for the second time, from the Hellenic Film Commission, went to the debut feature film Entwined [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Minos Nikolakakis
film profile
]
by Minos Nikolakakis, which is set in the mountainous forests of Southern Greece in the Peloponnese. The GFC also sponsored the Best Virtual Reality Award, which was bestowed upon Passenger by Isobel Knowles and Van Sowerwine, while Family Portraits by Maria Mavropoulou received a Special Mention.

In film critics’ awards, FIPRESCI picked Beware of Children [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Dag Johan Haugerud
film profile
]
by Dag Johan Haugerud as the Best Film in the International Competition, which also received the Human Values Award from the Hellenic Parliament. From the Greek Film Festival, Siege on Liperti Street by Stavros Pamballis was the winner of both the FIPRESCI and the Greek Film Critics’ Association Awards as well as the Audience Award.

Here is the complete list of winners at the 60th Thessaloniki International Film Festival:

International Competition

Best Feature Film Award - “Theo Angelopoulos” Golden Alexander
Fire Will Come [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Óliver Laxe
film profile
]
- Óliver Laxe (France/Spain/Luxemburg)

Special Jury Award - Silver Alexander
The Fever [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Maya Da-Rin
film profile
]
- Maya Da-Rin (Brazil/France/Germany)

Special Jury Award for Best Director - Bronze Alexander
Melina León - Song Without a Name [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
(Peru/Spain/USA)

Best Actor Award
Amador Arias - Fire Will Come

Best Actress Award
Greta Fernández - A Thief’s Daughter [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Belén Funes
film profile
]
(Spain)

Meet the Neighbours - Golden Alexander
Tlamess [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Ala Eddine Slim
film profile
]
- Ala Eddine Slim (Tunisia/France)

Virtual Reality Films Competition

Best Film
Passenger - Isobel Knowles, Van Sowerwine (Australia)

Special Mention
Family Portraits - Maria Mavropoulou (Greece)

Other awards

Greek Film Centre Award Best Greek Debut (ex aequo)
Cosmic Candy - Rinio Dragasaki (Greece)
Persephone - Costas Athousakis (Greece)

Hellenic Film Commission Best Location Award
Entwined [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Minos Nikolakakis
film profile
]
- Minos Nikolakakis (Greece/UK)

Human Values Award
Beware of Children - Dag Johan Haugerud

J. F. Costopoulos Foundation Award
Not to Be Unpleasant, But We Need to Have a Serious Talk - Yiorgos Georgopoulos (Greece)

Mermaid Award
Moffie [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
- Oliver Hermanus (South Africa/UK)
Special Mention
Song Without a Name - Melina León

WIFT Award
Cosmic Candy - Rinio Dragasaki

Youth jury awards

Best Feature Film Award
Defunct - Zacharias Mavroeidis (Greece)

Special Youth Jury Award
The Miracle of the Sargasso Sea [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
- Syllas Tzoumerkas (Greece/Germany/Netherlands/Sweden)

Fischer audience awards

International Competition Award
Defunct - Zacharias Mavroeidis

Greek Film Festival – Michael Cacoyannis Award
Siege on Liperti Street - Stavros Pamballis (Greece/Cyprus)

Balkan Survey Award
What a Country! [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
- Vinko Brešan (Croatia/Serbia/Poland)

Open Horizons Award
The Swallows of Kabul [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Zabou Breitman, Eléa Gobbe-…
film profile
]
- Zabou Breitman, Éléa Gobbé-Mévellec (France/Luxembourg/Switzerland)

FIPRESCI awards

Best Film in the International Competition
Beware of Children [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Dag Johan Haugerud
film profile
]
- Dag Johan Haugerud (Norway/Sweden)

Best Film in the Greek Film Festival
Siege on Liperti Street - Stavros Pamballis

Greek Film Critics Association Award
Siege on Liperti Street - Stavros Pamballis

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