Yesterday was the closing ceremony of the festival and we awarded our CICAE prize to BEST INTENTIONS, a Romanian feature which stood far above the rest of the competition films. It was shot in a subjective POV style (imagine Peep Show but less irritating) with quite astonishing consistency and powerful camerawork. All round top notch performances and a simple yet completely universal story.
The main jury prize went to the Polish drama COURAGE, about two rival brothers running a business until a tragic event makes one of them question everything. A fairly conventional picture, it was solid and never boring, but I thought it unremarkable.
The main jury also gave BEST INTENTIONS a special mention for Direction and a shared acting prize for the lead actresses of AVE, KLIP and LOVERBOY.
KLIPS was the film with the most buzz behind it because of its explicit sexual scenes featuring teenagers - the problem is I found the sex boring even if the rest of the film was fairly interesting, if a little cliched.
I won't review every single film here, but special mention should go to THE ISLAND a really bizzare film which is really two features packed into one. It's poorly made at every level and I found it crossed the line between bad, good and back to bad again a few times.
Another interesting one was THE IDIOT, an Estonian adaptation of Dostoevasky's classic novel that was like being inside someone's nightmare for 145 minutes. A brave effort that fails on every count.
So, that might be my last festival this year as the work in Brighton heats up and we open our new venue (see previous post). I'll be recording a podcast with Rob talking about some of these films on Saturday. Until then, as they say in Lithuania, sudie!