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18.900 visitors at 19th FilmFestival Cottbus

Setting a new record of 18.900 visitors the 19th FilmFestival Cottbus is closing down this Sunday, Nov 15th. In addition to thousands of cinema guests there were more than 600 guests of the international film scene attending the festival, amongst them more than 130 film makers as well as many producers.

"We're no longer a sepcial-interest-section", said Festival Director Roland Rust. "Meanwhile Cottbus may be regarded as home of Eastern-european film." The Festival Director was especially content with the huge variety of the programme, reflected also in the awards: „The Festival shows, that in Eastern European cinema not only one or two countries have great cinematographies, but that there is a great variety in film making countries. Countries like Azerbaijan and Albania, who are among the award winners this year, have caught up to the international film scene." This year, there were more programm units, Rust continued.


Two Lubinas for Serbia


Highlight of the festival was the award ceremony on Saturday evening. Vladimir Persic's serbian war drama ORDINARY PEOPLE was awarded with two LUBINAs, one for the Best Film, second for "Oustanding Actor" Relja Popovic, who accepted both prizes. "The decision was fast and of one voice", says MOSFilm-producer Kira Saksaganskaya, member of the International Jury. "This film includes all components of a really great film: strong story, outstanding director's and DP's work, wonderful actors' work and astonishingly refine construction of the film." ORDINARY PEOPLE is about a special operations unit in an unnamed war-zone, who is killing civilians. Protagonist Relja Popovic convinced the jury with his play of a young soldier, who naivly joins up an elite unit and is ordered to commit war crimes.

His female counterpart Anna Karczmarczyk from Poland takes home the LUBINA/Award for an Outstanding Actress for her character Alicja in MALL GIRLS | GALERIANKI.

Two films and three directors are sharing the Special Prize for Best Director: Zvonimir Juric and Goran Devic from Croatia for THE BLACKS | CRNCI and Aleksey Mizgirev from Russia for BUBEN BARABAN.

The audience-prize went to FAREWELL, GULSARY! | KOSH BOL, GULSARY!, Ardak Amirkulov's remake of Chenghiz Aitmatov's classic novel.


Parallel to the film festival the agency pool production was staging the East West Co-production market Connecting Cottbus. „Also in this year a high professionality and a personal atmosphere were combined", concludes artistic director Gabriele Brunnenmeyer. „The 14 presented ideas for feature films showed an astonishing variety of personal handwritings. Accordingly high was the interest of producers and financeers. This gives us reason to hope, that also from this year's market many projects will be realized."


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