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BestOff 99-08 Film Festival’s Green Ravens handed out

February 9th, Saturday night the annual award ceremony of Hungary’s Student Jury took place at one of the most recognized art cinemas of the capital, Toldi. Celebrating the 10th anniversary of participating in the Hungarian Film Week, the National Student Jury held its own festival after the wrap-up of the 39th Film Week. During the event, the Green Raven awards of the 39th Film Week were handout out in six categories but this year a new award has been added to the list.

The National Student Jury was founded in 1999. The year 2004 was a turning point in the history of the Student Jury as it was the year in which they became a national organization. Throughout the years the activities of the organization have gradually been extended and today they participate in many film festivals other than the annual Hungarian Film Week.

The Student Jury’s main goal is to represent the unbiased opinion of the youth interested in films and to discuss which films are the ones most liked by young people of our days. In an attempt to fill in the large gap between laymen and the professionals, members of the Student Jury strive on bringing these two groups closer to each other. Appreciating creative values without being involved in film politics is their objective, says Tamás Teszler, president of the National Student Jury. This is the reason why each year –following the Hungarian Film Week– they have their own award ceremony where they have the possibility of awarding films they deem the best, without any pressure put on them.

Saturday night the first prize to be handed out was in the documentary section. Out of 46 films, Ferenc Moldoványi’s Another Planet (Másik bolygó) won. Next came the experimental-short film block which –according to the members– had a very strong line-up. Making a decision was hard, they say, but in the end Ádám Császi’s Weaker Days (Gyengébb napok) received the Green Raven in this category. In the Best First Film category, the majority favored Attila Gigor’s The Investigator (A nyomozó) but Attila Till’s Panic was also very popular among members. The Green Raven went to The Investigator, however. Apparently this film was by far the most admired by the youth, as it was chosen to be not only the best in the first film block, but also the best full-length feature film this year.

The view that the soundtracks of the past year were of very high level was unanimous among Student Jury members, so this was not an easy decision to make either. The soundtracks of 2007 films are said to be either old-school or somewhat more of the new wave group; after much debate the best music went to Ferenc Török’s Overnight representing the ‘new-school’ trend. Finally, Cecília Felméri was proclaimed to be the most promising young cinematographer for her film Cuckoo (Kakukk).

An award to be given for the very first time throughout the history of the National Student Jury was in the category of the best Hungarian film of the decade. Five films have been nominated for this prize and out of these five Béla Tarr’s Werckmeister Harmonies (Werckmeister harmóniák) received the title of being the best Hungarian film of the past ten years. Béla Tarr, director of films such as Damnation or Satantango, is acknowledged worldwide for his works. After a few years of silence, his newest film is The Man from London which has already become a big hit in just a short time.

The National Student Jury is an integral part of Hungarian cinematography, representing the pure views of students and the youth interested in Hungarian film. It is important that they continue their work throughout the years without changing their principles. Let’s hope that there are many more years to come in their lives!

By Brigitta Bokor

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