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Cottbus awards night

Prize-giving at the 14th FilmFestival Cotttbus ­ Main Prize for SCHIZO
(SCHIZA)

The 14th FilmFestival Cottbus - Festival of East European Cinema came to a close today with the gala prize-giving ceremony in the festival centre at the Stadthalle. The Minister of Economics of the State of Brandenburg, Ulrich Junghanns, presented the "LUBINA" prize sculpture, which was newly created last year, to the winners of the main prizes in the Feature Film Competition.

The International Jury did not have an easy choice given the strong festival lineup this year.

The Main Prize for the Best Film in the Feature Film Competition went to SCHIZO (SCHIZA) by Gulshad (Guka) Omarowa, a Russian-Kazakh-French-German co-production. Sulev Keedus was awarded the Special Prize for Best Direction for the Estonian-Finnish co-production SOMNAMBUL. The Special Prize for an outstanding artistic individual achievement went to the Croatian film A WONDERFUL NIGHT IN SPLIT (TA DIVNA SPLITSKA NOC) by Arsen Anton Ostojic. A Special Mention was given to the Polish film THE WEDDING (WESELE) by Wojtek Smarzowski. A listing of all the prize-winners for 2004 can be found on one of the following pages.

The festival closed with a screening of a selection films from "Visions Of Europe". The Danish director Lars von Trier initiated this joint project by leading filmmakers from all of the 25 EU member states. The works from the eight new candidate countries Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, the Czech Republic and Hungary were screened from the lineup of the five-minute contributions about visions of life in the new era.

Festival director Roland Rust expressed great satisfaction with the atmospherically and cinematically intense, exciting and successful festival which was dominated this year by the EU enlargement. "The cinema of Eastern Europe is more authentic and less artificial than West European cinema and is more profound and lasting in the way it touches its audience with sensitive everyday stories", is how Roland Rust describes the contribution of the new neighbours to the renewal of European cinema.

The event organiser pool production is pleased about a successful festival and the fact that Cottbus had "gone blue": students of the BTU Cottbus had designed and realised a signage system in blue paint for the festival visitors. Apart from the main screening venue in the festival centre, the new venue in the Kammerbühne of the Cottbus Staatstheater also went down very well with the audience. 400 guests from 28 countries visited the most important festival for East European Cinema. 14,800 people saw 150 films from 28 countries in five days.

The international industry forum CONNECTING COTTBUS was held for the sixth time during the festival. Staged under the banner of "Come and Pitch it!", the event saw producers, distributors, financiers and film funders meeting to make contacts and speak with one another about new projects.

Another great success this year was the second edition of the Cottbus FilmSchau where the audience presented its own films with a local connection.

The FOCUS in the 15th jubilee year in 2005 will be dedicated to the cinematography of Hungary. "Like no other cinema of Eastern Europe, the Hungarian cinema is characterised by creativity and artistic innovation. Based on the recently created film legislation - which is unique in the whole East European region so far -, there are promising new vistas now presenting themselves for investors and co-productions from abroad", says Rust on this choice.

The FilmFestival Cottbus is supported by the State of Brandenburg ­ Ministry for Economics and the town of Cottbus. The First Partner is Vattenfall Europe. Other supporters of the festival are the Federal Agency for Civic Education, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Federal Commissioner for Culture and Media, the Ministry for Urban Development, Housing and Transport, the DEFA Foundation, the Foundation for German-Polish Cooperation, the German-Czech Future Fund, and the Euro-region Spree-Neiße-Bober.
The media partners are Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg, the Lausitzer Rundschau and Radio EINS.

You can find all of the prize-winners for 2004 on the next page. The winner of the Public Choice Award and further information and photos as well as the jury motivations can be found at www.filmfestivalcottbus.de.


AWARD WINNERS
FEATURE FILM COMPETITION
The International Festival Jury awards the

Main Prize for Best Film to SCHIZA / SCHIZO / SCHIZO Guka (Gulschad Diasowna) Russia, Kazakhstan, France, Germany 2004

Special Prize for Best Director to SOMNAMBUUL / SCHLAFWANDELN / SOMNAMBULANCE Sulev Keedus, Estonia, Finland 2003.

Spezialpreis für eine künstlerisch herausragende Einzelleistung | Special Prize for an Outstanding Artistic Contribution 5.000 Euro gestiftet von der | donated by Sparkasse Spree-Neiße an | to TA DIVNA SPLITSKA NO_ | EINE WUNDERBARE NACHT IN SPLIT | A WONDERFUL NIGHT IN SPLIT Arsen Ostojic, Kroatien | Croatia 2004


Lobende Erwähnung | Special Mention
WESELE | DIE HOCHZEIT | THE WEDDING
Wojtek Smarzowski, Polen | Poland 2003



SHORT FEATURE COMPETITION
The Jury Short Feature Competition awards the Main Prize to
JESTÉS TAM / YOU ARE THERE
Anna Kazejak, Poland 2004

Special Prize 1.000 Euro donated by Druckzone, Cottbus to
VONATON / ON A TRAIN Barnabás Tóth, France, Hungary 2003.

Special Mention
SRCE JE KOS MESA / HEART IS A PIECE OF MEAT Jan Svitkovic, Slovenia 2003.


COMPLETE PROGRAMME

The Jury of the Féderation Internationale de la Presse Cinématographique awards the FIPRESCI Prize to CONTROL Antal Nimrod, Hungary 2003.


The Jury of SIGNIS and INTERFILM awards the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury
to CONTROL Antal Nimrod, Hungary 2003.

The Jury of the Féderation Internationale des Ciné-Clubs FICC awards the Don Quijote Prize to SCHIZA / SCHIZO Guka Omarowa, Russia, Kazakhstan, France, Germany 2004.

romotion Prize of the DEFA Foundation 4.000 Euro donated by DEFA Foundation an to JUBILATE Irma-Kinga Stellmach,Germany 2003.

An international Jury awards the DIALOG-Preis to SWOI / US by Dmitrij Meschijew, Russia 2004, 100 min.

The Cottbus Student Jury awards the Prize for Best Debut Film 500 Euro donated by Studentenrat to KONTROLL Antal Nimrod, Hungary 2003


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Chatelin Bruno
(Filmfestivals.com)

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