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FilmFestival Cottbus more success than ever before

On Saturday, November 10, the 17th FilmFestival Cottbus came to an end with an impressive closing event where prizes with a total value of Euros 64,000 were presented. All the expectations could be surpassed with a high audience turnout: around 16.000 visitors attended the multifaceted programme on offer. With 80 films from 25 countries, numerous concerts, readings and exhibitions, this year again saw the festival invite the audience to go on a varied journey through the cultural landscapes of Central and Eastern Europe. Far more than 500 accredited guests from 32 countries came to Cottbus, of which 140 professional delegates from 22 countries took part in the East-West co-production market Connecting Cottbus.

The Main Prize of the International Festival Jury went this year to the Bulgarian film "Investigation" by Iglika Trifonova.

The Russian film "Travelling With Pets" by Vera Storozheva was the festival's outstanding prize-winning film receiving no less than five of a total of 13 prizes awarded. Apart from the Special Prize for Best Director, Storozheva also picked up the FIPRESCI Prize, the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury and the Don Quixote Prize of the FICC Jury. Moreover, Xenia Kutepova, lead actress from "Travelling With Pets", was honoured with the Special Prize for an Outstanding Artistic Contribution. The three prize-winners in the Feature Film Competition also received the „Lubina“ sculpture statuette.

In the Short Feature Competition, the Main Prize went to the Polish film "Porno" by Jan Wagner, and the jury's Special Prize to "Stone People" by Leonid Rybakov from Russia.

The „From Cottbus to Cinema“ – Distribution support prize for a festival film was won by "Pure Coolness" by Ernest Abdyjaparov from Kyrgyzstan.
The Slovenian film "Estrellita" by Metod Pevec received the prize of the Dialogue jury, while the Cottbus student jury decided on the Russian debut "Gagarin's Grandson" by Andrej Panin and Tamara Vladimirtseva.
The Audience Award went with a big majority to "Empties" by the Czech Oscar prize-winner Jan Sverak.

Yesterday had already seen the film producer Jelena Mitrović (KLOPKA – THE TRAP) from Serbia accept the Cottbus Discovery Award.
This year was the ninth time that the East-West co-production market Connecting Cottbus saw filmmakers, directors, producers and media professionals discussing collaboration on current and future projects. For the first time, a prize was awarded for the best project presentation with the CoCo Best Pitch Award which went to the Serbian screenwriter and director Andrijana Stojkovic with her project THE BOX.

The Focus "after YU" brought filmmakers from the successor states of former Yugoslavia together and explored the prospects for future cooperation.
There was a particularly lively response for this year's retrospective „Neue Heimat Brandenburg“ which was staged on the occasion of the 850th anniversary of Brandenburg.

The closing event in the Stadthalle Cottbus was rounded off with the screening of the film FAMILY RULES (WIR SAGEN DU! SCHATZ). Apart from the director Marc Meyer, the lead actors Samuel Finzi, Nina Kronjäger, Margot Nagel and Harald Warmbrunn as well as producer Faysal Omer attended the presentation before an enthusiastic audience.

On Sunday, November 11, the audience day provided one more opportunity to see highlights from various sections of the festival in the Stadthalle Cottbus.
On November 12 and 13, films from Georgia, Russia and the Czech Republic will be presented as festival reprises in Berlin and Potsdam.

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Chatelin Bruno
(Filmfestivals.com)

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