Iranian teen drama ‘Summer With Hope’ wins Karlovy Vary Film Festival

Iran’s coming-of-age story “Summer With Hope” won first prize at the 56th Karlovy Vary Intl. Film Festival, winning the Crystal Globe jury with its story of young competitive swimmer Omid as he struggles to train for a risky ocean competition.

The film, directed and written by Iranian-Canadian Sadaf Foroughi, is his second feature film, following the 2017 teen drama “Ava.” The Karlovy Vary Prize is endowed with $25,000.

The closing gala, which filled the Grand Hall of the historic Hotel Thermal in the western Czech spa town, saw several winners comment on the crucial issue of artistic freedom and call for solidarity with the people Ukrainian. Benicio Del Toro, honored with the Festival President’s Award, praised Karlovy Vary for hosting the Odessa Film Festival’s ongoing working event this year, saying the support would help “ensure that another culture does not will not be a victim of war”. He also thanked the films’ audiences, describing them as “people like you, who breathe life into these films with every viewing”.

Geoffrey Rush, at the lifetime achievement award ceremony, recalled his past filming in the Czech Republic for “Les Miserables” and National Geographic’s “Genius” series in which he played Albert Einstein, adding that he felt his greatest honor. was invited “into this prismatic and inspiring world of Bohemia”.

He also cited Czech director Milos Forman, playwright Karel Capek and Vaclav Havel – as well as the theatrical work of actor Bolek Polivka – as artistic sources he has learned from since the start of his career.

The festival honored Polivka with a lifetime achievement award.

The lively but evocative Spanish study of friends “You must come and see it”, directed by Jonás Trueba, won the special jury prize and $15,000 for its ironic and philosophical portrayal of an outing to the countryside by city dwellers madridians.

Czech filmmaker Beata Parkanová won the directing award for ‘The Word’, a Czech/Slovak/Polish co-production and her original story about a small-town notary – Martin Finger, who also won the prize of the actor – and his wife, Gabriela Mikulková, who are resisting political pressure under the repressive pre-1989 regime at great personal expense.

Georgians Taki Mumladze and Mariam Khundadze shared Best Actress honors for their roles as restless young women struggling with claustrophobia and sexual frustration in Ioseb “Soso” Bliadze’s German-Georgian drama ‘A Room of My Own’ .

Arguably the most spectacular nine-day festival in central Europe, the nine-day festival wrapped up Saturday night, capping a week of 170 films screened to mostly packed theaters with a total of more than 10,000 visitors.

The Právo Audience Award went to the Czech rock documentary ‘PSH Neverending Story’, Štěpán FOK Vodrážka’s free-wheeling tale of three Prague rap heroes, Orion, Vladimir 518 and Mike Trafik, who, under the name Peneři strýčka Homeboye (Uncle Homeboy’s Hoboes), has been making waves for decades in local clubs, parties and tabloid headlines.

The Karlovy Vary festival’s new Proxima competition – which evolved from the former East of the West section to open it up to global independent filmmakers doing outstanding work – honored the Czech documentary ‘Art Talent Show’, directed by Adéla Komrzý and Tomáš Bojar chronicle the competitive spirit of art schools, with its first prize and $15,000. The filmmakers pledged to send the funds to meet the urgent needs of war victims in Ukraine.

The film also won a FIPRESCI award, as did the Official Selection film ‘Borders of Love’, an offbeat Czech-Polish look at open relationships directed by Tomasz Wiński.

“La Pietà,” a Spanish-Argentine look at family life in hell directed by Eduardo Casanova, won the Proxima Special Jury Prize and $10,000 while 80s Croatian/Serbian family story “The Uncle,” directed by David Kapac and Andrija Mardešić, had a special mention from the jury.

The Ecumenical Jury Prize went to the observational documentary “A Provincial Hospital”, a Bulgarian/German production directed by Ilian Metev, Ivan Chertov and Zlatina Teneva, while the Europa Cinemas Label Prize went to the Polish polemic “Fucking Bornholm”, directed by Anna Kazejak.

The winners of the 56th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival
Best film
“A summer full of hope”
Directed by Sadaf Foroughi
Canada, Iran

Special Jury Prize
“You have to come and see it”
Directed by Jonas Trueba
Spain

Director
Beata Parkanova
“Word”
Czech Republic, Slovak Republic, Poland

Actress
Taki Mumladze and Mariam Khundadze
“A Room of My Own”
Georgia, Germany

Actor
Finger Martin
“Word”
Czech Republic, Slovak Republic, Poland

Právo Audience Award
“PSH’s Neverending Story”
Director: Štěpán FOK Vodrážka
Czech Republic

Proxima Grand Prix
“Artistic Talent Show”
Directed by Adela Komrzý, Tomáš Bojar
Czech Republic

Proxima Special Jury Prize
“La Pieta”
Directed by Eduardo Casanova
Spain, Argentina

Special mention from the Proxima jury
“The uncle”
Directed by David Kapac, Andrija Mardešić
Croatia, Serbia

Ecumenical Jury Prize
“A provincial hospital”
Directed by Ilian Metev, Ivan Chertov, Zlatina Teneva
Bulgaria, Germany

Europa Cinemas Label Award
“Fuck Bornholm”
Directed by Anna Kazejak
Poland

FIPRESCI
Crystal Globe Contest
“The Borders of Love”
Directed by Tomasz Wiński
Czech Republic, Poland

Proxima Contest
“Artistic Talent Show”
Directed by Adela Komrzý, Tomáš Bojar
Czech Republic