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Special Awards
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Best Foreign Language Film of 2007

Armin.

From almost all national submissions to the Academy Award for the Best Foreign Language Film, a jury of FIPRESCI selected — at the Palm Springs International Film Festival (USA, January 3-14, 2008) — its first special award of the year, the Best Foreign Language Film of 2007: Armin by Ognjen Svilicic (Croatia 2007)(photo, left side). The jury decided also prizes for best actor/actress. Best Actress: ex equo Anamaria Marinca and Laura Vasiliu in 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (4 luni, 3 saptamani si 2 zile, Cristian Mungiu, Romania 2007). Best Actor: Song Kang-ho in "Secret Sunshine" (Milyang, Chang-dong Lee, Korea 2007). Jury members were Ronald Bergan, UK ("The Guardian"), Isabelle Danel, France ("Télérama', "L'Evènement", "Les Echos", "Première"), Adam Nayman, Canada ("Eye Weekly", "Cinema Scope"). Print source. "Armin": mdc international, Schillerstr. 7a, D 10625 Berlin, Germany, T +49 (30) 264 979 00, F +49 30) 264 979 20, info@mdc-int.de. Reports on Palm Springs and the winners arrow.


Best Latin American Film of 2007

Carlos Reygadas, Diego Lerer.

Mexican director Carlos Reygadas received the FIPRESCI Award for the "Best Latin American Film of the Year 2007" for his film Silent Light (Stellet Licht). The prize was presented by FIPRESCI vice-president Diego Lerer at the Buenos Aires Festival of Independent Cinema (BAFICI). The jury had been composed of Carlos Brandao (Brazil), Mario Naito (Cuba), Jorge Morales (Chile), Jorge Jellinek (Uruguay) and Diego Lerer (Argentina). Reygadas had received the same award already in 2002 for his first film, Japon.


Discovery of the Year

Fernando Eimbcke (middle).Every year, FIPRESCI presents its "Revelation of the Year" at a special screening during the International Critics' Week in Cannes. One film is chosen out of the first or second films awarded by the Federation during the previous year, in the belief that it deserves the chance to be seen by the Cannes audience, and that the Cannes audience deserves the chance to see it. This year's Revelation is Mexican filmmaker Fernando Eimbcke's second feature Lake Tahoe, awarded at the Berlinale, where it was selected in the official competition. His first film, Duck Season, had been revealed by the Critics' Week in 2004, and went on to have an impressive international career. Details arrow.


Grand Prix — Best Film of the Year

Ceremony.The choice was unmistakable among the 242 members of FIPRESCI who sent in their votes from all over the world: Paul Thomas Anderson's There Will Be Blood was voted Best Film of the Year, and is therefore the winner of the FIPRESCI Grand Prix 2008. The US filmmaker received the award at the closing ceremony of the San Sebastian Festival (www.sansebastianfestival.com), which hosts the Grand Prix since its creation in 1999. Paul Thomas Anderson had already received the Grand Prix in 2000, for Magnolia. Norman Wilner and Jorge Morales review the film arrow.


Lifetime Achievement Award

Arturo Ripstein, Ilda Santiago.Mexican filmmaker Arturo Ripstein received FIPRESCI's Lifetime Achievement Award. Ilda Santiago, director of the Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival, presented the trophy to Ripstein, at a special ceremony beginning of October (photo). "Arturo Ripstein's universe is painfully and hermetically closed", characterizes Klaus Eder the filmmaker; "He manages to build, with power and without pity (and preferably using long shots and an artificially moving camera), invisible walls around his characters, as if they lived in a prison — a prison made up by the Mexican society and its social and moral conventions and its strong Catholicism (which he sometimes contests with a cynical anti-clericalism)... Arturo Ripstein is the poet of the dark side of the Mexican bourgeoisie... A film by Arturo Ripstein can distinctively be recognized as a film by Arturo Ripstein. Even if he worked always within the existing structures of the Mexican film industry, he (almost) always managed to make the films he wanted to make: a real author." arrow.


European Film Awards — Critic's Prize

Photo: Pathé Distribution.Abdellatif Kechiche, the French filmmaker of Tunisian origin, wins the "European Film Award of the Critics — Prix FIPRESCI", for his film The Secret of the Grain, also known as Couscous (La graine et le mulet). Hassouna Mansouri writes: "Giving this year's prize to Abdellatif Kechiche, the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) recognises an author in the purest and simplest meaning of the word. The award not only pays tribute to all those filmmakers who are often marginalised because of their origins, but above all recognises the talent of those who are committed to a different and independent cinema; those who stand against the war machines and their grip on the industry of the image. With low-budget films - which are nonetheless difficult to finance - Kechiche is involved in a struggle which brings together classic texts like those of Marivaux with the young 'beurs' of Nice, the city where he grew up." The award has been presented during the 21st European Film Awards Ceremony on 6 December, 2008, in Copenhagen. Read Hassouna Mansouri's homage to Abdellatif Kechiche arrow.

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