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Special Awards
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special awards 2009

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Best Foreign Language Film of 2008

Revanche.From 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 6-19, 2009) — its first special award of the year, the Best Foreign Language Film of 2008: Revanche by Götz Spielmann (Austria, 2008) (photo), "the suspenseful story of a heist whose unexpected repurcussions radiate out with satisfying moral complexity", writes jury member Lisa Nesselson. The jury decided also prizes for best actor/actress. Best actor: Natar Ungalaaq in The Necessities of Life (Ce qu'il faut pour vivre, directed by Benoit Pilon, Canada 2008). "Though not a trained actor, Natar Ungalaaq brings rare warmth and icy clarity to his role as an Inuit hunter culturally and emotionally marooned in at TB hospital in 1940's Quebec", remarks juror Roger Clarke. Best actress: Martina Gusman in Lion's Den (Leonera, directed by Pablo Trapero, Argentina/South Korea/Brazil, 2008). Jury member Peter Keough comments: "Martina Gusman masters every scene of Lion's Den, expressing extreme emotions with restrained intensity and subtly conveying her character's transformation from passivity to power over the course of her ordeal." Print source: The Match Factory, Sudermannplatz 2, D-50670 Köln, T +49 (221) 973 32 11, F +49 (221) 97 33 29, info@matchfactory.de. The festival's website: www.psfilmfest.org. Read our reports on the event arrow.

Grand Prix — Best Film of the Year (2009)

The White Ribbon.At the opening ceremony of the San Sebastián International Film Festival, Michael Haneke's The White Ribbon received the FIPRESCI Grand Prix 2008 for the Best Film of the Year. Although the film has barely been screened apart from the Cannes Film Festival (where it won both the FIPRESCI Award and the Golden Palm), Michael Haneke's Das Weisse Band (The White Ribbon) was chosen the Best Film of the Year by the 223 critics throughout the world that took part in the poll. The award will be handed out on Friday, September 18th, during the opening ceremony of the San Sebastian International Film Festival (www.sansebastianfestival.com), which hosts the Grand Prix since its creation in 1999. "Innocence, sin, guilt, responsibility, punishment", writes Pamela Biénzobas in her review. "In The White Ribbon Michael Haneke once again puts humanity (as "the human race" and as human nature) to the test and with despair examines the intrinsic evil that seems to reside at the very heart of every community and be part of each personal interaction." Review arrow.

European Film Award of the Critics

Andrzej Wajda, Tatarak.The "European Film Award of the Critics — Prix FIPRESCI 2009" has been decided for Polish director Andrzej Wajda and his film Tatarak (Sweet Rush) which had its international premiere in competition of the 2009 Berlinale. Already with his first films A Generation (Pokolenie, 1955), Canal (Kanal, 1957) and Ashes And Diamonds (Popiól i diament, 1958) he wrote film history. His cinema is politically vigilant (Man of Marble — Czlowiek z marmuru, 1977), and is romantic (The Girls from Wilko — Panny z Wilka, 1979). It influenced generations of filmmakers. At the times of communism, these films allowed us in the West a deep insight into Polish society, its history, its problems, its feelings; and it showed us the blossoming of a new and young cinema in Eastern Europe. With the "Prix FIPRESCI", critics all around the world wish to honor him and to show him respect. In particular, the prize honors his latest film Tatarak. It's not at all what one would call a later work — it is, on the contrary, the film of a young spirit, with which Wajda in a risky and courageous way undertakes to open new and very personal perspectives for the European authors' cinema of today. (k.e.) Andrzej Wajda will be attending the 22nd European Film Awards Ceremony on 12 December in Bochum to accept the award on stage.

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