VALLETTA: Latvia’s Oleg by Juris Kursietis and Albania’s A Shelter Among the Clouds by Robert Budina were awarded the Best Fiction Feature Award ex-aequo at the first edition of the Cinema of Small Nations Competition held at the Valletta Film Festival (14-23 June 2019).
Estonia’s Three August Days by Madli Laane was awarded Best Short Film in the Cinema of Small Nations Competition.
The jury's winners were announced on 22 June 2019 at a ceremony held at Pjazza Teatru Rjal, the flagship open-air venue of the Valletta Film Festival. Marco Bellocchio’s The Traitor was the closing film.
The winner of the Audience Award will be announced on 24 June 2019.
Central and East European films comprised half of the 12-film lineup in the international feature film competition, while another 24 films competed in the short film section, with CEE presence even more pronounced.
Nearly 100 films (46 feature films and 60 short films) screened at the largest cinematic event in Malta. Liliana Cavani and Béla Tarr were among the special guests of the festival.
For the first time the Film Grain Foundation, which organises the festival, put up the Valletta Film Forum, gathering filmmakers from Malta and other small nations to discuss topics and interests concerning domestic and collaborative screen production.
Best Fiction Feature Award in the Cinema of Small Nations Competition:
Oleg (Latvia, Belgium, Lithuania, France)Directed by Juris KursietisProduced by Tasse Film (Latvia) Coproduced by InScript (Lithuania), Iota Production (Belgium), Arizona Productions (France)Supported by the National Film Centre of Latvia, Centre du Cinéma et de l’Audiovisuel, Belgian Tax Incentives, Eurimages and the Lithuanian Film CentreandA Shelter Among the Clouds (Albania)Directed by Robert Budina
Best Documentary Award:Where Man Returns (Norway)Directed by Egil Haskjold Larsen
HSBC Best New Talent Award:Filip Peruzović, Filip Mojzeš, Dubravka Turić for Deep Cuts (Croatia)Produced by KinematografSupported by the Croatian Audiovisual Centre, City of Zagreb, Office for Gender Equality / Ured za ravnopravnost spolova Vlade Republike Hrvatske
Best Short Film in the Cinema of Small Nations Competition:Three August Days (Estonia)Directed by Madli Laane
Special Mention:Contact (Lebanon)Directed by Saamir Syriani