Bulgaria sweeps awards at Vilnius International Film Festival

    Bulgarian film-makers swept the board in the Vilnius International Film Festival's (VIFF) first-ever competition programme, winning three prizes.

    Bulgarian director Stefan Komandarev took home the Best Film award for his The World is Big and Salvation Lurks Around the Corner in the festival's inaugural New Europe - New Names contest.

    Miki Manojlovic collected the Best Actor award for his lead performance in Komandarev's film.

    Bulgaria rounded off the hat-trick with Javor Gardev's Best Director award for his film Zift.

    The awards ceremony, held on April 2, capped the 14th annual VIFF - commonly known as Cinema Spring - which ran for two weeks in Lithuania's capital city.

    The nine films that took part in the New Europe - New Names contest were judged by a panel composed of British actor Dexter Fletcher, Lithuanian singer and actor Andrius Mamontovas, German actress Julia-Maria Köhler, Indian film critic Prathibha Sastry, and American film producer Barr Potter.

    "We screened nine very different films, all of which were of very high quality. There is no doubt that these films will become the voice of the future," said Dexter Fletcher, the jury chairman.

    Cinema Spring also presented its traditional Audience Award, which went to Spanish director Javier Fesser for his drama, Camino.

    Nearly one hundred films from around the world were screened during the festival, including a retrospective of works by Italian film maestro Federico Fellini, a special 'Colours of India' programme devoted to contemporary Indian cinema, as well as premieres of new Lithuanian films.

    Held at the Forum Cinemas Vingis and Skalvija cinemas, 2009 festival attendance was 47, 282.

    Andre Jarutyte

    Press Representative Vilnius International Film Festival

    "Kino pavasaris"(Cinema Spring)

    Tel.: + 370 610 11 355

    Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. http://www.kinopavasaris.lt/