Warsaw, Poland | 22 Oct 2018 (Tirana Echo) – Delegacioni (The Delegation), a co-production motion picture by Albania, France, Greece and Kosovo, grabbed the Grand Prix at the 34th Warsaw International Film Festival, in what is seen as a milestone achievement for Albanian cinema.
The movie directed by Albania’s Bujar Alimani and scripted by renowned Artan Minarolli who died in 2015, focuses on events in 1990 Albania, when the country’s iron fisted communist regime was starting to crumble. A European delegation comes to Tirana to monitor the implementation of new reforms by the government, which is trying to hold on to power at all cost .
The main character of the movie, is Leo, a political prisoner played by legendary Viktor Zhusti who refuses to play the regime’s theatrical game. His staged meeting with the delegation’s head Mr. Loherin played by another heavyweight Albanian actor Ndriçim Xhepa, prompts Leo to want to commit suicide, but the turn of events takes another path.
The Warsaw Grand Prix is hailed as a major achievement for Albanian cinema, which has suffered from financial restraints and lack of adequate production during its post communist days. Alimani dedicated this win to the late producer Artan Minarolli whi died in 2015.
Anca Damian of the Romanian/French film Moon Hotel Kabul, collected the prize for best director, while Martina Apostolova took home the Special Jury Award for her performance in the Bulgarian film Irina, directed by Nadejda Koseva. Special Mention went to Mexican director Sergio Umansky Brener for his film Ocho de cada diez (Eight Out of Ten).
The jury of the 1-2 competition, which presented directors’ first and second feature efforts, gave its award to the Greece/France/Serbia co-production I doulia tis (Her Job), directed by Nikos Labôt.
Out by French filmmaker Denis Parrot was hailed as the winner of the Free Spirit Competition, which focused on independent cinema.
The Best Documentary Feature Award went to Att sminka en gris (Putting Lipstick on a Pig), directed by Johan Karrento and co-produced by Estonia and Finland.
The Short Grand Prix was awarded to the Ukraine/Poland effort Weightlifter, helmed by Dmytro Sukholytkyy-Sobchuk.
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Additional Source: Hollywood Reporter