Winners Announced: Egyptian Film ‘Clash’ Wins Golden Pram!

At the press conference that took place at the Müller Hall on Saturday, 19 November, the winners of the 14th Zagreb Film Festival were announced.

The Golden Pram for best film went to the Egyptian film Clash by Mohamed Diab, the Golden Pram for best short film went to the British film Balcony by Toby Fell-Holden, and the best film in the Checkers program is Saša Ban’s Baby Tooth.

In each category, the juries awarded special mentions as well. The film of the Romanian director Cristi Puiu Sieranevada has won the newest ZFF award, the Golden Bicycle, presented to the best film in the Together Again section.

The best film in the PLUS section is the Austrian entry One of Us by Stephan Richter, and the HT Audience Award went to the Israeli-French film In Between by Maysaloun Hamoud.

The best film in the PLUS program, intended for young audience, was judged by a jury of high school students from Zagreb: Lucija Katarina Šešelj, Maja Oskoruš, Luka Premer, Marta Grubačević, Darija Matagić. Their choice is the Austrian film One of us, directed by Stephan Richter. “We chose this film for its powerful narrative inspired by true stories. By slowing down the flow of the frames, the director portrays the tediousness and the corruption of young lives led by the protagonists, stuck in the same place and succumbing to vices. The end is also the beginning of a new story in which the audience is also a protagonist, free to choose whether they would make the same decisions as the characters in the film or whether they would do differently.”

The winning film in the Together Again program, the winner of ZFF’s newest award (Golden Bicycle) was judged by a three-member jury consisting of representatives from professional associations: Tomislav Pavlic, editor (Croatian Association of Filmmakers); Jure Pavlović, director (Croatian Film Directors’ Guild); Vanja Sremac, producer (Croatian Producers Association). Their choice fell on Sieranevada by the famous Romanian director Cristi Puiu, a comedy that premiered in Cannes, with a minority share in the co-production by the Croatian company Spiritus Movens.

The winners in the short fiction film category and the Checkers section were decided by the three-member jury consisting of Daina O. Pusić, director and Golden Pram winner in Checkers 2015; Nora el Hourch, director and Golden Pram winner for best short film in 2015; and Vanja Kaluđerčić, festival programmer.

The Golden Pram for best short fiction film went to the British film Balcony by Toby Fell-Holden. “Balcony is a film with an immediate sense of urgency that forces us to confront our own racial and cultural bias. It skilfully uses visually compelling imagery to remind us of the comfortable ease of human prejudice that compels us to collectively agree on fabricated narratives that determine individual destinies,” says the jury explanation. A special mention in short fiction film category went to the film Ferdinand 13 by Cecilia Stefănescu.

The Golden Pram for best short film in the Checkers program went to Milk Tooth by Saša Ban. “We congratulate the filmmaker on originality and audacity displayed in such a unique and brave manner. Unassumingly navigating us through a dreamy set of sequences, we become witnesses to a family gathering experiencing a traumatic event.” Two special mentions were also given in the Checkers programme: to Milk and Honey by Marko Jukić and 13+ by Nikica Zdunić.

The winners in the feature fiction category were chosen by the jury consisting of: Fred Breinersdorfer, writer and producer; Andreas Dresen, director; and Mira Staleva, deputy director of Sofia International Film Festival.

Their choice for the Golden Pram in the feature fiction category is the Egyptian film Clash by Mohamed Diab, with a following explanation: “This film concentrates on particular hours of one single day to tell the universal story of violence and police terror. Under the oppressive heat of the day, in the middle of a violent uproar, always in life danger, individuals from most different political sides and traditions clash. Thereby blurring the characters in a fog of hopelessness. All of them are maybe lifelong enemies, but the film celebrates the great possibilities of collaboration between different human beings in great cinematographic and emotional moments. A very strong picture and symbol of total confusion in violent political conflicts, which we have to face more and more today.” Special mentions in this category went to the Israeli film In Between by Maysaloun Hamoud and the Croatian film Quit Staring at My Plate by Hana Jušić.

The winner of the HT Audience Award is also known: In Between by Maysaloun Hamoud (also the jury winner), with the average vote of 5.0.