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Al Este Returns to Celebrate Central and Eastern European Cinema in Peru

For yet another year, and this time taking place during April (19-29), the Al Este International Film Festival in Lima celebrated the best of Central and Eastern European cinema. With a major focus on the relationship between people and nature as a horizontal approach, the 14th edition of the festival has brought a large selection of titles to the Peruvian capital with its usual goal of establishing a bridge between the cinematographies of both continents.

This year’s jury, made up of FICUNAM artistic director Abril Alzaga, Peruvian artist Anahí Olivares, Peruvian director Gonzalo Benavente, Colombian director Juan Zapata and Peruvian actress Norma Martínez, has decided to award the main prize, the Al Este Jaguar for Best Film, to the Czech production Art Talent Show [+], by Adéla Komrzý and Tomáš Bojar, adding a trophy to their cabinet after winning the Grand Prix in the new Proxima section of the Karlovy Vary Film Festival last July. The film, which depicts the week of entrance exams to the Academy of Arts in Prague, has been singled out above the other participants in the section, including Cristian Mungiu’s R.M.N. [+], which received both a special mention from the jury and the Press Award for Best Film and the Best Film Award from APRECI (Peruvian Film Press Association).

And in the recently created First Line Competition, dedicated to first and second films by emerging directors, the winning film was Thunder [+] by the Swiss Carmen Jaquier, which premiered last year in the Platform section at Toronto and the New Directors section at San Sebastian. And a special mention went to To the North [+] by the Romanian Mihai Mincan, selected in the Orizzonti at the last Venice Film Festival.

As usual, the Al Este also offered its attendees a training programme that included a series of workshops on topics such as audience development, knowledge of Latin American festival audiences, gender mainstreaming in festivals and venues, and strategies and tools for organising and producing more sustainable festivals and venues. Two renowned European filmmakers also took part in events. The Italian Susanna Nicchiarelli, discussed her latest film Chiara [+], and the Austrian Ulrich Seidl, gave a masterclass on his experience of the directing process from script conception to post-production, ending with the presentation of the Al Este Jaguar in recognition of the director’s work of the recent films Rimini [+] and Sparta [+].

The festival, which organised more than 70 screenings this year, was visited by international guests, including Saint-Omer [+] actress Guslagie Malanda, Brazilian director Gregorio Graziosi, FICVIÑA artistic director Claudio Pereyra and the director of the Punta del Este Film Festival, Daniela Cardarello.

The list of winners:

Al Este Official Competition

Best Film
Art Talent Show [+] – Adéla Komrzý, Tomás Bojar (Czech Republic)

Special Mention
R.M.N. [+] – Cristian Mungiu (Romania/France/Belgium/Belgium/Sweden)

First Line Competition

Best Film
Thunder [+] – Carmen Jaquier (Switzerland)

Special Mention
To the North [+] – Mihai Mincan (Romania/France/Greece/Greece/Bulgaria/Czech Republic)

Emerging Peru Competition

Best Film
Dejar las flores – Barcina Valdivia (Peru) (short film)

Special Mention
Está estable – Sebastián Plasencia (Peru) (short film)

ExperimentAlEste Competition

Best Film
Las picapedreras – Azul Aizenberg (Argentina) (short film)

Special Mention
Fuego en el mar – Sebastián Zanzottera (Argentina) (short film)

Other Awards

Press Award for Best Film
R.M.N. – Cristian Mungiu
Special Mention
Compartment No. 6 [+] – Juho Kuosmanen (Finland/Russia/Estonia/Germany)

APRECI Award for Best Film
R.M.N. – Cristian Mungiu
Special Mention
Compartment No. 6 – Juho Kuosmanen

Source : Cineuropa