18th Film Festival Cottbus

Festival of East European Cinema
11.11.2008 to 16.11.2008

INTERFILM president Hans Hodel with the members of the jury (left to right): Elena Jancušková (Slowak Republic), Felicitas Kleiner (Germany), Susanne Charlotte Knudstorp (Denmark), Anita Uzulniece (Latvia), at the ecumenical reception in the Schlosskirche Cotbuss

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Awards of the Ecumenical Jury

Wild Field
Wildes Feld
Directed by:

The film tells the story of a young doctor who practices in the Russian steppe and is confronted by a number of challenges, fates and sufferings. The shabby farmyard where he lives and works seems to be the last outpost of civilisation in a desolate area deprived from nearly any official support. In impressively calm and vast shots relating the human figure to a magnificent but apparently godforsaken landscape hostile to man the story of the protagonist serves to explore the fundaments of human existence. Apart from material conditions the importance of solidarity and – by being confronted with death but also with “miracles” – spiritual questions get into focus: about God, but foremost about how a meaningful, satisfying, even happy life can be achieved even under hardest external circumstances. The film leaves a deep impression not only by his concentrated as well as overwhelmingly beautiful visual language but also by a storytelling which combines demanding issues with admirable calmness and even droll humour.

Dikoe polje also received the Award of the International Film Ciritics Association (FIPRESCI) and a Commendation by the International Festival Jury.

Directed by:

Without falling into naive folklorism, Sergei Dwortsewojs "Tulpan" gives the audience an understanding of the living conditions and culture of the people of Kazakhstan’s "hunger steppe". At the same time the comedic story of a young man courting a young girl vainly but obstinately displays universal dimensions of human life. It is about the personal hopes and dreams chafing at the limits imposed by external conditions of life and relationships. Last but not least the film focusses on the family as a "trouble spot" but also as a vital powerhouse. The film benefits from a visual language that often almost like a documentary captures the everyday life of the nomads, but develops a great poetry as well. Despite its attention for the hardness of people’s circumstances it conveys not least a sense for the preciousness of life.

Tulpan also got the Special Award of the International Festival Jury for Best Direction.