The other awards were assigned to Malou Reymann (Best director for “A Perfectly Normal Family”), Julian Vergov (Best actor for “German Lessons”), Kaya Toft Loholt (Best actress for “A Perfectly Normal Family”) and the Swiss movie “Spagat”, which won the Audience Award as most voted film on MyMovies.it. For the documentary section, Special Mention for the Canadian movie “The Magnitude of All Things”.
SESTRI LEVANTE (GE) – The fifth edition of Riviera International Film Festival ended with the award ceremony. Once again this year, following the initiative of the two founders, the President Stefano Gallini Durante and the Executive Director Vito D’Onghia, the festival brought the great protagonists of Italian and international cinema to Sestri Levante: from the Oscar-winner director and screenwriter Kenneth Lonergan to Oliver Stone’s producer Eric Kopeloff; from the new star of the Italian cinema Greta Ferro to Carlo Gabardini, author of the event series “SanPa” together with Gianluca Neri; and, of course, the American actress and producer Aubrey Plaza, who was in Sestri Levante to present the national premiere of her film “Black Bear”. She also attended Sundance Film Festival and received RIFF Icon Award 2021.
The festival is getting more and more focused on environmental issues: this is why the documentary section was composed by 10 documentaries and Andrea Crosta, founder of Earth League International, held a masterclass about the first intelligence agency in the world specializing in the fight against crimes against the planet. And then the documentary filmmaker Davide Demichelis, the director Carlo Carlei, the actress Fiorenza Pieri, the journalist Barbara Tarricone Hamilton, the film critic Paola Casella, the producer Ada Bonvini and one of the most influential American agents, Maren Olson.
During the ceremony on Sunday, May 30 at the Riff Lounge in Piazza Matteotti, moderated by the journalist, presenter and cultural influencer Marta Perego, the names of all the winners of the Riviera International Film Festival 2021 were revealed.
Best Movie: “As Far as I Know” by Nandor Lorincz and Balint Nagy (Hungary).
Best Documentary: “Newtopia” by Audun Amundsen (Norway).
Best Director: Malou Reyman (“A Perfectly Normal Family”).
Best Actor: Julian Vergov (“German Lessons”).
Best Actress: Kaya Toft Loholt (“A Perfectly Normal Family”).
Audience Award: “Spagat” by Christian Johannes Koch (Switzerland).
Special Mention Documentary: “The Magnitude of All Things” by Jennifer Abbott (Canada).
SYNOPSES OF THE WINNING MOVIES AND DOCUMENTARIES AND BIOGRAPHIES OF THE AWARD-WINNING DIRECTORS
Best movie – As Far as I Know by Nandor Lorincz and Balint Nagy
(Hungary, 2020, drama, 123′)
Cast: Gabriella Hámori, Balazas Bodolai
The life of a couple is suddenly turned upside down after a traumatic event.
Dénes and Nóra are a young couple and work in the same marketing agency. After a party with friends, they argue on the bus and go home on their own. The next day, Nóra tells Dénes that she was raped on the street by a stranger. A few days later, Nóra decides to press charges, but the testimonies of the two are against each other, equally credible but totally opposite. The police cannot prove that a sexual assault has occurred, so they close the case. Dénes begins to lose all his trust in Nóra and the couple’s life goes into crisis, revealing deep and unconfessed rifts.
Nándor Lörincz and Bálint Nagy graduated from the University of Theatre and Film Arts in Budapest, Nándor as a screenwriter, Bálint as a cinematographer. They are known as authors of successful short films, as well as commercial, music and television projects. Their short film “One Night Stand”, in competition at the Saguenay Film Festival in Quebec, won the First Prize at the Cris Du Monde International Film Festival in La Ciotat, Marseille, while in Hungary it won the Gundel Prize for direction. The short film 180/100 premiered in competition at the 18th Sarajevo Film Festival, and was awarded Best Short Film at the Golden Beggar Film Festival in Košice, Slovakia. “As Far as I Know” is their first feature film.
Best Documentary – Newtopia by Audun Amundsen
(Norway, 2020, documentary, 88’)
In search of a utopian world, Norwegian traveler Audun Amundsen finds the meaning of life in the Indonesian jungle.
Adventurous and naïve traveler Audun Amundsen is fascinated by the pure and unspoiled lifestyle of the inhabitants of the Indonesian jungle. He buys a one-way ticket and a camera to document this archaic way of life. In the jungle of Mentawai Island, he was adopted by the shaman Aman Paksa and a deep friendship between the two is born. Amundsen followed Aman Paksa for almost 15 years in his tormented journey towards modernity. The shaman lives a traditional life, without money, electricity or modern tools and hunts monkeys with a bow and arrow. With his family he lives in a wooden hut and exchanges goods with other tribes. His silent, light step, long black hair and bronze-colored skin confuse him with the atmosphere of the deep jungle. An airplane flying overhead reveals the approach of an unknown and intriguing modern world.
Best Director – Malou Reymann (“A Perfectly Normal Family”)
Born in Amsterdam on February 27, 1988, she is an actress and director: “A Perfectly Normal Family” is the first feature film she directed and is inspired by her life. She started acting since her teenage years and received nominations from the Danish Academy Award; in 2009 she was singled out by the Danish Critics Award for her role in Hella Joof’s film “Hush Little Baby”. She is a literature graduate from the University of Copenhagen and made a Master in Narrative Directing from the National Film & TV School in London in 2016. Her short film “Interruption”, funded by New Danish Screen, was selected by several festivals, including the CPH PIX Film Festival in Copenhagen, dedicated to emerging talents.
Best Actor – Julian Vergov (“German Lessons”)
Bulgarian actor, born on July 15, 1970 in Sofia. He is best known for his roles in “The Tournament”, “The Fourth Kind” and “Fake Identity”.
Best Actress – Kaya Toft Loholt (“A Perfectly Normal Family”)
Danish actress, born December 21, 2007. Before the movie “A Perfectly Normal Family,” she starred in the TV series “The Rain” (2018) and “Når støvet har lagt sig” (2020).
Audience Award – Spagat by Christian Johannes Koch
(Switzerland, 2020, drama, 110’)
Cast: Rachel Braunschweig, Aleksey Serebryakov, Michael Neuenschwander
A high school teacher’s double life begins to crumble as her well-hidden secrets gradually emerge.
Marina, a teacher in her forties, leads a quiet life with her husband and her daughter. But appearances are deceptive: she has a secret relationship with Artem, the father of Ulyana, one of her students. Although both Artem and his daughter have been living on the edge of this small town for years, they don’t have a residence permit. Their secret is revealed when Ulyana is arrested for theft. Apparently it is a small misstep, but it has serious consequences. Not only are Artem and Ulyana’s lives destroyed, but Marina’s involvement in the situation is also revealed. Caught between lies, loyalty and passion, Marina decides to make a radical choice.
Special Mention Documentary – The Magnitude of All Things by Jennifer Abbott
(Canada, 2020, documentary, 86’)
After her sister’s death from cancer, Jennifer Abbot draws intimate parallels between the grief for her loss and the suffering of the planet.
In her cinematic journey, the Sundance Award-winning Director Jennifer Abbott (The Corporation) draws intimate parallels between experiences of grief, both personal and planetary. Frontline stories about climate change merge with the director’s childhood memories of Georgian Bay in Ontario. What do these stories have in common? The answer is, surprisingly: everything. The film takes us around the world to witness a planet in crisis: from the catastrophic Australian wildfires and the dying Great Barrier Reef, to the island nation of Kiribati, drowned by rising sea levels. In Nunatsiavut, melting ice permanently alters the landscape, while in the Amazon rainforest, indigenous people fight a desperate battle against oil and mining.
INFORMATION AND UPDATE
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INSTITUTIONS AND SPONSORS
Riviera International Film Festival is supported by Liguria Region, the Municipality of Sestri Levante and Mediaterraneo Servizi srl. Thanks also to the Tourism Council of the Municipality of Sestri Levante.
Thanks also to RIFF 2021 Official Sponsors: Duferco Energia, Ambrosi, Hotel Vis a Vis and Molteni&C/Dada, Gruppo Ge and all local partners and technical sponsors.
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