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The second edition of the Calvert Journal Film Festival announces its award winners

It’s a wrap for the second edition of the Calvert Journal Film Festival. This year’s virtual gathering, which ran from October 18-31, offered its audience a selection of 35 titles from the New East, with films from across six competition categories battling it out to be named Best Film in their individual section.

November 3, 2021 - The Calvert Journal Film Festival - Events

Laila Pakalniņa’s Dawn, the winner of Best Fiction Feature.

The winning pictures were selected by an independent jury of prominent industry figures: Ukrainian producer Natalia Libet, Czech anthropologist and documentarian Pavel Borecký, New Zealand-born, Berlin-based film critic and curator Carmen Gray, Bosnian actor and educator Selma Alispahić, Kosovar filmmaker Norika Sefa, Lithuanian director and activist Romas Zabarauskas, Latvian programmer Zane Balčus, Scottish film critic and journalist Amber Wilkinson, and Kazakh filmmaker Adilkhan Yerzhanov.

The 2021 edition saw the triumph of Laila Pakalniņa’s Dawn, crowned Best Fiction Feature. The picture, a co-production between Latvia, Estonia and Poland, focuses on an idealistic young man living in a commune in Soviet Latvia, who rebels against his violent father. In doing so, he sets a series of events in motion that nobody could have predicted. The jury’s accompanying statement is as follows: “In Dawn, the director handles with subtlety and depth her ambiguity and wilfully elusive intentions. A very complex film, where one feels one is going through a range of emotions, in a familiar, yet strange, imaginative world. A blend of culture, history, political, and social commentary, all wrapped up in a visually exquisite work that is as appealing, as it is informative.” Other important victors included Eric Bednarski’s Warsaw: A City Divided, winner of the Prize for Best Documentary Feature, and Ilze Burkovska-Jacobsen’s My Favorite War, crowned Best Animation Film

Here is the list of this year’s award winners:

Best Fiction Feature

Dawn – Laila Pakalniņa (Latvia/Estonia/Poland)

Best Documentary Feature

Warsaw: A City Divided – Eric Bednarski (Poland)

Best Animation Film

My Favorite War – Ilze Burkovska-Jacobsen (Latvia/Norway)

Best Short Film

History of Civilization – Zhannat Alshanova (Kazakhstan)

Best Experimental Film

Microcassette – The Smallest Cassette I’ve Ever Seen – Igor Bezinovic and Ivana Pipal (Croatia)

Best Student Film

The Vibrant Village – Weronika Jurkiewicz (Hungary)

Audience Choice Award

Rhythms of Lost Time – Anisa Sabiri (Tajikistan)


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