The awards ceremony of the 16th Beldocs Festival took place last night in the Yugoslav Cinematheque. The best films of the festival were announced to be A Guide to Coastal Fortifications by Tijana Petrović and Thiiird by Karim Kasem. The film Smoke Souna Sisterhood by Anna Hints, won the Eurimage Audience Award for Best Director.

During the seven days of the festival, almost 100 films were shown in 12 different program units. As the selector of Beldocs, Igor Stanojević, had stated before the start of the festival, the selection put a special focus on fresh expressions of new authors and visually striking films.

There were a total of 12 films in the selection of the Serbian competition program. The film Guide to Coastal Fortifications by author Tijana Petrović won the best film award, and in the explanation, the jury emphasized:

The Best Film Award is given to a film that explores the relationship between humans and nature. This is a visually impressive essay that deftly integrates diverse material. A film that explores the structure of the country, aiming to show the structures of military power.

The award for the best editing is awarded to promising young Serbian filmmakers, namely Luka Papić and Srđa Vučo for the film Called and Invited, and the jury in its explanation stated that it was:

…the most consistent film in the Serbian competition program that combines authentic archival material with skilled contemporary footage, creating a rare genre – a documentary tragicomedy about the first Serbian elections.

The award for the best cinematography went to the film Aurora’s Dream by Dragana Jovanović. As the jury explains:

A film that surprises already in the first minutes. An impressively rich concept born from a simple idea: filming friends in moments of emergency. Another movie about the pandemic? Maybe, but not like the others. Striking scenes recorded only with a computer camera and montage that creates unique material, allowing this film show so many things, and all under the veil of fantasy.

In the International Competition Program, the award for the best film went to the Thiiird by Karim Kassem, while the Special Recognition went to the film Farewell to the Savage, by Sergio Guataquiro Sarmiento:

For an immersive film that captures the audience’s attention with the compassion and respect that it shows for its characters, developing them consciously and gradually as time goes on. The visual style of the narrative, the director’s knowledge of the place he’s creating , and the context he gives us are organic and natural – we get the impression that all the people and places we see existed before the camera ever stepped into their lives, and will continue to exist when we (the audience and the film crew) leave them. Karim Kassem’s film draws us into the story with disarming and deft changes of perspective that create a convincing dialogue between real and fictional worlds.

In the short selection of the competition program, the award for the best film went to the film Budapest Silo, by Zsófia Paczolay, and special recognition was given to the film The Evil of Fire, directed by Alice Brigo.

This year’s Beldocs festival is hosting the prestigious Eurimages Audience international award, which is awarded for the eighth time for the best female director. The award was won by Anna Hints for her film Smoke Souna Sisterhood.

Words that become stories, beliefs that create worlds, stories that transcend the tangible. As the camera watches them complicitly, tenderly and respectfully, a group of women find refuge in the in-between space, in a place frozen in time that becomes their purgatory, confessional, safe place for the purification of soul and body – like some kind of modern Shabbat or pagan ritual that unites the mystical and the tangible dimension. Something between a Nordic fairy tale, tribal rituals and the warmth that comes from a sense of acceptance – an archetypal, hypnotic, intimate and unashamedly politically engaged creation.

The 16th Beldocs festival will close tonight with the film Gru Tu Je directed by Rene Miskolci and Bojan Vinulović, and before the screening he award for the best European film will be presented as chosen by the audience, awarded under the auspices of the EU Delegation in Serbia.