From 23rd to 29th September, Ostrava hosted the eighth Ostrava Kamera Oko International Film Festival. The winner of the main competition became cinematographer Jonathan Ricqueborg for his collaboration with director Alberto Serra on the French film The Death of Louis XIV. The festival’s short film competition was won by cinematographer Adam Mach for his work on the film Fear.
The festival’s Official selection presented six Czech premieres – Wim Wenders’s latest film The Beautiful Days of Aranjuez 3D, Italian feature film debut by director Allesandro Comodino Happy Times will Come Soon, French erotic drama Despite the Night, historical film The Death of Louis XIV, Portugal adaptation of Joseph Conrad’s story An Outpost of Progress and American film Radio Dreams.
Ostrava Kamera Oko Gran Prix goes to Jonathan Ricquebourg for The Death of Louis XIV, special mention of the jury awarded to Jessica Lee Gagné for Despite the Night.
International jury composed of Polish cinematographer Adam Sikora, Argentinian filmmaker Eduardo Williams and Czech documentarist, editor and cinematographer Miroslav Janek awarded the Ostrava Kamera Oko Gran Prix to cinematographer Jonathan Ricqueberg for his work on director Alberto Serra’s The Death of Louis XIV starring Jean-Pierre Léaud as Louis XIV “for synergy between story and image, for the patience and the mystery and capturing of the historical period of the film."
“Nowadays it is easy to create and share images and videos. But we cannot rush this creation and appreciation of such images. I am very grateful for this award. It strengthens my belief that it is possible to win more time to fully emerge oneself to the world of film, which is partly fiction and partly document, and appreciate and experience its poetic character,” thanked Ricquebourg for the award.
The Death of Louis XIV will not enter Czech distribution for the time being, but the viewers still have a chance to see the film at the Festival of French Film in Prague in November.
The Special Mention of the jury was awarded to Jessica Lee Gagné, Canadian cinematographer of director Philippe Grandrieuxe’s Despite the Night. The award for “new kind of visual expression, relation between film language and videoart, sensual photography and interesting formal concepts,” was accepted by Gagné in person.
“Despite the Night is a film that needs to be seen, it is an honest and genuine film that slowly transforms into a dream. To experience a film in a cinema is more important than ever. Knowing that screening halls around the world are slowly disappearing, festivals such as Ostrava remind me that we need the directors to make this kind of films,” said the awarded cinematographer.
Award for best short film goes to Adam Mach, special mention of the jury to Klára Belicová
The Short Film Competition presented work by young cinematographers Klára Belicová (with a preview from a project in development called Helena’s Law), Adam Mach (Fear), Braňo Pažitka (Television is Coming! Two Fragments from Transmission’s Early Days), Jan Skriečka (Rite) and Jakub Halousek (with a preview of a project in development called Wet Wedding – as the author requested, this project did not enter the competition).
The jury composed of cinematographer Diviš Marek, photographer Marek Bartoš and cinematographer Yvon Teysslerová decided to award Adam Mach for his work on the film Fear for “keeping the unity of means of expression in harmony with the films theme.”
Special mention of the jury was awarded to cinematographer Klára Belicová for her work on the documentary Helena’s Law. The jury has seen only a part of the feature documentary about Berdych’s Gang but “despite the unfinished status of the film, we decided to award a special mention for the cinematographer’s fundamental contribution.”
Documentary detective story Helena’s Law maps director Petra Nesvačilová’s search for Berdych’s Gang and will enter distribution this November.
This year’s festival presented almost seventy live-action, documentary and short films and, for the second time, took place in new screening halls Cineport in the former black coal mine Hlubina as well as three other single-screening-hall cinemas in Ostrava – Minikino, Art and Luna. The accompanying programme also for the first time visited the Dock Club at the Havlíčkovo Square.
Apart from the jury members, a number of other distinguished guests visited Ostrava. The guests included, among other, the American director Irene Chagall and Czech documentarists Ivo Bystřičan and Karel Vachek, directors Michal Hogenauer, Vít Zapletal and Tomáš Pavlíček, cinematographer Karel Slach and many more. Apart from Works in Progress and the Lesson by Miroslav Janek, the festival’s professional programme included also a workshop focusing on attracting the audience to film events held under the auspices of the Czech branch of Creative Europe Desk – Media and its director Pavlína Kalandrová and led by Véronique Charrat from the French festival Premiers Plans Angers.
Ostrava Kamera Oko International Film Festival was financially supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic, the State Cinematography Fund and the City of Ostrava.
The ninth edition of the Ostrava Kamera Oko International Film Festival will take place from 22nd to 28th September 2017.