Isabella Rossellini’s Un Certain Regard jury has given its top prize to Grímur Hákonarson’s Rams (Hrutar). Set in a remote Icelandic valley, the comedy centers on two brothers who haven’t spoken in 40 years, but who must come together in order to save their prized sheep. This is the second year in a row that an animal-themed film has won UCR’s top nod — the canine cautionary tale White God was last year’s victor. New Europe Film Sales is handling Rams.
The Jury Prize went to The High Sun (Zvizdan) by Dalibor Matanić. A look at the dangers and enduring strength of forbidden love, The High Sun follows three different love stories set in three consecutive decades, in two neighboring Balkan villages burdened with a long history of inter-ethnic hatred. Sales are with Cercamon.
Tokyo Sonata helmer Kiyoshi Kurosawa was named Best Director for the well-reviewed Journey To The Shore (Kishibe No Tabi). The touching Japanese ghost story is handled by MK2 and centers on a piano teacher whose husband suddenly returns after dying at sea three years earlier.
The Un Certain Talent Prize was awarded to Romanian director Corneliu Porumboiu’s Treasure (Comoara). Porumboiu won the 2009 Jury Prize in the section for thriller Police, Adjective and this time out zeroes in on a literal and figurative hunt for buried treasure with comedic results. Wild Bunch is selling Treasure.
Rounding out the awards were UCR’s Promising Future Prizes, given in a tie to Neeraj Ghaywan’s Indian drama Masaan, which was also a FIPRESCI winner today, and Ida Panahandeh’s Nahid from Iran.
Upon announcing the awards, Rossellini said watching 19 films from 21 countries “was like taking a flight over our planet and its inhabitants… Any anthropologist would be envious of us.” She added, “I cannot refrain from expressing also my personal gratitude to the Festival for having chosen my mother Ingrid Bergman for the poster of the 68th edition of this festival. Mamma seems to have hovered over all of us, filmmakers and film lovers, as a guardian angel.”
Also on the jury were Saudi Arabian filmmaker Haifaa al-Mansour; Greek director Panos H. Koutras; Lebanese actress/director Nadine Labaki; and French actor Tahar Rahim.