Le Prix du passage/The Channel by Thierry Binisti (France, Belgium, 2022) is the winner of the main competition Mostra Concorso of the 41st edition of Bergamo Film Meeting. Chosen by the audience, the film will receive the Bergamo Film Meeting Prize, worth 5,000 €.
The international jury, led by Nerina Kocjančič (Slovenian Film Centre), along with Simone Bachini (Apapaja Produzioni Cinematografiche) and Iva Hejlíčková (Uherské Hradiště Summer Film School) decided to award the Best Direction Prize, worth 2,000 € to Një filxhan kafe dhe këpucë të reja veshur/A Cup of Coffee and New Shoes On by Gentian Koçi (Albania, Portugal, Greece, Kosovo, 2022).
The audience has also awarded the Close up section CGIL Prize (2,000 €) ex aequo to the documentaries No Place Like Home by Emilie Beck (Norway, 2022) and La visita y un jardín secreto/The Visit and a Secret Garden by Irene M. Borrego (Spain, Portugal, 2022). The Prize – La Sortie de l’Usine of the CGIL jury, decided by the union delegates of CGIL Bergamo (1,000 €), goes to Pongo Calling by Tomáš Kratochvíl (Czech Republic, Slovakia, United Kingdom, 2022).
The 42nd edition of Bergamo Film Meeting will take place from March 9 to 17, 2024.
COMPETITION EXHIBITION/FIRST PRIZE BERGAMO FILM MEETING
Le Prix du passage/The Channel
by Thierry Binisti, France, Belgium, 2022
Natacha (25), a young single parent who works as a fast-food waitress, struggles to raise her 8-year-old son Enzo. Torn between a strong desire for independence and the comfort that her mother Irène unfailingly wants to provide for them, Natacha feels trapped. Her encounter with Walid, who is waiting to save enough money to pay for his crossing to England will open new horizons for her…
SECOND PRIZE BERGAMO FILM MEETING
by Jacek Lusiński, Poland, 2022, 112’
At first Maryśka did not want to be a mother. Later on, she was ready to sacrifice herself entirely for her only son – Kuba (Śubuk). Inspired by true events, a story of a young mother of an autistic boy, whose long-standing determination and the fight against bureaucracy and human insensitiveness led to crucial changes in the Polish education system.
THIRD PRIZE BERGAMO FILM MEETING
by Boris Guts, Estonia, Russia, 2022, 82’
Yulia and Pasha are a young married couple who lives in the Minsk suburbs. They had just got married, bought an apartment on credit and were planning to have a baby, but they accidentally got in the middle of the peaceful protests. The couple find themselves in the midst of violence against protesters, enduring torture and brutality from the Belarusian Riot Unit and the police. Based on real events that took place in August 2020. The film was shot in one shot without editing cuts.
BEST DIRECTOR AWARD
Një filxhan kafe dhe këpucë të reja veshur/A Cup of Coffee and New Shoes On
by Gentian Koçi, Albania, Portugal, Greece, Kosovo, 2022, 99’
In today’s Tirana, Agim and Gëzim, two inseparable deaf-mute identical twin brothers in their forties, live under the same roof. Ana, Gëzim’s girlfriend, visits them quite often. One day, the two brothers discover that due to a genetic and rare disease, they will progressively go blind. Slowly immersing into an unbearable silenced darkness, not being able to see the world and each other anymore, only Ana by their side, the two brothers have to make a strong decision around a cup of coffee with new shoes on.
The jury decided to award the prize for best direction of the 41st edition of the Bergamo Film Meeting, to Një filxhan kafe dhe këpucë të reja veshur/A Cup of Coffee and New Shoes On «For the minimalistic approach to the tragic and heartbreaking story, where the main characters are guiding the spectator through authentic, but never sentimental feelings. The story is strongly supported by an original work of the sound design, the editing and the outstanding performances of the actors».
CGIL PRIZE – ex aequo –
No Place Like Home
by Emilie Beck, Norway, 2022, 67’
Adopted from Sri Lanka to Norway at only seven weeks, Priyangika has always longed for her biological family. However, finding her mother did not bring her the peace of mind she was searching for. Instead, a need to uncover the secrets of her past and the adoption process, no matter how painful they are, becomes her only hope in succeeding to define herself on her own terms.
La visita y un jardín secreto/The Visit and a Secret Garden
by Irene M. Borrego, Spain, Portugal, 2022, 65’
Little is known about the mysterious figure of Isabel Santaló, an artist, today fallen into oblivion. But occasionally some visitors come to her flat. Through them and the voice of Antonio López García, important Spanish painter and sculptor, the only one who remembers her, we shape a multifaceted film that takes a surprising turn. A film that reflects on memory and oblivion, Art and the creative process; posing the question of what it means to be an artist and a woman.
CGIL PRIZE JURY – “LA SORTIE DE L’USINE”
by Tomáš Kratochvíl, Czech Republic, Slovakia, United Kingdom, 2022, 78’
Štefan Pongo is a Roma lorry driver. Fifteen years ago, he emigrated with his family from the Czech Republic to the UK to protect them from racial discrimination. The children have graduated from universities and the family is doing well. Mission completed. But the echoes of hate carry over from the old country. When the Czech president claims that the Roma are work-shy, angry Štefan issues an appeal asking for photos of Roma working. Thousands are sent and Pongo becomes a well-known media figure.
The CGIL jury has therefore decided to award the “La Sortie de l’Usine” Prize for the Close Up section of BFM 41, to Pongo Calling. The jury said that «From his van, using social media, Stefan Pongo spreads – making it viral – his own political message that has the dignity of work as its object, through which to achieve social redemption by focusing on the issue of immigration, integration and therefore anti-racism for the Roma population. Pongo’s struggle and commitment to achieve these goals for his own community represent an example to pursue for all of us, so that the instances represented in the film become the heritage of all humanity».