“As Far as I Can Walk,” a drama about African immigrants deported from Germany to Serbia, won the Grand Prize at the 2021 Karlovy International Film Festival on Saturday evening in the Czech Republic. The film by director Stefan Arsenijević, which was inspired by a medieval poem, dominated in a main competition of 12 films at the oldest film festival in Central Europe.
The audience award went to “Zatopek,” director David Ondricek’s biopic about famed Czech runner Emil Zatopek.
Dietrich Brüggemann was named best director in the main competition for “No,” while acting awards went to Ibrahim Koma for “As Far as I Can Walk” and Eleonore Loiselle for “Wars.”
For the first time, documentaries were placed in the competition sections rather than being restricted to their own section, with “Every Single Minute” winning a Special Jury Prize.
Special Jury Mentions went to “The Staffroom,” actress Vinette Robinson for “The Boiling Point” and cinematographer Jelena Stankovic for “As Far as I Can Walk.”
In the East of the West competition, a separate slate of films from Eastern Europe, the winner was “Nuuccha,” with a special jury prize to “Sisterhood” and a special mention to the documentary “Intensive Life Unit.”
The jury that chose the main awards consisted of Argentinian producer Benjamin Domenech, Danish filmmaker Eva Mulvad, Polish actress Marta Nieradkiewicz, Greek director Christos Nikou and German festival director and film critic Christoph Terhechte.
Other awards were handed out by independent juries: the FIPRESCI jury from the International Federation of Film Critics; the Ecumenical Jury, which awards films “that display high artistic quality while questioning social, political ethical, and spiritual values”; the Fedeora Jury, from the Federation of Film Critics of Europe and the Mediterranean; and the Europa Cinema Labels jury, made up of European film exhibitors.
The nine-day festival takes place in a spa town west of Prague. This year’s festival, the first in two years because of COVID and the 55th overall for Karlovy Vary, opened with the Czech film “Zatopek” and closed with Sean Durkin’s “The Nest.” Special awards were given to actors Michael Caine and Ethan Hawke and Czech director Jan Sverak.
Grand Prize – Crystal Globe: “As Far as I Can Run”
Special Jury Prize: “Every Single Minute”
Audience Award: “Zatopek”
Best Director: Dietrich Bruggemann, “No”
Best Actor: Ibrahim Koma, “As Far as I Can Run”
Best Actress: Eleonore Loiselle, “Wars”
Special Jury Mentions: “The Staffroom”; Vinette Robinson for “Boiling Point”; Jelena Stankovic for “As Far as I Can Walk”
East of the West Grand Prize: “Nuuccha,” Vladimir Munkuev
East of the West Special Jury Award: “Sisterhood,” Dina Duma
East of the West Special Jury Mention: “Intensive Life Unit”
Award of International Film Critics: “Exam” (“Ezmun”), Shakwat Amin Korki
Ecumenical Jury Award: “As Far as I Can Walk” (“Strahinja Banović”), Stefan Arsenijević
Ecumenical Jury Commendation: “The Staffroom” (“Zbornica”), Sonja Tarokic
Feodora Award: “Otar’s Death,” Ioseb “Soso” Bliadze
Feodora Jury Special Mention: “Intensive Life Unit” (Jednotka intenzivního života”), Adéla Komrzý
Europa Cinemas Label Award: “As Far as I Can Walk” (“Strahinja Banović”), Stefan Arsenijević