Karlovy Vary Film Festival Gives Top Prizes to ‘Bob and the Trees,’ ‘Youth’

“Tangerine” wins independent-film award at long-running Central European festival

Bob and the Trees
'Bob and the Trees' photo courtesy of Film Servis Festival Karlovy Vary

The American film “Bob and the Trees” won the Grand Prix at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival on Saturday evening, topping a roster of largely European competition films at the Czech festival.

The Paolo Sorrentino film “Youth,” which stars Michael Caine and recently screened in Cannes, won the Audience Award, while the Forum of Independents Award went to Sean Baker’s “Tangerine,” which as a result will be purchased for Czech television for 5,000 Euro.

“Bob and the Trees,” directed by Diego Ongaro, is a verite-style character study of a Massachusetts logger with a fondness for golf and gangsta rap. The film won the Crystal Globe, which carries with it a $25,000 award.

Peter Brunner’s Austrian film “Those Who Fall Have Wings” (“Jeder der fällt hat Flügel”) won the Special Jury Prize, which includes a $15,000 award.

In other awards handed out by a five-person jury of international film professionals, Visar Morina won the best director prize for “Babai.”

Alena Mihulová was named best actress for “Home Care” (“Domácí péče”), while Kryštof Hádek was named best actor for “The Snake Brothers” (“Kobry a užovky”).

Special jury mentions went to Anca Damian’s “The Magic Mountain” and Ferdinando Cito Filomarino’s “Antonia.”

Documentary awards went to “Mallory,” a Czech film by Helena Třeštíková, as well as Albert Meisl’s “The Father Tapes,” Roberto Collío’s “White Death” and Iris Zaki’s “Women in Sink.”

The top award in the East of the West competition went to “The Wednesday Child” by Lili Horváth, while Nicolae Constantin Tănase’s “The World Is Mine” took a special jury award.

In other awards not handed out as part of the official festival program, “Bob and the Trees” won the Ecumenical Jury Award with Eva Neymann’s “Song of Songs” receiving special mention; Floran Serban’s “Box” won the FIPRESCI Award; Mirlan Abdykalykov’s “Heavenly Nomadic” and “The Wednesday Child” won FEODORA Critics Prizes; and “Babai” won the Europa Cinemas Label Award.

The nine-day festival takes place in a spa town west of Prague, and is the oldest film festival in Central Europe. It began in 1946, the same year as the Cannes Film Festival, though for a number of years it was only held every other year.

This year’s festival was the 50th, and included tributes to Richard Gere and Iva Janžurová.