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Harmony Lessons wins Best New Director award at Seattle International Film Festival

25 september 2013, 12:20
0
Director Emir Baigazin at Swiss film festival. Photo courtesy of KazakhFilm press-service
Director Emir Baigazin at Swiss film festival. Photo courtesy of KazakhFilm press-service
Snapshot of Harmony Lessons movie
Snapshot of Harmony Lessons movie
Snapshot of Harmony Lessons movie
Snapshot of Harmony Lessons movie
Kazakhstan movie Harmony Lessons directed by Emir Baigazin of Kazakhstan won an award at the Seattle International Film Festival. The movie received one of the festival’s major awards, the Best New Director Grand Jury Prize, Tengrinews.kz reports citing the press-service of KazakhFilm, Kazakhstan national studios.

The Seattle International Film Festival has been held since 1974 and is considered the biggest and the most popular festival in the U.S. It is one of the top 5 festivals in North America. This year’s program included 447 movies from 85 countries.

During the awarding ceremony the jury marked the movie of the Kazakhstan director as the artistic standard for the movies of the festival’s program. “A stark, surreal, strange, and entirely riveting tale of a marginalized teenage boy. Young Kazakh director Emir Baigazin's accomplished debut creates a poetic and mature study of school bullying and the strength of the survival instinct in a small town in rural Kazakhstan,” the jury said. They noted “Baigazin's mature clear vision and precise command of film as both visual and emotional storytelling” calling the Harmony Lessons “the work of an impeccable visual stylist”.

This year’s candidates for the jury prize in Seattle included Breach in the Silence by Venezuelan filmmakers Anres and Luis Rodriguez, The Cleaner by Adrian Saba from Peru, Fatal by South Korean director Lee Don-ku, Love Is in the Air by French filmmaker Alexandre Castagnetti, Spanish movie The Plague by Neus Ballus, and Short Stories by Russian director Mikhail Segal.

Along with Harmony Lessons, the awards were also handed to Our Nixon by Penny Lane (The Best Documentary) and C.O.G. by Kyle Patrick Alvarez (The Best New American Cinema).

“Seattle is the second American film festival to show our movie. I have never thought that the American audience would watch my movie before the one in Kazakhstan. I realize how much the Kazakhstan audience wants to watch the movie. And yet I am asking them to be patient,” Emir Baigazin said after the awarding ceremony.

Harmony Lessons, Emir Baigazin’s debut movie, was awarded with the Berlinale Silver Bear for the best camera work and with the prize of the prominent German newspaper Morgen Post at this year's Berlin Festival. Then the movie won a special jury prize for the Best Filmmaker’s Debut at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York and the Grand-Prix of the 3rd international film festival Bildrausch Film Fest Basel in Switzerland.

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