A half empty hall, numerous awards and long speeches marked last night’s closing ceremony of the 36th edition of the International Film Festival (IFF), from the “Manaki Brothers” in Bitola.
The prize “Golden Camera 300” was awarded to Macau Erdelyi, the cinematographer of the film “Son of Saul,” a story about the horrors of the Holocaust. The “Silver Camera 300” award went to Adam Arkapo for “Macbeth,” while the “Bronze Camera” went to Mateo Guzman for the film “Earth and shadow.”
Last night festival organizers, despite their attempts to bypass the “Bona Dea” statue scandal for the category for “New European film”, decided not to bring it out on stage. After the media reported that the statue was not that of the Roman goddess, but an archaeological object of a male character found in a dig in Heraklea and had been stored in a small museum at the ancient site, and not in the London museum, organizers decided against bringing the showed statue on stage.
For many this was a surprise because the previous practice was all prizes were brought on stage, whether the presenters or winners present or not.
The festivals director Dimitar Nikolov came on stage to express his condolences and regret that the representative from Bulgaria who was meant to award a prize, had died just a few days earlier.
Otherwise the award for “New European Film” went to the film “Rams” by Icelandic film director, Grimur Hakonarson.