Bulgarian comedy The Father has taken this year’s top prize at the Czech Republic’s Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.
Directed by Kristina Grozeva and Petar Valchanov, the joint Bulgarian-Greek production sees the elderly Vassil (Ivan Savov) become convinced that his late wife is attempting to call him on the telephone from beyond the grave. Despite the disbelief of his son, Pavel (Ivan Barnev), Vassil insists on reaching out to his wife, enlisting the services of a psychic to help him on his way.
Grozeva and Valchanov, who also wrote the film’s screenplay, took home a $25,000 prize as well as the festival’s Crystal Globe trophy.
Other New East festival winners included Russia’s Boris Akopov, a former ballet dancer who won the East of the West category with his debut feature, The Bull. The Special Jury Prize in the same section went to Ukraine’s My Thoughts are Silent, while the Grand Prix for Best Documentary Film went to Ksenia Okhapkina’s Immortal: an Estonian/Latvian production portraying life in a small Russian industrial town.