Kyrgyz film snatches top prize at Tallinn film festival

Kyrgyz film snatches top prize at Tallinn film festival

4 December 2017

A Kyrgyz film described by as “simple yet immersive” has won the top prize at the Tallinn Black Nights Festival.

Night Accident (Tunku Kyrsyk), directed by Temirbek Birronazav, snatched the Grand Prix after premiering at the 17-day event in the Estonian capital.

Richly shot with panoramic scenes of Kyrgyz countryside, Birronazav’s film focuses on an elderly man who sets out to kill his wife’s lover. Traveling through the darkness on an old motorbike, the man (played by Akylbek Abdykalykov) collides with a young woman: injuring her and changing his own life.

Jury president Dennis Davidson said that the film “captured the jury’s hearts.”

“The accident gives [the older man] a rich opportunity to enlighten his being and makes for a distraction from an even darker journey,” he said.

The award for best director was given to South Korean filmmaker Ju-hyoung Lee for his second feature, Excavator (Porclain). The film follows the story of an excavator who discovers the remains of students who were executed after taking part in protests against the South Korean government in the 1980s.

The Best Actor Award was awarded to Rhys Ifans’ for his turn as Welsh poet Dylan Thomas in Dominion, while Best Actress went to Barbara Auer for her portrayal of a mother living with HIV in Swiss film Vacuum.