The Opening Ceremony began with the awarding of the best films and filmmakers of the 48th FEST. The jury of the Main Competition Programme was composed of Sebastian Cavazza, the president of the jury, Natasa Ninkovic, Nikola Ljuca, Dana Budisavljevic and Klemens Sik.
They decided to give the Belgrade Victor for Best Film in the Main Competition Programme to the film Invisible Life by director Karim Aïnouz. ‘With a precise cast of actors and a very articulate use of all aspects of film narration, this film takes the audience on a beautiful and bittersweet journey. The film, which could easily be called a masterpiece, deserves our deep respect and restores our hope in the true art of filmmaking,’ the jury noted. Bárbara Santos, the actress in the film, received the award, pointing out how significant it was that the film about the invisible life of women triumphed on March 8th. She dedicated the award to all women, especially single mothers, refugees, and Roma women in the region.
Best Director award went to Václav Marhoul for The Painted Bird, as he ‘stepped out of all current film trends and stepped into the extreme. He has created a monumental work of art, reminiscent of the greatest masterpieces of seventh art.’
‘Because of the specific style of the treatment of the difficult and serious subject,’ Rita Kalnejais was awarded Best Screenplay for the film Babyteeth.
‘By the power of his expression, in the role of humiliated man, with minimal external means and strong inner emotional honesty for the character of the Father who wants to get his children back,’ Goran Bogdan receives the award for Best Actor in a Leading Role. He dedicated the award to his colleague, Nebojsa Glogovac.
‘The film Queen of Hearts is unthinkable without the brilliant Trine Dyrholm,’ who was awarded for Best Actress.
Best Debut was awarded to Filippo Meneghetti, director of the film Two of Us. ‘A film that, with its maturity, finesse of directing and brilliant acting, almost goes beyond the concept of a debut film.’
The Audience Award with the support of the EU Delegation to Serbia for Best European Film in the Main Competition Programme went to the film Vienna Hallways. The award was presented to Mladen Djordjevic by Sem Fabrici, Ambassador and Head of the Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Serbia.
The jury of the newly established FEST Focus programme, consisting of Momir Milosevic, Dusan Zoric and Damir Sehanovic, declared the film of Ivana Mladenovic - Ivana the Terrible Best Film of this programme. ‘On her fragile shoulders, Ivana Mladenovic has produced a courageous, authentic, bold and unusual film, with which she justified the existence of this programme,’ the jury's reasoning read.
The jury of the Nebojsa Djukelic competition programme decided to award the prize, which bears the name of Serbian famous critic, to the film Mother, directed by Jure Pavlovic, ‘for being innovative in the directing process in the context of a comprehensive family drama.’
Milutin Colic Daily Newspaper Politika Award, for director of the best Serbian film at FEST, went to Mladen Djordjevic for Vienna Hallways, ‘for an authentic, honest and humane film about the pursuit of happiness in times of great migration.’ Mladen Djordjevic dedicated the award to the guest workers, who his film talks about.
‘Because of its dramatic atmosphere, excellent director work and great acting cast,’ the FEDEORA jury award goes to the film Father by Srdan Golubovic.
Stella Artois Most Wanted Movie Award went to the 48th FEST's Most Wanted Film Father by Srdan Golubovic. Receiving the accolades, Golubovic thanked the warm reception of the audience at the premiere of FEST, as well as for these awards, pointing out how much it meant to him for having received these accolades right there.
Damir Handanovic, Acting Director of Belgrade Festivals Centre - CEBEF, announced the successful completion of the action, which was realized through the cooperation of CEBEF and the Mozzart company. The result of this cooperation is the procurement of an incubator, which will be delivered to the maternity hospital in Visegradska Street at the end of the month. ‘This is just one in a series of activities with which we, as a socially responsible institution, strive to help and support humanitarian activities that contribute to the improved quality of life of our youngest. Thank you to everyone who participated and helped this action and congratulations to all the winners,” said Handanovic.
At the very end of the ceremony, the grand finale was marked by the awarding of John Malkovich with the Belgrade Victor for Outstanding Contribution to Film Art. Ivan Karl, City Secretary for Culture, presented the award to Malkovich. ‘I never feel like I deserved recognition because I have been so lucky in my life. I had the opportunity to work with really great people, phenomenal colleagues, directors, writers, actors, actresses, it was a phenomenal ride,’ said the legendary Hollywood actor receiving the award.
Following the awards, John Malkovich performed a music-stage performance The Music Critic, conceived by Aleksey Igudesman. The audience enjoyed the musical compositions of some of the greatest composers of all time, accompanied by Malkovich's recitation of the horribly harsh and negative criticisms that accompanied these works when they were first performed.
After the performance, Malkovich received a reception at the City Assembly. The reception was hosted by Deputy Mayor Goran Vesic.