‘Ray & Liz’, ‘Our Defeats’ and ‘KG’ win Wild Dreamer awards at 12. Subversive Film Festival!

On Sunday, May 12 at kino Europa the Wild Dreamer Award Ceremony took place, officially ending the film part of this year’s programme. Subversive Film Festival has brought more than 50 contemporary and provocative film titles whose authors critically reflect on the world we live in. The best films in feature, documentary and short competition were announced by this year’s jury members: producer Nikolina Hrga, film director and professor at the Academy of Dramatic Art in Zagreb Zvonimir Jurić and film critic Otto Reiter.

Ray & Liz by Richard Billingham was proclaimed as the Best Feature Film of the 12th festival edition. The jury found it worthy of the award because „despite the brutal and powerful representation of a family’s disintegration, which contains both tragic and absurd components, it is nevertheless a film which is deeply compassionate, humane and pensive. By exposing the destiny of a single working-class family, Billingham’s film demonstrates, the devastating impact of the neoliberal economic revolution started by British prime-minister Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s which remains highly influential until today.”

Special Mention in the Feature Competition was awarded to the film Sophia Antipolis by Virgil Vernier. According to the jury: „it is an extraordinary work shot in apocalyptic mood in which the Apocalypse has already occurred i.e. it happens every day: from the loss of our loved ones to its portrayal of human relations where control, fear and protection of perceived privileges grow stronger day by day. All this occurs in the place that gives the film its title – which was built with faith in science, progress and communication – all under the bright Provansial sun. And just like in Van Gogh’s paintings – the images that are the most bright and sunny are at the same time the most painful and onerous. “

Our Defeats by French video-artist and director Jean-Gabriel Périot was pronounced the Best Documentary Film. In the words of the jury „the film provides insight into how a group of Parisian high school students sees politics and the political cinema of the past. But the young people of Our Defeats, in their uncertainty and disengagement, resemble teenagers in many cities around the world. Through questions about solidarity, class struggle, activism, etc. he addresses to them, Périot tackles this new generation, without judgement, in an attempt to answer the essential question of the film: have we, their elders, failed in transferring our knowledge and struggles? He insists on finding new ways of collaboration and thinking about cinema as a political act, as well as working class struggle. So even if it doesn’t quite result in a victory, nor in a promise about deepening the students’ political engagement, the end of the film leaves us with the much-needed hope that – both on and off the screen – the fight still goes on. “

In the Documentary Competition the Special Mention went to the militant cinematic veteran Fernando E. Solanas and his latest investigative ecological documentary Journey to the Fumigated Towns , because of the director’s dedication and unrelenting commitment to investigating the political and social transformations in Argentina over a fifty-year long period, without fear of prison sentence or losing one’s life.”

The Best Short Film is KG by avant-garde feminist director Cynthia Madansky. It is a moving homage to poetess Katerina Gogou who was born in 1940 in Athens and committed suicide in 1993 at the age of 53. „She was – and still is – a great poetess, actress, author of inspiring books like Three Clicks Left and a lovely anarchistic wild dreamer. Thanks to filmmaker Cynthia Madansky her wild spirit lives on! “