Emma Dante's Italian drama "Misericordia" won the Grand Prix for best film in Official Selection Competition at the 27th Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival.
In the film co-directed by the acclaimed actor, dramatist and theater director, follows three sex workers living in the deserted area by the sea. Three of them together care for and raise together Arturo, a young man whose mother died in childbirth. It's a joyful ode to women, to their unending love and optimism.
"A compelling cinematic work that emphasizes the importance of showing humanity and remaining supportive in a marginalized environment – stunningly filmed, directed and acted," the jury chair Danish actress Trine Dyrholm, said.
Simone Zambelli, who starred in the film, also won the Best Actor award.
The Best Director award went to Manuel Martín Cuenca for his film "Andrea's Love." In this heart-wrenching film, 15-year-old Andrea longs for the love of her father, which she has lost since her parents' divorce. Manuel Martín Cuenca and Lola Mayo, the film's screenwriters, were also awarded the Best Screenplay prize.
In total, 20 films took part in the main competition.
The Best Debut Feature award went to New Zealand director Loren Taylor's debut, "The Moon is Upside Down", whose characters yearn for an emotional connection against a backdrop of staggering landscapes.
The jury also singled out Eeva Mägi's first full-length fiction calling it "a true cinematic gem that deals with the relationships between three generations of women in a very subtle way, combining different genres of filmmaking and both an experimental and conservative approach."
Anna Hints' "Smoke Sauna Sisterhood" (Estonian: "Savvusanna sõsarad") won the Best Baltic Film title.
The best film in the Critics' Choice competition was veteran Kazakh director Ardak Amirkulov's long-anticipated fifth feature, "The Land Where Winds Stood Still," in which a brave Kazakh woman, Zhupar, sets off with her two children on a perilous journey across endless steppes to escape the famine of collectivization that claimed the lives of more than a million Kazakh people in the 1930s.
US-born Lithuanian director Tomas Vengris dissects multiple romantic micro-dramas transpiring in a Vilnius Airbnb rental in his "Five and a Half Love Stories in an Apartment in Vilnius," which was voted by the jury as the best film in the "Rebels with a Cause" competition.
The Audience Award went to an Israeli-American screenwriter, film director and producer based in New York City, Boaz Yakin's, for his surreal film combining dance, rap and music "ONCE AGAIN (for the very first time)"
This article has been updated to give the correct title of the winning film.
Editor: Kaspar Viilup, Kristina Kersa