Portorož – This year’s Vesna Award for best feature film went to Prasica, Slabšalni Izraz za Žensko (Bitch, a Derogatory Term for a Woman), a debut by Tijana Zinajić, as the Festival of Slovenian Film wrapped up in the coastal town of Portorož on Sunday evening with the conferring of what are considered Slovenian Oscars.
The film bursts with fresh energy, life and affection towards its characters, said the jury, adding that the film did not play the card of European art cinema minimalism.
Bitch, a Derogatory Term for a Woman tells the story of Eva, a millennial who is stuck in life and seeks to change her ways.
The film also received the Vesna for best screenplay, which went to up-and-coming screenwriter Iza Strehar, best actress (Liza Marijina), best supporting actress (Anuša Kodelja), production design (Neža Zinajić), and costume design (Matic Hrovat).
The audience honoured it with the Vesna Audience Choice Award.
The Vesna for best director was meanwhile awarded to Darko Sinko for Inventura (Inventory), another debut that at first glance seems low-key and restrained “but every minute of it is thoughtfully orchestrated”.
Inventory’s Radoš Bolčina won the Vesna for best actor and Dejan Spasić the Vesna for best supporting actor. The film also received the Vesna for best original score (Matija Krečič). Moreover, the award for best debut feat went to Sinko.
The Vesna for best documentary was conferred on Odpuščanje (Reconciliation) by Marija Zidar about the aftermath of an escalation in a family feud in the Albanian highlands, a film which also won a special award for best Slovenian feature-length film in the competition section by the FIPRESCI association of film critics.
The Vesna for best short went to Sestre (Sisters) by Kukla, the winner of this year’s top prize at the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival, the biggest international film festival dedicated to shorts.
It was an evening of victories for female directors last night as Špela Čadež joined the winners by receiving the Vesna for best animated film for Steakhouse.
The 24th festival also honoured innovator and film sound engineer Emilija Soklič, this year’s winner of the Badjura Award for lifetime achievement in cinema.
A total of 84 films were screened, including more than 50 in the competition programme, which featured ten Slovenian feature films and nine minority co-productions.