Mark Cousins’ ‘A Sudden Glimpse to Deeper Things’ Wins Top Prize at Karlovy Vary Film Festival

Mark Cousins’ portrait of a British modernist painter, “A Sudden Glimpse to Deeper Things,” took the Karlovy Vary Film Festival top prize Saturday, winning over a jury that included Christine Vachon and Geoffrey Rush with its perceptive take on art and seeing.

Cousins said the film’s subject, painter Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, “lived completely, truly and utterly – let’s try to do that.”

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Norwegian divorce story “Loveable” won the Crystal Globe jury prize, as well as three other awards categories, taking home the FIPRESCI, ecumenical and Europa Cinemas Label prizes with its nuanced look at a woman morphing into a new life.

Director Lilja Ingolfsdottir scored big with her first feature-length drama with “Loveable,” telling the audience at the Hotel Thermal Grand Hall the story helped her “find barriers we have built against connections.”

The directing prize went to Nelicia Low for the Singapore/Taiwan/Poland production “Pierce,” an intricate account of a family torn by a fencing scandal that may also be a homicide mystery, while the actress nod went to Helga Guren of “Loveable.”

Actor honors were shared by Ton Kas and Guido Pollemans for the lighthearted family tensions story “Three Days of Fish,” a Netherlands/Belgium film directed in monochrome tones by Peter Hoogendoorn.

The powerful refugee camp-set “Xoftex” won a special mention in the Crystal Globe race for its story of Syrian and Palestinian asylum seekers stuck seemingly forever in a grim Greek facility, a French-German film by Noaz Deshe. The chaotic Czech/Slovak family take “Our Lovely Pig Slaughter” by Adam Martinec also won special mention.

Karlovy Vary fest section Proxima, now in its third year, focuses on emerging filmmakers from around the world and honored “Stranger” by Zhengfan Yang, a highly international production that episodically explores lives lived in a Chinese hotel room.

The Proxima special jury prize went to Paolo Tizón’s drama from Peru, Spain and Mexico, “Night Has Come,” which follows trainees at a hardcore military boot camp for soldiers fighting off drug cartels in South America.

Czech film “March to May,” by Martin Pavol Repka, also won special mention for its intimate, ironic account of tired parents who discover they’re not quite as through with parenting as they thought.

The Pravo Audience Award went to the Czech/Slovak Cold War radio resistance drama “Waves,” directed by Jiri Madl, which generated buzz throughout the Czech spa town of Karlovy Vary all week. Another story that turns on radio waves, Ireland’s rowdy rap comedy “Kneecap,” by Rich Peppiatt, did not score a prize on Saturday but played to sold out cinemas all week and is expected to continue building.

The Karlovy Vary fest also honored actors Daniel Brühl, Clive Owen, Viggo Mortensen and Ivan Trojan for standout cinematic work, hosting each with a tribute to their onscreen personas, along with influential film industry mavens Steven Soderbergh and casting director Francine Maisel, who shared insights on such work as the “Oceans’s Eleven” franchise and “Succession.”

The fest also carried on its tradition of curating diverse work thematically linked, this year exploring a dozen iterations of Franz Kafka interpretations, including Soderbergh’s own “Kafka,” the last U.S.-made film shot under the auspices of the pre-Velvet Revolution Czechoslovak regime in 1991.

58th Karlovy Vary Film Festival Winners

Grand Prix Crystal Globe
“A Sudden Glimpse to Deeper Things” (United Kingdom)
Directed by Mark Cousins

Special jury prize
“Loveable” (Norway)
Directed by Lilja Ingolfsdottir

Best director
Nelicia Low, “Pierce” (Singapore, Taiwan, Poland)

Best actress
Helga Guren, “Loveable”

Best actors
Ton Kas and Guido Pollemans, “Three Days of Fish” (Netherlands, Belgium)

Special jury mentions
“Xoftex” (Germany, France)
Directed by Noaz Deshe

”Our Lovely Pig Slaughter” (Czech Republic, Slovakia)
Directed by Adam Martinec

Proxima grand prize
“Stranger” (USA, China, Netherlands, Norway, France)
Directed by Zhengfan Yang

Proxima special jury prize
“Night Has Come” (Peru, Spain, Mexico)
Directed by Paolo Tizón

Special jury mention
“March to May” (Czech Republic)
Directed by Martin Pavol Repka

Audience award
“Waves” (Czech Republic, Slovakia)
Directed by Jiri Madl

Ecumenical jury grand prize

Ecumenical jury commendation
“Panopticon” (Georgia, France, Italy, Romania)
Directed by George Sikharulidze


FIPRESCI prize, Proxima section
“Night Has Come” (Peru, Spain, Mexico)
Directed by Paolo Tizón

Europa Cinemas Label prize

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