Winning the CPH PIX top award on Friday, 4 November, was Ralitza Petrova's Bulgarian-Danish-French "Godless." The New Talent Grand PIX, which underlines the Copenhagen festival's focus on new talent and debuting directors, was presented by the jury who stated in its motivation:
"We were looking for a filmmaker and talent who is not afraid to grab the world with the possibilities of cinema itself and use all its means to invite us inside this process. In such kind of cinema, there is no hierarchy: a scene of eating a soup is shot with the same intensity as a scene of a sex orgy."
ACTORS. Ventzislav Konstantinov and Irena Ivanova play the two main characters, Aleko and Gana, in "Godless."
Premiered at Locarno
"Godless" is set in a remote Bulgarian town where a nurse looks after the elderly with dementia while trafficking their ID cards on the black market. Things start to shake up as a new patient unlocks her drugged-up conscience, and she is ready for change. But doing "the right thing" comes at a high price.
The CPH PIX prize adds to a notable run on the festival circuit since the film world premiered in August at Locarno Film Festival. Here, "Godless" carried off the Golden Leopard, the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury and the Swiss critics' award, as well as the title of Best Actress to Irena Ivanova, playing the dispirited nurse. Ivanova, making her screen debut in the film, was also honoured at the Sarajevo Film Festival and at Bulgaria's Golden Rose festival, the latter naming "Godless" Best Feature Film.
Screening at the Toronto Film Festival in September, the film is now returning to North American screens, to enter in the AFI Fest competition in Hollywood from 10 November.
Danish co-producers Snowglobe
"Godless" is produced by Rossitsa Valkanova for Klas Film, and Danish co-producers are Eva Jakobsen, Katrin Pors and Mikkel Jersin of Snowglobe. The film's eerie atmosphere is in great part attributable to Peter Albrechtsen's sound design, and some of the post production took place in Denmark. Read our Snowglobe profile Shaking It Up.
The film has received funding from the Danish Film Institute's fund for minor co-productions. Read more How to co-produce with Denmark
All prizes at CPH PIX
New Talent Grand PIX
"Godless" by Ralitza Petrova (Bulgaria)
Politiken Audience Award
"Heartstone" by Gudmundur A. Gudmundsson (Denmark-Iceland)
Nordisk Film Fund Award for Best Children's Film
"Girls Lost" by Alexandra-Therese Keining (Sweden)
Politiken Fund Award for Best Children's Short Film
"Ztripes" by Amalie Næsby (Denmark)
Read about the winners
CPH PIX 27 October – 9 November 2016