“Burning” based on a story by Haruki Murakami topped the competition

On October 13, the Hall 1 of the National Palace of Culture in Sofia hosted the official award ceremony of the winners in the CineLibri Competition Program! Jury panel consisting of Christophe Lambert, David Lagercrantz, Radu Mihaileanu, Loredana Cannata and Irini Jambonas, identified the three most original and “visionary” interpretations of literary works in the language of cinema.

President of the international jury was Christopher Lambert, the celebrated French actor and producer. After several small parts in French films, in 1984, he successfully competed for a starring role in Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes (Oscar-nominated film in three categories), where he partnered with Ian Holm, Andie McDowell and Ralph Richardson. Two years later, Lambert brought to the screen Gregory Widens’ legendary Connor MacLeod, the immortal Scottish swordsman. For his performance in Luc Besson’s Subway (1985), where he co-starred with Isabelle Adjani, Lambert won the César Award. David Lagercrantz is a longtime Swedish journalist, writer, author of crime thrillers and biographical novels. In 2015, the Swedish publishing company Norstedts launched his novel The Girl in the Spider’s Web, the first sequel to the cult trilogy Millennium by Stieg Larsson. The result was a worldwide triumph – the book has been published in over 40 countries around the world, including Bulgaria, and then was adapted into a successful feature film. Radu Mihăileanu is a multi-award winning European film director, screenwriter, writer and producer, born in 1958 in Bucharest, Romania. He is known for a series of mesmerizing movies such as „Train of Life“ (1998), „Live and Become“ (2005), „The Concert“ (2009), and „The Source“ (2011). Among the honorable members of the jury were Loredana Cannata – a popular Italian movie, television and theater actress and director, and Irini Jambonas – a talented Bulgarian movie and theater star.

The grand prize for the best literary adaptation, accompanied by an exquisite statuette, went to the cinematic masterpiece of South Korea and Japan “Burning” (2018) adapted from the short story “Burning Barn” by the Japanese author Haruki Murakami. The story is part of his collection of 17 stories titled “The Elephant Vanishes”. They were written between 1980 and 1991. Christophe Lambert presented the Cinelibri Best Literary Adaptation Award 2019 to Hristo Hristozov, the distributor of the film for Bulgaria. The decision was motivated as follows: “Burning” (original title: Beoning) directed by Lee Chang-dong receives the grand award for its mesmerizing beauty and atmosphere, which pervades a parable-flavored story built as a stream of questions about alienation between generations, the value of traditions in the light of impersonal cosmopolitanism and modern consumerism. Based on Haruki Murakami’s mysterious story, the film is an original interpretation of the text – a subtle, vague, dreamy and captivating experience, backed by the necessary amount of irony and unforgettable footage.”

Second CineLibri Distinction for Masterful Literary Adaptation was awarded to the biopic drama “Boy Erased” (2018) directed by Joel Edgerton, adaptation from the eponymous memoir of the American writer and LGBT activist Garrard Conley, who was a special guest at CineLibri IFF this year. A shocking account of real-life experiences, the film looks at the traumatic consequences of the so-called conversion therapy in America, which affected hundreds of thousands of human fates.

Third CineLibri Distinction for Masterful Literary AdaptationThird was awarded to the film “The Tobacconist”(original title: Der Trafikant) – a tender, wise, heartbreaking drama directed by Nikolaus Leytner, based on Robert Seethaler’s novel of the same name. The film tells a vibrant story about the emotional and moral growth of a young man against the backdrop of escalating tensions on the eve of the Nazi occupation in Vienna and is a tribute to the talent of Bruno Ganz, who playes the role of Sigmund Freud.

The awards ceremony was followed by a premiere screening of the darkly amusing psychological drama “Who You Think I Am” directed by Safy Nebbou, featuring one of the grande dames of French cinema – Juliette Binoche. Based on the novel by Camille Laurens, this absorbing mixture of romantic drama and wildly entertaining thriller explores contemporary digital liaisons in a compelling and intelligent manner.

After the awards ceremony, by October 20th, spectators had the opportunity to watch the award-winning films, as well as some of the film productions out of the competition program, to attend gorgeous gala evenings with many renowned guests.