The French drama “Happening” (2021) won the grand prize for masterful literary adaptation in the full-length feature film competition of CineLibri 2021. Director Audrey Diwan’s film is inspired by Annie Erno’s memoir, which reveals her nightmarish experiences of having an illegal abortion in the 1960s. Earlier this year, the film was awarded the Golden Lion Prize at the Venice Film Festival.
The award ceremony took place on October 21 in Hall 1 of the National Palace of Culture in Sofia in the presence of the esteemed jury: Guillaume Laurant, Caroline Bongrand, Burhan Qurbani, Kristina Grozeva and Peter Valchanov. In his capacity as president of the jury, the French writer and screenwriter Guillaume Laurant announced the winner, motivating the award as follows:
„The jury awards the film “Happening” by Audrey Diwan for the incisive poignancy with which it interprets the literary core, baring the truth about the protagonist’s experiences and the corresponding social reality, without sparing the audience until the very end. Its impact lies in its cinematographic magnitude, impressive rhythm and exquisite directorial work with the actress Anamaria Vartolomei whose masterful, painful and realistic performance contributes to the disturbing conclusion that the discourse about basic personal freedom remains relevant today. The jury praised the adaptation for being a bridge between the intimate text of the memoir and its version onscreen. The reasons for their decision are rooted in the film’s cinematic merit rather than in its political aspect although the jury feels that “Happening” should open up a discussion about the topics in question instead of closing the discussion after the final credits“.
Apparently excited, the director Audrey Diwan and the gifted young actress Anamaria Vartolomei accepted the award in a statement online, thanking the festival organizers and the jury for the honor. The jury’s decision on this year’s award-winning film was unanimous and resolute. Despite the complicated pandemic situation in Bulgaria, all members of the jury personally attended the award ceremony and shared their impressions regarding the first-class selection in the competition for the best feature film adaptation of a literary work.
CineLibri IFF 2021 jury members:
Guillaume Laurant – President
He is an eminent French writer and actor, acclaimed for Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain (2001), Un long dimanche de fiançailles (2004) and J’ai perdu mon corps (2019). Among the films whose screenplays and dialogues he has written are L’odeur de la mandarine, Effroyables jardins, Raoul Taburin, Je m’appelle Elisabeth. He won the prestigious BAFTA and Lumiere Awards and was nominated twice for Oscar and Cesar.
Acclaimed German director, writer and actor of Afghan origin. Known for the films Wir sind jung. Wir sind stark (2014), Berlin Alexanderplatz (2020) and Shahada (2010). He was awarded the CineLibri 2020 award for masterfully crafted book-to-movie adaptation for his film Berlin Alexanderplatz based on Alfred Döblin’s masterpiece. The film was awarded 13 more prizes and 19 nominations, incl. European Film Award 2020 for the composer Dascha Dauenhauer and Golden Berlin Bear 2020 nomination for Best Film.
Famous French writer, journalist and screenwriter known for the feature film Eiffel (2021), the short film Tu devrais faire du cinéma (2002) and the TV film Parlez-moi d’amour (2005). She defines the film Eiffel directed by Martin Bourboulon as „a love story that triggers the drive to build a tower“. Bongrand is also an acclaimed author of numerous novels translated into many languages: Korean, Spanish, German, Italian, Japanese, Dutch, Greek, Turkish. She is winner of the Chevalière de l’ordre national du Mérite.
Renowned Bulgarian director and screenwriter who, together with Petar Valchanov, have directed some of the most acclaimed Bulgarian movies over the last decade. The Lesson is their full-length debut film, having been selected at Toronto IFF, San Sebastian IFF and many other festivals. Glory and The Father also have received numerous awards.
Renowned Bulgarian director and screenwriter who, together with Kristina Grozeva, have directed some of the most acclaimed Bulgarian movies over the last decade. The Lesson is their full-length debut film, having been selected at Toronto IFF, San Sebastian IFF and many other festivals. Glory and The Father also have received numerous awards.
Apart from Sofia, CineLibri IFF 2021 took place in Plovdiv, Varna, Burgas, Gabrovo, Veliko Tarnovo and Stara Zagora in strict compliance with health measures.