My Last Year as a Loser, a young director's dramedy about disillusionment of her over-educated, under-employed generation, picked up the main award at the 21st Festival of Slovenian Film in Portorož last night.
Urša Menart's film about Špela, an art history graduate who at the age of almost 30 lives on part-time work, was recognised as the most comprehensive film product of this year's festival.
"The relevance of the subject matter, Urša Menart's detailed script and precise direction, the excellent cast with Eva Jesenovec in the lead role and all other authored contributions combine into a persuasive whole," an international judging panel said in justifying its pick. The film also took away the Vesna Prize for best script, a special mention by a panel of Slovenian film critics, the IRIDIUM award for post-production services, as well as Vesna for best female supporting role for Živa Selan. Vesna for best director went to Darko Štante for Consequences, a film about a 18-year-old Andrej committed to a youth detention centre, which the judges described as an exceptional debut.
Apart from the audience's acclaim, Consequences also won the Slovenian film critics' award, who praised "the strong acting, refined direction and the story's uncompromising focus". Matej Zemljič, who portrayed Andrej, won the Vesna for best actor, while Timon Šturbej, who appears as Željko on the same film, bagged the Vesna for best supporting male role. Several awards went to Erased, a film by Miha Mazzini based on his novel by the same title which deals with the issue of Yugoslav nationals who were deleted from Slovenia's register of permanent residents in 1992 at a personal level.
Judita Franković Brdar, who portrays Ana, a woman who realizes she does not exist when she gives birth at a local hospital, came away with the Vesna for best female leading role. Erased also picked up awards for best production design (Matjaž Pavlovec), original music (Jura Ferina, Pavao Miholjević and Vladimir Godar) and costume design (Sanja Džeba).
History of Love by Sonja Prosenc won the Vesna for best photography for Mitja Ličen, and the Vesna for special original achievement.The 21st Festival of Slovenian Film saw 16 feature-length films in the running for the 23 Vesna awards, half of them documentaries.
Vesna for best documentary went to How Much Do You Love Yourself? by Nina Blažin. It portrays a homeless woman visiting her husband in prison. Both of them have substance abuse problems.