On Sunday, October 15th 2023, the First International Film Festival “Beneath the River Danube”, was held at Dom ¬kulture, in Belgrade (Serbia). Among 1120 submitted movies, 30 were officially selected by the Jury and shown to the Belgrade audience.
After the film screenings, divided into four blocks, the Jury of the Festival presented its winners list. The awards have been given to the three best film achievements at the “Beneath The River Danube”.
At the festival category “Life is a Sport”, Award for the Best Sport Film went into the hands of a young director from Croatia, Marko Plejic for the movie “Drmic”.
Award for the Best Short Fiction Film was handed to the Italian filmmaker, George Richard Bruno, for his artistic achievement “Eternal Wanderers”.
And finally, “Heavy Metal Sterlet”, a Grand Prix of The Festival went to Nebojsa Ilic Ilke, for his film Sleeper’s Ancient Stone, which had its premiere on the festival. Besides Ilke’s film, which represents the crown of his 20 years work on this film, two other movies had their Europe Premiere, while four of them its World Premiere.
The idea of the festival is to remove any cultural and religious boundaries and cosmopolitanize the authors of independent films. Also, festival organization is trying to make ordinary men closer to movie theaters and to the big screen. Thus, and because of the excellence of selected films, the festival Jury presented its Special Award Winners:
Best Drama – Velas (Spain), directed by Pablo Iranzo Pineda
Best Story – Freunde (Italy), written by Lavinia Zammataro
Best Socially Conscious Film – Pitage (Iran), directed by Ali Khaledi
Best Director – To Fly (Chile), directed by Catherine Mazoyer
Best Screenplay – Encounter in the forest (Russia), written by Yury Sysoev
Best Animation – The Sprayer (Iran), directed by Farnoosh Abedi
Best Comedy – RATP Pizza Robot (France), by Hugues Beauregard & Mit Jarouble
Best Actor – Open Call (France), Iliès Pidzy
Best Philosophical Film – Quandary (Turkey), directed by Ebubekir Sefa Akbulut
Best Debut Film – Ku-The Prejudice (India), directed by Ranabir Das.
Considering the eight-hour duration, and that the movie theater was full from the beginning, during the screening, and until the very end of the screenings, it seems that the festival has completed its objective.
We have made a step towards creating a new alternative commune, which believes in true values of independent films. Our audience and guest directors were delighted with the repertoire and enthusiastic with festival’s good spirit. Emphasizing the importance of such manifestation, they have given a great support and encouragement for festivals alike in the future.