The top winner at the 2006 Thessaloniki International Film Festival, which wrapped up today, November 26, 2006, was Kim Tae-yong's Korean drama Family Ties / Gajokeui Tansaeng, featuring three segments focusing on problematic family relationships. (Image: Thessaloniki winner Family Ties.)
In addition to the Golden Alexander Award for Best Film (worth 37,000 euros), Family Ties won a joint Best Actress Award (for Moon So-ri, Goh Doon-shim, Kong Hyo-jin, and Kim Hae-ok), while screenwriters Sung Ki-young and Kim Tae-yong shared the Best Screenplay Award with Maurício Zacharias, Felipe Bragança, and Karim Ainouz for the Brazilian comedy-drama Love for Sale / Suely in the Sky / O Céu de Suely.
Directed by Karim Ainouz, Love for Sale tells the story of a woman (Hermila Guedes) from Brazil's impoverished Northeast who dreams of a better life elsewhere. Last month, Ainouz's movie won the Best Film Award at the 2006 Rio de Janeiro Film Festival.
More 2006 Thessaloniki Film Festival Award winners
The 2006 Thessaloniki Film Festival's Special Jury Prize – the Silver Alexander Award (worth 22,000 euros) – went to Mona Zandi Haghighi's Iranian drama On a Friday Afternoon / Asre Jomeh, which chronicles the travails of a lower-class unwed mother who must come to terms with her rebellious teenage son.
Slawomir Fabicki was chosen Best Director for the Polish drama Retrieval / Z Oszysku, about a young boxer who becomes attached to a gangster. As the boxer, Antoni Pawlicki took home Thessaloniki's Best Actor Award. Retrieval is Poland's submission for the 2007 Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award.
This year's Thessaloniki jury was presided by American producer Christine Vachon, whose credits include Todd Haynes' Safe (1995), with Julianne Moore; Tony Vitale's gay romantic comedy Kiss Me, Guido (1997), with Nick Scotti; Haynes' Velvet Goldmine (1998), starring Ewan McGregor, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, and Christian Bale; Kimberly Peirce's Boys Don't Cry (1999), which earned Hilary Swank the year's Best Actress Academy Award; and Haynes' Far from Heaven (2002), which earned Julianne Moore a Best Actress Oscar nomination.