Latvia takes home Grand Prix at 45th Tampere Film Festival

The dark Latvian fiction film Castratus The Boar (Dirs. Raitis Ābele & Lauris Ābele, Latvia, 2014) won the Grand Prix as the 45th edition of the Tampere Film Festival concluded yesterday. The award was collected by the directors alongside the film’s producer Thom Palmen.

The film follows Valter who hides a secret that prevents him from integrating the local community. He spends his days breeding pigs and singing in the church choir, but that doesn’t make him less lonely. When he finally tries to establish closer contact with a fellow girl Aija, his representations of masculinity take a weird turn.

Originally coming to the attention of the film world when it was pitched at the 2013 edition of the Baltic Pitching Forum, the film has screened in Estonia, Latvia and Prague. The win at Tampere will undoubtedly see the film hitting the festival circuit over the coming months (and it also makes the film eligible for an Academy Award).

Speaking exclusively to Cineuropa Shorts, co-director Lauris Ābele said:

“We were very honoured that our movie got selected: That was already good. Then we got the prize and it changed an already good thing into something even better. We would like to thank all the people involved in the making of the festival and all THE people who helped us in making the film.”

Other prizes in the International Competition included the Best Animation going to French film Anatole’s Little Saucepan (La petite casserole d’Anatole) (Dir. Eric Montchaud, France, 2014) and the Best Documentary going to Belgian film La part de l’ombre (Dir. Olivier Smolders, Beligum, 2014). The European Film Academy nomination went to Hamy Ramezan & Rungano Nyoni for their powerful Listen, a powerful film about a woman in a burka reporting the crime and her translator who refuses to translate what she says.

In the National Competiton the main prize went to Risto-Pekka Blom for his experimental film Teemapuisto.

The full list of winners is:

International Competition

Grand Prix: 5000 e (Award presented by the co-organizer GBTIMES Ltd.) + Statuette “Kiss”
Raitis Ābele, Lauris Ābele: Castratus Kuilis

Best Fiction: 1500 e + Statuette “Kiss” (Supported by the European Commission)
Michael Kam: Detour

Diploma of Merit (Fiction)
Luka Popadić: Mamci I udice

Best Animation: 1500 e + Statuette “Kiss”
Eric Montchaud: La petite casserole d’Anatole

Diploma of Merit (Animation)
William Garratt: Slaves of the Rave

Best Documentary Film: 1500 e + Statuette “Kiss”
Olivier Smolders: La part de l’ombre

Diploma of Merit (Documentary Film)
Paulina Skibinska: Obiekt

Tampere Short Film Nominee for the European Film Awards 2015: (European Film Academy)
Hamy Ramezan, Rungano Nyoni: Kuuntele

Audience Award:
Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette, André Turpin: Prends-moi

National Competition

Main Prize: 5000 e (Oy Yleisradio Ab) + Statuette “Kiss”
Risto-Pekka Blom: Teemapuisto

Special Prize: 1500 e (Pond5)
Hannaleena Hauru: Säälistäjät

Diploma of Merit
Jesse Jalonen: Pauli

Studen Award: Festival Trip (Promotional Centre for audiovisual Culture AVEK)
Isabella Karhu: Pojat

Youth Jury Prize: The Golden Moro
Hamy Ramezan, Rungano Nyoni: Kuuntele


Main Prize: 5000 e (Finnkino Oy) + Statuette “Kiss”
Heikki Häkkinen: Hymyjen maa

Special Prize: 1500 e (Oy Veikkaus Ab) + Statuette “Kiss”
Markku Heikkinen: Talvivaaran miehet

Diploma of Merit
Salla Sorri, Jessie Chisi: Estherin kehä


Risto Jarva Prize: 10 000 e (Finnish Film Foundation)
Sanna Liljander: Onni

Audience Award
Heikki Häkkinen: Hymyjen maa

09 March 2015, by Laurence Boyce