Leffest Lisboa Film Festival Prizes: Victor Erice’s ‘Close Your Eyes’ Wins Best Film

Victor Erice’s “Close Your Eyes” won best film at the 17th edition of Leffest Lisboa Film Festival, which announced awards Saturday night.

Marking Erice’s first feature film since his 1992 docudrama “The Quince Tree Sun” and garnering almost universal positive reviews – Variety called it “an aching ode to film, time and memory” – following its world premiere at Cannes, “Close Your Eyes” has screened at Toronto, Busan, BFI London and New York.

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During Leffest, in a session moderated by Paulo Branco, 83-year old Erice took part in a conversation with preeminent 64-year old Portuguese helmer, Pedro Costa, whose short “The Daughters of Fire,” was a Cannes Special Screening and also had its Portuguese premiere at the fest.

Erice remarked during the event, one fest highlight, that both he and Costa are working in the shadow of two great filmmakers – “Don Luis Buñuel” and “Don Manoel de Oliveira” – and he added that whereas he feels that Costa has managed to “find his place and his people, among the humiliated and the offended, projecting the idea of community,” he, by contrast, has had to confront a “certain solitude, a certain inner exile.”

Erice previously worked with Pedro Costa, on the omnibus film “Historic Centre,” shot in Portugal during 2012 Guimarães European Capital of Culture, that also involved Manoel de Oliveira and Aki Kaurismaki.

Leffest is directed by Portuguese producer Paulo Branco. This year’s jury was presided by director Elia Suleiman, accompanied by Fanny Ardant, Nitin Sawhney, Rachel Kushner, Georgi Gospodinov, Khalik Allah, and Adriana Molder.

The fest’s João Bénard da Costa Jury Grand Prize was awarded to “The Delinquents” by Rodrigo Moreno, “a deliciously bizarre existential heist movie,” said Variety.

The Jury Prize went to “Do Not Expect Too Much from the End of the World” by Radu Jude, “a brilliantly bizarre work-culture satire,” according to Variety.

Cédric Kahn’s “The Goldman Case” received a special mention from the Jury – and actor Bianca Delbravo won a Jury Special Award for her performance in Mika Gustafson’s “Paradise is Burning”

In the Discoveries competition, the TAP Revelation Award ex-aequo was awarded to “Pet Shop Days” by Olmo Schnabel and “Grandmother’s Footsteps” by Lola Peploe. The jury was comprised by Leonor Silveira, Selma Uamusse and Pedro Amaral.

The 17th edition of the LEFFEST Lisboa Film Festival ran Nov. 10-19 in Lisbon.

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