The Whaler Boy is the winner of the GdA Director's Award
The jury headed by Nadav Lapid and composed of participants in the European Parliament's 27 Times Cinema program arrived at its decision after a heated discussion that was livestreamed so the public could follow the deliberations.
All the jury sessions are moderated by Karel Och, Artistic Director of the Karlovy Vary Festival.
The jury has released the following statement about their choice of the winner:
"The winner of this years GdA Director's award is The Whaler Boy by Philipp Yuryev. It was one of the three selected films along with Residue, an experimential and intimate portrait of the black community in Washington DC, and Conference, an examination of fear and pain in an unconvential way, set in Russia during a memorial of a terrorist attack. The jury decided that Philipp Yuryev's The Whaler Boy was the most accomplished film, combining drama and comedy while maintaining an strong aesthetic vision. As a directorial debut, this coming-of-age story depicts a world that has not been explored with such cinematic precision and such confidence yet. The decision to use non-professional actors helped to induce authenticity and the jury felt that this film is deserving of wide recognition."
The GdA Director's Award carries a cash prize of €20,000, to be split equally between the director and Loco Films, the international sales agency for the film, with the aim of promoting the circulation of the film around the world.