Veteran documentary director Vitaly Mansky won the main documentary prize at the festival in Karlovy Vary. This is the catalogue description of the film that had its international premiere at the festival:
According to a claim made by Vladimir Putin, half of Russia’s state budget comes from the oil and gas industry. In the case of natural gas, construction of the Trans-Siberian pipeline became a fundamental milestone when, in 1983, it connected supplies of natural gas in Western Siberia with European consumers. Renowned Ukrainian documentarist Vitaly Manskiy sets off along the route of the pipeline to find out what it’s like for ordinary people living in its vicinity. The catch from a frozen Siberian river full of dead fish, a wedding in a dilapidated prefab building in Khabarovsk, an Orthodox mass in a disused train car, a discarded washing machine used as a doghouse, and the invocation of communist ideals due to dissatisfaction with contemporary conditions and the fear of an uncertain future – all this eloquently illustrates the often absurd banality of contemporary Russia. This visually refined road movie is an unsettling portrait of the legendary Trans-Siberian gas pipeline on which most of Europe is still reliant.
The film (116 mins.) is coproduced with Saxonia Entertainment (Simone Baumann) (Germany), Hypermarket Film (Filip Remunda) (Czech Republic) and Czech Television. Deckert Distribution handles sales.
Best documentary film under 30 minutes was “Beach Boy” by Emil Langballe, 27 mins., a film from the National Film School in England.
The FEDEORA Award of the Federation of Film Critics of Europe and the Mediterranean of Film went to a film screened in the East of the West Section, the Slovak-Czech-Croatian “Velvet Terrorist “ for an innovative approach to portraying communist past with humor and creative balance between the film’s scripted scenes and documentary sections.