Czech film festival awards film about Romani boxer
The Karlovy Vary International Film Festival chose 15 projects out of 51 submissions to compete as part of its "2014 Works in Progress" feature for awards on 7 July 2014. An international jury then selected the most promising film to receive a prize of EUR 10 000 worth of services from the festival's partner, Barrandov Studios.
The best film in this category was Ivan Ostrochovský's Czech-Slovak co-production, "Koza" (Goat). The project was presented by producer Jiří Konečný and director Ostrochovský.
The jury's verdict
"The high level of all the projects in this year's Works in Progress competition made an impression on the jury. Ultimately we chose three different projects for short-listing, including the films 'Cesta do Říma' (Trip to Rome) and 'The Gulls'. The prize goes to a film with strong characters and a visual style that is both funny and sad from a director who manages to blend the heavy and light parts of the story with total ease. The winner of the 10th annual Works in Progress award is the film 'Koza' (Goat)."
Mihai Chirilov, Transylvania International Film Festival (Romania) Guillaume de Seille, Arizona Productions (France), and Niloufar Siassi, Fortissimo Film Sales (the Netherlands)
Description of the film
In order to feed his family, a boxer sets out on one of his last tours to fight for his dream to the bitter end. Romani boxer Peter Baláž, nicknamed "Koza" (Goat), experienced the peak of his athletic career at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.
Koza and his girlfriend, Miška, now live in an impoverished settlement on the outskirts of town. Miška discovers she is pregnant, and even though Koza wants the child, she doesn't want to carry the pregnancy to term because they are too far in debt without any prospect of improvement.
Miška attempts an abortion and leaves Koza, moving in with her parents. Koza decides he will return to the boxing ring to make the money they need.
The hero of the film, Peter Baláž, is a real boxer (who did compete in the Olympics in Atlanta) and this story is inspired by his life. The concept of the film uses the main character to preserve an illusion of authenticity thanks to the realistic aspects of the fighting and Koza's boxing habits in his natural environment.
At the same time, we also emphasized the search for authentic figures and locations that do occur in professional boxing. The final film should produce a sense of fatalism and social powerlessness.
The rawness of the spaces in which the main characters function will create that illusion for the viewer. The rawness of the environment will also mean the characters in it seem raw as well.
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