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Georgian film wins top prize at Czech festival

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Published : 2014-07-13 20:12
Updated : 2014-07-13 20:12

Georgian director George Ovashvili holds the main prize, the Crystal Globe, for his film “Corn Island” at the 49th International Film Festival in Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic, Saturday. (AP-Yonhap)
PRAGUE (AFP) ― Georgian film “Corn Island” won the $25,000 Crystal Globe for best movie at the Czech film festival in the western spa city of Karlovy Vary on Saturday.

The film directed by George Ovashvili is a psychological drama about an old man and his granddaughter living on an island on a river separating Georgia from the rebel region of Abkhazia.

At the festival, which kicked off on July 4, American actor and director Mel Gibson and U.S. director William Friedkin also received Crystal Globes for their contribution to world cinematography.

The award for Gibson sparked protests from the Czech Jewish community, which slammed the 58-year-old star for his 2004 film “The Passion of the Christ” depicting Jesus Christ’s final hours.

Czech Jews said the film propagated a “classic stereotype” about Jews being responsible for Jesus’ death and warned it could be used to “justify anti-Jewish hatred.”

Gibson’s reputation has also plunged since he was caught on tape in an anti-Semitic rant in 2006.

Friedkin is known as the director of “The French Connection” and “The Exorcist.”

Nearly 131,000 cinemagoers attended the festival, up from last year’s 128,000, the organizers said.

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