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22 Jul 2018

Crystal Swan by Belarusian director wins Grand Prix in Odessa

MINSK, 22 July (BelTA) - The feature film Crystal Swan by Belarusian director Darya Zhuk won the Grand Prix of the Odessa International Film Festival, BelTA learned from ART Corporation visual and performing arts center.

This year the main competition featured 12 movies from around the world, including the participants of the Cannes, Berlin and other festivals. The main prizewinner was chosen by audience vote. The movie directed by Darya Zhuk won the Grand Prix Golden Duke and €10,000 in cash prize. “This award means a lot to me. This is my first movie. It's a huge privilege and honor for my team,” Darya Zhuk said at the closing ceremony of the Odessa Film Festival. The awards ceremony was held in the Odessa Opera and Ballet Theater.

Crystal Swan is a coming-of-age story about a young woman in post-soviet Belarus in the mid 1990’s. She loves house music and dreams of going to Chicago where this music style emerged a decade earlier. To get a visa to America, she fakes her visa application by buying a letter of employment on the black market and instead of America the heroine ends up by the phone in a small town waiting for the US embassy to call.

The movie was filmed jointly by Belarus, the United States, Germany and Russia. It was premiered at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival on 30 June. The film was chosen by the Belarusian Oscar Committee for the nomination for the Academy Award. Crystal Swan will hit cinema screens in Belarus on 30 August.

Darya Zhuk was born in Minsk. She graduated from Harvard University and Columbia University in the United States. She worked at HBO and shot a number of short-length films that won prizes at international film festivals. One of them, The Real American, received a diploma of the Minsk International Film Festival Listapad in 2015.

Odessa International Film Festival is one of the biggest film forums in Eastern Europe and the largest cinematographic event in Ukraine. The festival welcomes annually more than 100,000 spectators and numerous foreign guests, including celebrities. In different years the festival was attended by actors John Malkovich, Isabelle Huppert, filmmakers Darren Aronofsky, Agnieszka Holland and many others. This year’s award for contribution to cinematography art went to British actress Jacqueline Bisset.

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