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THE PRIZE (El Premio)

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THE PRIZE (El Premio)

Director: Paula Markovitch
Argentina   |   2011   |   99 minutes
Spanish, with subtitles in English
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FILM INFORMATION

Synopsis Under the cloud of a military dictatorship, a young mother and her daughter flee Buenos Aires for the seclusion of a ramshackle cottage along the windy dunes of an Argentine beach. As her mother listens for news from the radio with sad stoicism, restlessly curious seven-year-old Cecilia joins a nearby school overseen by a kindly teacher. A childhood idyll, however, soon becomes contaminated by the general political crisis, as the teacher recruits the class for a patriotic essay contest sponsored by the army—the very people that may have already disappeared Cecilia’s father—in this superbly acted and engrossingly atmospheric drama about innocence in illicit times.


About the Director Paula Markovitch was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1968. She has taught screenwriting at the Center of Cinematographic Capacitation (CCC) and is writer and director of the short films Perriférico and Ambulance Music. She has also served as an adviser for the Fundación Toscano-Sundance Lab, the Mexican Institute of Cinematography (IMCINE) and the National Fund for the Arts and Culture (FONCA). The Prize is her first feature film.


Available Screening Formats 35mm, DVD. Digibeta available upon request.


Click here for Non-Theatrical & Exhibition screening information


NOW PLAYING: Check the film calendar for current screenings.


Featured in the Global Lens 2012 film series.



CAST

Ceci - Paula Galinelli Hertzog
Silvia - Sharon Herrera
Lucia - Laura Agorreca
Maestra Rosita - Viviana Suraniti
Walter - Uriel Iasillo

CREW

Director - Paula Markovitch
Writer - Paula Markovitch
Executive Producers - Pablo Boneu, Paula Markovitch, Izrael Moreno
Producer - Izrael Moreno
Co-producers - Fares Ladjimi, Malgorzata Staron, Nicole Gerhards
Director of Photography - Wojciech Staron
Editor - Lorena Moriconi
Sound - Isabel Muñoz, Alexis Stravropulos, Sergio Díaz
Music - Sergio Gurrola



REVIEWS

“Dominated by extreme closeups, the lensing and color-desaturated production design emphasize an oppressive feeling of entrapment. Expressive sound design also underlines the sense of being at the mercy of forces outside oneself.” – Variety

“Wonderfully natural acting and evocative imagery mark a melancholy drama about surviving in a police state.” – The Hollywood Reporter

“The cold, bleak seashore of Argentina in winter matches the powerfully lurking threat of fascism in Paula Markowitch’s autobiographical Competition film The Prize, about a young mother and her infant daughter in hiding from nameless dread. Slow-paced and somber, the film boasts remarkable performances by first-time actress Paula Galinelli Hertzog.” – The Hollywood Reporter

“Markovitch has done some very fine work here….The Prize is all muted grays, tans and matted blues—but without ever slipping into muddiness.” – MUBI

“The Prize faces us with a piece of our history that hurts. That touches us. That puts us on the alert. With the strength and intensity of someone who has experienced what is being told, Paula Markovitch succeeds in creating a deep and sensitive story about freedom, identity and unwavering hope.” – Mar Del Plata International Film Festival

“Impressive….Paula Galinelli Hertzog delivers an astounding performance as a young girl trying to understand what she can believe in the adult world and struggling to feel secure in the certitude of her mother’s love when everything else seems to be shifting.” – Art Hound

“A powerful observational document, taking in the terror and the absurdity of the darkest years of the Argentinian dictatorship of the 1970s as seen through the eyes of a small child.” –The Jewish Daily Forward


FESTIVALS & AWARDS

Best Mexican Feature Film, Morelia International Film Festival
Silver Bear, Berlin International Film Festival
Best Film, Guadalajara International Film Festival
Best Fiction Film, Lima Film Festival
In the Spirit of Freedom Award, Jerusalem International Film Festival
Special Jury Prize, Special Prize of the Armenian Film Academy for Unique Artistic View,
Audience Award, New Horizons International Film Festival
Nuremberg International Human Rights Film Award, Nuremberg International Human Rights Film Festival
Best Director, Festival de Cine La Orquidea Cuenca
Student Award, Paris Cinema
Official Selection, Mumbai Film Festival
Official Seleciton, International Film Festival of Kerala
Official Selection, Mill Valley Film Festival
Official Selection, Festivalissimo
Official Selection, AFI Latin American Film Festival
Official Selection, Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival
Official Selection, Golden Apricot International Film Festival
Official Selection, Festival on Wheels
Official Selection, Festival de Cinema Latino-Americano de Sao Paulo
Official Selection, L’Alternativa Barcelona Independent Film Festival
Official Selection, Festival Internacional de Cine de Huesca
Official Selection, Espoo Ciné International Film Festival
Official Selection, Milano Film Festival
Official Selection, Film by the Sea
Official Selection, Vladivostock International Film Festival
Official Selection, North Cape Film Festival
Official Selection, Argentinische Filmtage
Official Selection, Kaunas International Film Festival
Official Selection, International Crime & Punishment Film Festival
Official Selection, Bergen International Film Festival
Official Selection, Filmar en América Latina

Official Selection, Free Zone Film Festival
Official Selection, Leeds International Film Festival
Official Selection, CineramaBC Film Festival
Official Selection, Exground Filmfest
Official Selection, Dominican Republic Global Film Festival
Official Selection, Lens Politica Film & Media Art Festival
Official Selection, Casa da América Latina
Official Selection, Chennai International Film Festival
In Competition, Brasil CineMundi

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