Elena by Andrei Zvyagintsev, one of Russia’s most trail-blazing contemporary director, won the Jury Prize in second-ranking competition program “Un Certain Regard” of the 64th Cannes Film Festival Award. The awarding ceremony ended tonight for Andrei Zvyagintsev who accepted the award from Emir Kusturica, president of the Jury.
Elena features a middle-aged couple, who come from different walks of modern Russian society.
…Vladimir (Andrei SMIRNOV) is a well-off businessman. Elena (Nadezhda MARKINA) was a nurse and became a housewife when they married. Each of them has children from their previous marriages. Elena sustains her unemployed son, Sergey, who is idle, cynical and selfish, his wife and two kids with her pension and her husband’s money. Vladimir’s daughter is a rough diamond, who burns the candle of her life from both ends.
Unexpectedly, Vladimir has a heart attack. In a hurry he signed his Last Will to leave everything to his daughter. Elena understands this destroys her hope to keep her son afloat. So she kills her rich husband for the sake of her son and grandchildren…
The 47-year-old Siberian-born director, Zvyagintsev, became famous when his low-budget debut drama The Return picked up over 40 international film festival awards, including two Golden Lions at Venice Film Festival in 2003.
Zvyagintsev’s second film, The Banishment, snatched the Best Actor award (Konstantin Lavronenko) at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival.
From festival site:
The Un Certain Regard selection screened 21 films from 22 directors hailing from 19 different countries. Kusturica’s jury also featured Elodie Bouchez, Peter Bradshaw, Geoffrey Gilmore and Daniela Michel.
Presided over by Emir KUSTURICA (Director, actor and musician – Serbia), the Jury was comprised of: Elodie BOUCHEZ (Actress – France), Peter BRADSHAW (Critic-The Guardian – United Kingdom), Geoffrey GILMORE (Chief Creative Officer-Tribeca Enterprises – USA), Daniela MICHEL (Director of the Morelia Festival – Mexico).
SPECIAL JURY PRIZE
ELENA by Andrey ZVYAGINTSEV
BÉ OMID É DIDAR (Au revoir) by Mohammad RASOULOF