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Solar Eclipse Wins at Cronograf

Cronograf - International Documentary Film Festival (May 10-15, Chisinau, Moldova) presented the Grand Prize to Solar Eclipse by Czech filmmaker Martin Mareček. The Best Director Award went to Robin Hessman for My Perestroika; the Best Image Award was won by Mark Xavier and Arpino Weymuller for Life, a Long Way Away. Noosfera by Ileana Stănculescu and Artchil Khetagouri was awarded the Special Jury Prize.


Martin Mareček's documentary film Solar Eclipse has since last year been the Czech Republic's undisputed festival favourite. In October 2011, it was voted Best Czech Documentary Film at the Jihlava IDFF and it also won the Silver Eye Award for East Silver's best documentary feature. The awards kept rolling in in January as Mareček received the Czech Film Critics Award and the Trilobite Award from the Czech Film and Television Association (FITES). In March, it won the Czech Lion Award for Best Documentary Film bestowed by the Czech Film and Television Academy. At the end of April it landed the Association of Czech Film Clubs Prize at Finále Plzeň. With over 10,000 admissions, Solar Eclipse keeps going strong in Czech cinemas as well.

Cronograf (May 10 - 15, 2012, Chisinau, Moldova) presented the film with the Grand Prize. “A complete movie, an original and intelligent approach, contains humor and fineness,” remarked the Jury of , which included: Mihai Țărnă, the President of the Jury (Moldova), Irina Margareta Nistor (Romania), Grit Lemke (Germany), Marian Voicu (Romania) and Pascal Servais (France).

Prize for Best Director went to the film My Perestroika (USA), director and director of photography Robin Hessman. The jury stated as follows: “A point of view without bias. A clear and balanced film…”

Prize for Best Image was granted to the documentary Life, a Long Way Away (France), director Mark Xavier and director of photography Arpino Weymuller. “Aesthetic of the image is true to the emotions. A beautiful story well rendered by the image,” explained the Jury members.

The Special Prize of the Jury was presented to Noosfera (Romania) by Ileana Stănculescu and Artchil Khetagouri. Jury statement: “Women are from Venus, men are from Mars – but they live in Noosfera.”


Solar Eclipse

Director: Mareček Martin
Producer: Horská Tereza
Production company: Hypermarket Film

Pod sluncem tma , Czech Republic, 2011, 81 min, DV, Creative, Current Affairs, Portrait, Social Issues

In 2006, Milan and Tomas electrified a school campus and a hospital in a detached Zambian village. After four years, they return for the last time to find out about their system's failures, repair it and hand it over at last. The film follows them through chaotic days as well as pitch black nights and provides a fresh insight into the pitfalls of humanitarian development projects. Short circuits of all sorts, blending and dissolving of different worlds, rituals of gratitude and concepts of solutions. With no attempts to declare or evaluate anything, Solar Eclipse becomes a situation probe examining various forms of light and darkness. Will the two Czech linkboys succeed in lighting up the Zambian bushland?

Catalogue of Upcoming Czech Documentary Films 2011 / East Silver 2011 / Silver Eye Award 2011


My Perestroika

Director: Hessman Robin
Production company: Red Square Production, Bungalow Town Productions, ITVS International, American Documentary / POV, YLE - Finnish Broadcasting Company

Moje Perestrojka , United Kingdom, USA, 2010, 87 min, Beta, History, Society

"My Perestroika" follows five ordinary Russians living in extraordinary times — from their sheltered Soviet childhood, to the collapse of the Soviet Union during their teenage years, to the constantly shifting political landscape of post-Soviet Russia. Together, these childhood classmates paint a complex picture of the dreams and disillusionments of those raised behind the Iron Curtain.

East Silver 2010



Production company: Art Doc

Noosfera , Romania, 2011, 55 min, Digi Beta, Creative, Personal View, Philosophy, Portrait

True love is possible. This is what the Romanian sociology professor Nicolae Dumitru preaches to his students. But how can we reach it? The professor has developed his own theory, based on scientific research and on his predictions for the future. However, in his private life, things went often in a different direction and his theory was not always useful. Every failure in his marriages affected also the size of his apartment that got smaller and smaller with each divorce. When he finally encounters true love, his theory seems to come true… until life takes its own course again. “Noosfera” is a portrait of a man who never gave up and continues to search for perfect love and understanding.

Ex Oriente Film 2007 / East European Forum 2007 / Ex Oriente Film Babies 2011 / East Silver 2012


For a complete list of winners, please visit Cronograf's website.


Related Articles:
Martin Mareček - On the Great Divide Between People and the Slim Gap Between the Czech Republic and Azerbaijan [Filmmaker Profile]