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The winners of the New Directors Award and Audience Award 2024 is...

On the last day of Kosmorama 2024 - Sunday 10. March - The festival announced the winners of this years New Directors Award and Audience Award. The winner of the jury prize New Directors Award was the Hungarian Explanation for Everything. The winner of the audience award was the British- Palestinian film The Teacher.

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New Directors Award winner: Explanation for Everything

Director: Gábor Reisz

The jury will first praise the festival for a well-composed main programme. Great variety in the type of films, many of which were of high quality. There were many potential winners and it became difficult to pick the one outstanding winner.

The jury was fascinated by how the film is apparently built around simple, almost everyday interpersonal relationships, and how this is built up to become a precise analysis of a contemporary divided Europe.

The director is able to put together a storytelling structure which, in all its simplicity, is also incredibly complex. Generational gaps, authority figures such as parents and teachers, a nation's history and political contradictions. The film shows us how the polarization becomes paralyzing and can almost be said to become a trauma for the nation, but without judging.

The film elegantly fits into a proud European narrative tradition of naturalistic drama, especially as we have seen from Eastern Europe in recent years. This is a film about contemporary challenges in a particular country, but one of the film's strengths also lies in the fact that the polarization depicted is so easily recognizable in several other European countries. This makes the film an important contemporary film.

The director shows an ability to use the strength and possibilities of the film medium to tell an extremely complex framework narrative via everyday and simple, almost trivial, single incidents. This is a film lasting over 2 ½ hours which strictly speaking revolves its drama around a teacher asking a student in an oral exam why he has a national symbol on his lapel. Using this simple incident as the starting point for such a large narrative is a masterful achievement. We will give this year's NDA award to Hungarian Gabor Reisz for the great film Explanation for Everything.

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Winner of the Audience Award: The Teacher

Director: Farah Nabulsi

The Palestinian English teacher Basem serves as a mentor and a father figure to his students, while simultaneously engaging in a dangerous political resistance against the Israeli settlements. When the occupiers decide to demolish the homes of two of his students, brothers Yacoub and Adam, it leads to fatal consequences.

Director Farah Nabulsi, born and raised in England, chose to make her debut film in Palestine, where she has her roots. After visiting occupied areas, she became aware of the systematic discrimination against Palestinians. She decided to create a feature film that sheds light on the conflict through the eyes of the people living there. The film follows various storylines and weaves a narrative that is as engaging as it is complex.

The Teacher received critical acclaim when it premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in September. Since then, the film has unfortunately gained increased relevance due to the war in Gaza. The Teacher is a meaningful film that, through multiple parallel stories, illustrates how cycles of violence can all too easily emerge in tense conflicts.

The filmmakers of tomorrow

In the New Directors Award (NDA), Kosmorama has dedicated its competition program to the filmmakers of the future, the new voices in the vast global film world whom we believe will make a significant mark in the years to come.

In this program, it's not just about having good films; the directors must also demonstrate that they possess something extra as storytellers and/or film artists.

The criterion is that the director has not made more than three feature films. The festival's program board has curated the films included in the competition program. A professional jury selected the winner of the New Directors Award from among these films.

This year's jury has consisted of Ingrid Dokka, general manager of the South Norwegian Film Centre, Marcin Pienkowski, director of the New Horizons Film festival in Wroclaw and Ola Lund Renolen, former Kosmorama director.